miscellany

MENTORSHIP AND WHALE TAILS
Monday, November 1st, 2010


What's a mentor? Is it the same thing as a teacher? A coach? Well, I've had all three, and the difference for me has been the degree of commitment- of time and involvement- the person in the mentoring role was willing to give. I could have said "invest", but I've never had the feeling my mentors wanted anything out of the deal other than fair payment for their time and results from their methods. A mentorship is an invitation and a seriously considered one. The student (protege' or mentee) becomes a vessel for carrying the methods and techniques of the "sensei" (Japanese term meaning 'one who has gone before') into the future, thus preserving a lifetime of acquired knowledge. I like to think of myself as a mentor to my students, and that what I've been taught is in good hands to be passed on to others someday.

Mentor, in Greek mythology, was a friend of Odysseus who placed Mentor in charge of his son Telemachus when Odysseus left for the Trojan War. Mentor became a trusted advisor and father figure to the young Telemachus.

According to Wikipedia: Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great, Roger Corman mentored Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese mentored Oliver Stone,
Laurence Olivier mentored Anthony Hopkins, Martin Landau mentored Jack Nicholson, Bach mentored Mozart, Dr. Dre mentored Eminem, David Foster mentored Josh Groban, Eddy Merckx (five-time Tour de France winner) mentored Lance Armstrong (seven-time Tour de France winner), Bobby Charlton mentored David Beckham, and Obi-wan Kenobi mentored Anakin Skywalker and his son Luke Skywalker.
Song Ideas



"They just fall right out of the sky!"

Titles stand for Ideas: Write the title!
Two basic types:
1. Ideas that express
2. Ideas that communicate

Ideas that express:
-primarily expresses an emotion
-context limited to the immediate scenario
-more personal than universal
-singer-songwriter domain
-freely uses figurative language

Examples: "Twighlight" (Robbie Robertson), "Moon Blue" (Stevie Wonder), "I Need You Now" (Lady Antebellum and J. Kear) many more...

Ideas that communicate:
-delivers information
-tells a story
-says something in a larger sense beyond the title
-personal and universal
-country music domain

Examples: "The House That Built Me" (T. Douglas & A. Shamblin), "Metropolis" (A. Smith), "Windows of the World" (Bacharach & David) many more...
Nashville School of Thought
B-
Good Idea/Good Song
Great Idea/Good Song

A+
Great Idea/Great Song
Good Idea/Great Song

A great song idea is as rare as whales falling out of the sky. Great song ideas are novel -new and unusual in an interesting way: "I'm One Bud Wiser", "I'm Going To Hire a Wino To Decorate Our House", "The Song Remembers When", "You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings".

Good ideas often are "something we thought of but never thought of saying" (Oscar Hammerstein): "I Can't Make You Love Me If You Don't", "Everywhere", "She Can't Be Really Gone", "Don't Close Your Eyes", "I Hope You Dance".

-A Great Idea can be written badly.
-A Good Idea can be written Great.
-Great Ideas are rare.
-It doesn't have to be a Great Idea to be a Great Song.

Write the Good Ideas Great!
Good advice

"Don't talk about writing while you're writing." - Pat Pattison
"We murder to dissect." - William Wordsworth




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