Workshop with Marc-Alan Barnette
Saturday February 18, 2006

Letter from Donna Brooks:

Hey guys, it's official, Marc-Alan Barnette will be leading an NSAI songwriting workshop on February 18, 2006 at the Moonlight Music Cafe from 1:00-5:00. See the letter below for details on what the workshop will cover. Marc-Alan will also be the featured artist at the Moonlight that evening, and I encourage you to stay for the show.

Here is the pricing information:

Workshop: $40.00 ($35.00 if you sign up and pay by 1/16/2006)
Show: $10.00 ($5.00 for those who pay for the workshop)

Marc-Alan will also have time available for 2 kinds of private appointments:

"One on one," $40.00 for a 30-minute appointment.
This would include a three- to five-song listening/critiquing session with a line-by-line, note-by-note breakdown of style, substance, structure, commercial viability and overall discussion of career goals.

"Write-up," $125.00 for a two-hour private songwriting lesson. Can be attended by up to two writers. Writers bring ideas, thoughts, concepts, lyrics, melodies and experience the face-to-face writing experience just like in Nashville. Focus on different approaches to Nashville, twists on the tale, constructing interesting melodies, developing characters, making songs performable. Session should result in a commercially-viable song started and may have opportunities to pitch that song to Nashville publishers and pluggers.

If you want to schedule a one-on-one or write-up appointment with MAB, please do that through me. He will be scheduling those Sunday, Feb. 19th, and possibly Monday, Feb. 20th if need be. The place is yet to be determined. Just drop me a line!

Merry Christmas, warmest holiday wishes, and Happy New Year to you all, Donna

Letter from Marc-Alan Barnette:

To the Birmingham Alabama NSAI group:

Hello, it's Marc-Alan Barnette. We have finally decided on a date for our "Everything you ever wanted to know about the Music industry but were afraid to ask" seminar. I thought I might give you some details about what it is about.

I left Birmingham in 1988 to try my hand at songwriting and the "Big Show" of the music business. My success rate has been pretty good, a cut my first night, several cuts over the years, publishing deals, some network television appearances and many performance and songwriting opportunities.

I have written with over 20 number one songwriters and have seen from several levels the elevation and development of artists ranging from Garth Brooks, Shania Stain, Keith Urban and Big and Rich. I watched so many of these people develop and saw things they did that didn't work and things that did work. My views have been developed by being up close and personal with these and more people who have been involved from both sides of the glass in the music industry. So that is what I try to bring to you.

I break everything down into four specific areas of the industry.
#1. Creation of the song. We look at all elements of songwriting. From structure, character development, tightening focus and keeping it all together in a tight time frame.
#2 Presentation of the song: This is about demos, and live presentation. Once the songs are written, we have to get them out there. There are many myths about guitar vocal demos, verses full production demos, The Bluebird audition, writers nights, etc. I try to discuss ways to avoid the minefields and get through the pitfalls without being blown up financially and mentally.
#3. Networking. We have to get among our contemporaries in order to take the next step. Getting with other writers, the reasons to co-write, what to expect, how to build relationships with publishers, how to look for "back doors," what to expect from publishers, pluggers and various industry people and where their motivations lie.
#4 Business. What has downloading done to the industry? Why is it so hard to get in to see publishers? What does the future hold for writers? Suggestions about how to get your music outside of your head. How are we paid as songwriters? All these are business questions and now are more important than ever. Do you have what a industry person can use? Now is the time to ask.

I hope you will attend the workshop. It will be followed by a show at the wonderful Moonlight Music Cafe'. So you are supporting those in the industry who are trying to support you. See what it takes and measure yourself.

The main question I would ask you is: Would you spend $40 to up your career by three to five years?You decide.