“Sue was very good with all of us in our different places musically. I truly honor her ability to reach out to all of us individually and as a group.”--Bhaj, Kirkland, Wash.
“I had such a wonderful experience. Sue Ennis was great and I learned a lot from her and the rest of the group. I look forward to coming back!”-- Molly, Federal Way, Wash.
All songwriters start out as ‘thieves,’ says songwriter Sue Ennis, hit songwriter for Heart and Ann and Nancy Wilson. “The songs of others we love so deeply can’t help but influence our own writing. Very often our first songs are treasure troves of stolen goods from our songwriting idols,” she says. “We lift a chord progression here, a groove there, or snatch a way of turning a phrase and claim it for ourselves. Whether we call it ‘ripping off’, ‘borrowing’ or ‘an homage,’ it’s certainly a forgivable trespass. We’re modeling ourselves after the greats and this is how apprentices become masters.”
But most songwriters begin to move away from mimicking and long to establish their own identities as songwriters, to discover what their artistic strengths are. They want to find their own voices. In this workshop, Sue will help songwriters figure out what they do best.
Are you an autobiographical writer who chronicles the life of her heart in her songs? Are you a strong pop melody writer who wants to write radio-friendly hits? Or a political songwriter who wants to change the world – or at least some closed minds? If you’re a seasoned writer who already knows who she is in her songs, please come share your music and get supportive feedback. Often, a songwriter has pet songs that she thinks are her best, only to discover that the half-forgotten orphan song is the one that wilts everyone in the room. If you are a less-experienced writer with the basic tools of songwriting under your belt, bring your latest batch of songs to share. Sue will help you determine just where the magic lies for you.
Sue creates an encouraging and fun atmosphere in her workshops, where songwriters feel comfortable sharing their work. Everyone will have one-on-one time with Sue. Through her years of collaborating with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, she has come to value the rich rewards of writing with other women in a safe haven of mutual support and humor.
Her hits include Dog and Butterfly, Straight On and Even It Up. Sue has co-written songs for feature films, including the title track for Eddie Murphy’s The Golden Child and the hit children’s film, Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Her commercial jingle Stage Roofing, co-written with film composer Hummie Mann, won a Soundie award for Best Radio Commercial in the Northwest (2004). Sue is on the Board of Governors for the Seattle Chapter of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences and a member of the faculty at Shoreline Community College.
For more on Sue, go to www.sueennis.com.
Fee: $410 includes accommodations, five meals, instruction and consultation.
Optional retreat: Stay Monday and Tuesday after the workshop to work on your own project; $175 includes six meals; two-person limit.