Having written nearly 300 songs in my music career, it was natural that I'd want to start discussing the process of writing original music and teaching what I know to aspiring songwriters. I began doing this in the Continuing Ed department of St. Louis Community College in 2017. I also lectured on the subject at Ozark Technical College in Springfield in 2013 and at several additional appearances including one at Webster University in 2014. I developed an approach to the mysterious "art of songwriting" that seemed to catch on, and enabled even uncertain, untried talents to gain confidence and enthusiasm about pursuing their creative journeys. With a particularly remarkable class in 2019 at the Meramec campus, the students and I decided to record a CD of their original compositions. This was partially funded by STLCC and became one of the first recordings of original music to ever emerge from the STLCC community. It was titled TIME TO WRITE A SONG, and a concert celebrating this release was held at the Webster Theatre Guild in November of 2019. It was a joyful, well-attended event. A potential "sequel" to this collection of songs was discussed in my class in 2023.
I look forward to again teaching this wonderful musical craft at STLCCM and other possible schools in the St.Louis region. Additionally, I am available to speak about my Songwriting journey, the "Up in the Air" story and its unlikely trajectory (for those specifically interested) and the importance of "pursuing creative dreams in increasingly uncertain times". If interested in a booking related to these topics, simply drop us a note at this website.
"I’ve taken Kevin Renick’s songwriting class multiple times. Kevin is an inspirational mentoring teacher who has the ability to infuse courage into new singer-songwriters. His experience with recording and live performances is also helpful for the more experienced musician. Kevin's discussion-based format explores the songwriting process of successful singer-songwriters and then moves on to class writing exercises. Students are then given the opportunity to perform their own original works allowing encouraging feedback from Kevin and fellow students. It's a wonderful opportunity for the novice or more experienced musician. Highly recommended!"
Songwriter and performer John Vullo
To further provide hands-on experience for select students, I've invited some of them to guest on my own recordings. A joyful session in 2021 at Red Pill Studio in south city featured my students Bea James (formerly Caroline Steinkamp), Julia Wohlgemuth, Janet Kraus and John Vullo. Collaborations are extremely rewarding, and I have the ability to co-produce sessions for and WITH other aspiring songwriters.
"I wanted to be with creative, like-minded people.I didn't expect to be on a CD and doing concerts. Kevin bolstered my confidence and he's probably the reason I am in Nashville now."
Songwriter and recording artist Bea James
For those interested in the craft but perhaps not able to take a public class, I offer private Songwriting Lessons. These can be held in your own home and will feature some of the techniques used in my classes but would focus more on your own work and particular interests. A sample one-hour first session can be obtained for just $10; if continuing sessions are desired, the cost is $25 per hour. You will receive clear and ongoing feedback on such things as compositional strength, performance techniques and ways to market your songs.
There are a million topics for songs out there, and sometimes an individual might want a song for a special event or person but not have much time to "deliver" the musical product. I am available for such custom songwriting situations. Whether it is a loved one's graduation, retirement or career achievement or something funny and/or topical, I'll take a crack at crafting a song that fits your specifications. On average, I prefer a two-month window for such a project. Just drop us a line here and provide as much detail as you can about the song desired. Cost will vary, depending on the overall need.