Martha's Vineyard Calendar Songwriting with Peter Halperin
Martha's Vineyard Calendar

Songwriting with Peter Halperin

Yip Harburg who wrote the lyrics for “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” said “Words make you think, music makes you feel, songs make you feel your thoughts”. To which I add “and think your feelings.” This workshop explores ways in which we can facilitate this interaction between our thoughts and feelings to create songs. This songwriting opportunity wil be led by Peter Halperin, who brought down the house at the Chilmark Jam last November. This program will run both in person (at the Vineyard Haven Library) and via Zoom.

This workshop consists of 4 classes. Please try to attend them all:

Session 1, Feb. 8: Songs harness the power of preconscious feelings and thoughts in the form of music and words. We will explore techniques to tap into this reservoir and “invite” songs to come. Members will capture at least a fragment of a song with music and lyric everyday.

Session 2, March 8. What makes a “good song lyric” and “good song music” can only be understood in terms of how they interact with each other. Most great songs are made neither from great poems or great pieces of music. It is how they come together that makes a successful song. Members will write a complete song in week 2.

Session 3, April 12: Asking for inspiration from others and ourselves. It’s not just ok to borrow musical and lyrical ideas, it’s inevitable! We will select words from a favorite poem or prose that members will write music for, and do the same selecting either a melody or chord progression from a favorite song or piece of music that they will write lyrics for. Members will ask themselves “what is the most important thing for me to communicate in a song this week?” Having selected it members will write that song during the week.

Session 4, May 10: Songs must be sung!! Members will select one of the songs they have written during the 4 months and share it with or without instrumental accompaniment. When possible, we will all sing harmony with the songwriter. 

This series is brought to you in collaboration with the Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury, and Chilmark Public Libraries. To register or for more information, contact Program Coordinator Anne McDonough at

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 2:00pm

Vineyard Haven Public Library
200 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568


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