Singer-songwriter Jim Brickman says he found it frustrating that he didn’t have better opportunities for collaborative writing sessions while growing up in Northeast Ohio. To provide locals with the support he never received, he’ll hold his inaugural Brickman Bootcamp for Songwriters that takes the place the weekend of July 26 to 29.
According to the press release announcing the event, the three-day event “brings together talented poets, lyricists and musicians to grow their skills, collaborate and discover industry secrets to take their songs to the top.”
It will take place in Brickman’s private studios located off East 40th St. and conclude with a songwriter showcase at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
“It’s the first hopefully of many,” Brickman says when asked about the program. “I want to encourage people to take that path to come to a place that’s not what you might expect regionally. I want to teach people to collaborate and meet other songwriters and talk about the craft. I’ve only been to retreats. I’ve done it with my contemporaries as an adult, but I never got a chance to go to one where I could learn about the craft or the sensibilities. That’s why I’m encouraging beginners and lyric writers and instrumentalists.”
So what’s the most important lesson for upcoming songwriters to learn?
“The simplest is to have an idea,” says Brickman. “That sounds obvious. It’s not necessarily. Songwriters who haven’t done it will start at the beginning. I liken it to writing a novel or a short story or even a paper for school. You have to know where you’re going before you start. Knowing where you’re headed and having an idea is key. It can’t be as simple as ‘I love you.’ What happens is that if you stay too internal with it, then it comes out as ‘I, I, I.’ When it’s all ‘I, I, I,’ it doesn’t connect with somebody.”
Since “all different kinds of people” will come to the boot camp, Brickman says the showcase at the Rock Hall will show off the participants’ respective talents.
“A third of the people who are coming want to be artists or are artists, so performance is an important aspect,” he says. “I imagine it won’t be everybody who performs, but I encourage being able to take the song out of your head to share it with the audience.”
Scholarships are available, and there's a local discount too. Registration details can be found at JimBrickman.com/songwriter-bootcamp