Online Songwriting Workshop

Online Songwriting Course
I’ll be hosting a series of weekly online songwriting workshops every Saturday in June at 12:00pm cst. All levels of writers are welcome, whether you’ve been working at it for awhile and need to restart the fire, or just beginning and need tips on how to get going. Even if you do other types of writing and are ‘song-curious,’ this is the class for you.

Here’s how it works:
• Dates: June 6, 13, 20, 27
• Time — 12:00 pm Central / 1:00 pm Eastern
• 90 minutes per session (+ / -)
• We’ll be doing this on Zoom
• Fee $250 (Paypal – / Venmo – dardensmith-music-art)

What you’ll need:
For the Sessions:
• A laptop, computer, etc. (Phones work, but I find that it’s not a great experience)
•  Steady internet to stay in the calls and hear the info, and interact with the class!

Between Sessions
•  A way to record your songs (phones are completely acceptable)
•  Time to work on your songs between sessions, send updates, etc.

In the sessions, we’ll of course be covering the basics (Structure / Verse / Chorus / Bridge, Meter, Melody, etc), but the focus of these classes will be digging deep into lyric clarity, how to mine your own experiences for songs, and how to create the habits and practice of a successful writing life. Over the course of the month, we’ll also be looking at your goals for your writing, and how to create a plan to make those a reality.

There will be assignments each week. My goal is for each participant is to write and record 4 new songs over the course of the month. One new song from each participant will be put on a playlist sent to all participants.

If you have any questions on the class, feel free to get in touch –

Saturday Night in the Studio – Facebook Live

Saturday Night in the Studio
7:00pm cst / 8:00pm est

Since the world turned upside down on us, I’ve been doing shows from my studio, and it might be one of the actions that has kept me sane, positive, and looking forward.
It’s a chance for me to play songs that I usually don’t get to perform in what we used to call “regular shows.”
Most Saturday night shows are all request nights, so let me know what you want to hear.





The birds have been going crazy around here lately.

I woke up at the regular time today in my own
Natural migration,
And went out onto the porch to meditate,
Hoping to get lost in the bird sounds
And the colors of the trees against the grey sky.

But as it happened, all through the neighborhood
The great army of leaf blowers had once again descended
With their incessant whining and revving of agitation.
I sat there, listening, watching my mind get tossed about
By waves of tiny engines run by people I can’t see
For an end that may or may not affect me.
The dissonance put me on a familiar edge
I don’t like to admit lingers always
In my shadow.

But even then, when I least expected,
The great insect would mysteriously go quiet
And in the fleeting lull of engines
I could hear an ever so slight birdsong.
It was there, but in all the static
More like a flashlight in the foggy distance.

What a wake-up!
Because that’s where we all are in this time of
Viral tsunami,
Lost to the gravity of something we didn’t see coming
And have little real ability to control,
While our beauty and our simple nature is hard to locate
For all the chatter and noise
Aimed like a warrior’s ancient arrow
On all we love the most.

It’s hard not to inhale the very stress of it,
To sense that what was promised to us is now lost,
What we thought was our given, a right,
Has been snatched while we slept.

But as I sat there (of not very calm mind, as it turns out)
I noticed the engines growing quiet, slowly at first, then
In what must have been a rush of the loading trailers,
They were mostly gone.
Only across the valley was there a slight hum and buzz.
And then, the birds seemed to be all around me.

For they were never gone.
It was just my hearing that was temporarily overwhelmed.
No, they were always there,
As they’ve always been.
And once this time passes, the beauty and grace
Of the song that we call life will carry on.

So, my hope is that as the rumble of these days
May overwhelm your mind,
Know that the migrations are still in play
And that the birds are out there, waiting,
Singing their bloody hearts out.

Austin, TX