Writing to a Rhythm: WriteGirl Songwriting Workshop

“Songs happen when words alone are not enough,” WriteGirl Executive Director Keren Taylor told an audience of nearly 200 girls and women writers at the 18th Annual WriteGirl Songwriting Workshop. 

Held at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens on Feb. 23, 2019, WriteGirl teens and their mentors began the day by walking through the vibrant gardens and using the sights, smells and sounds to spark their creativity.

The girls then learned about song structure in the most fun way possible – a dance party! They learned how to put their words into a verse, a pre-chorus and a chorus, and how it all comes together to make a song.

With the help of more than a dozen acclaimed women singer-songwriters, including GRAMMY-winner Lisa Loeb and GRAMMY nominated singer-songwriter Louise Goffin, the girls learned how to write lyrics that connect with an audience emotionally.

“Practice minimizing the space between your spirit and the lyric,” said singer-songwriter MILCK, whose song "Quiet" became an unofficial anthem for the Women's March in 2017.

The pros then brought the girls' lyrics to life in a series of powerful on stage performances ranging from high energy to slow and soulful.

Lisa Loeb performed the lyrics of 14-year-old Sophia:

"She is always on the outside, 
She prefers to be alone. 
Always stuck in her artist world,
Drawing superheroes. 
She is always on the outside. 

You walk into our art class
And your eyes meet hers.
She looks away
too shy to smile at you
What should she do?"

Singer-songwriter guests included: Laurie Geltman, Michelle Lewis, Holly Palmer, Keren Taylor, Kelly Marie Martin, Louise Goffin, Eve Nelson, Michelle Featherstone, Cynthia Catania, Lindy Robbins, Rosemarie Tan, MILCK, Clare Means, Renee Stahl, Lucy Schwartz, Nina Diaz, Eden xo, Kyler England, Blush, Kay Hanley, Lisa Loeb, Rosi Golan, Miny, DeAnna Carpenter and Autumn Rowe.

Following the workshop, Lisa Loeb praised the impact of WriteGirl saying, “The girls really have so much to say and have really original voices. I think being able to meet with them one on one, see what they’re doing and point out to them how original their voices are, I think that will really carry with the girls for all their lives.”

Special thanks to our sponsors, including The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, peermusic and Good Heart Catering.