Have you been humming a song in your mind while you are driving home? Have you wished for a way to add lyrics? There’s nothing like having an instructor who can help a student get the song in his or her head onto paper. But that is the talent of Scott Napier at Hazard Community and Technical College. Napier is a faculty member at HCTC’s Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music (KSBTM) who teaches PSM 107, Songwriting I, where students will be discussing the concepts of putting a song together from all possible angles—melody, lyric, and rhythm.
Student McKenna Witt of Hyden noted, “Scott Napier’s songwriting class was one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken. I learned so much just in one semester. From learning techniques such as finding good song seeds to use in a song, to figuring out ways on how to come up with a great song, it helped me to become a better songwriter and helped me also to create my very first official song.” McKenna learned about so many different artists who wrote and performed their own songs from Bill Monroe to the Beatles. “Scott showed us different articles to read that could help us get more song ideas, like for songs that would tell stories.
“Being a part of this class has taught me that there is more than one way to write a song. There are many techniques that I didn’t know before taking this course. This class was not only educational but a lot of fun. Mr. Scott Napier was very helpful, and was always there when I needed him. A wonderful class!”
Napier said, “We will be able to construct a song from multiple directions. However, so much about songwriting is based on group collaboration, discussing topics, or finding that certain chord that will turn into a great melody, that then will become a great song.”
Students are active on message board posts, and Napier encourages group writing. His goal with songwriting is to find ways to bring the “in person” experience to fruition online. Whether you choose to collaborate with other writers or prefer to work alone, you will be in a class that will also feature personal video messages from some of the best songwriters in the business as a boost of encouragement and inspiration.
The class is a one credit hour course and the requirements are a book and access to the internet and your musical instrument of choice, if you play an instrument. No matter your level of experience, you will benefit from the class.
Evelyn Wood is the Public Relations Director at HCTC.