• Lillie Burke

Songwriting majors collaborate with Brooklyn publishing company

In partnership with Communion Music Publishing, the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business sent five students to Brooklyn, New York over fall break to further advance their songwriting skills and education.

Hosted by The Patch In Brooklyn, Belmont students spent five days in a fully-furnished brownstone, with unlimited access to Sour Patch Kids, a recording studio and creative spaces to write.

“There were Sour Patch Kids everywhere, I think I ate my weight in Sour Patch Kids,” said senior songwriting major Becca Naber.

Emily Bines, a Belmont alumna, works at Communion Music Publishing and brought the two groups together.

“It worked for all parties involved, it was the first time Communion and The Patch House collaborated. It was great for cross-promotion and even better Belmont had the opportunity to be involved,” said Naber.

Junior and senior songwriting majors filled out the applications on Banner Web in hopes of being chosen. Application biographies included videos, songs, poems and even MySpace surveys.

Straying from the typical application, senior Blake Mankin filmed a video to share his message with Communion Music Publishing.

“The entire time I was pitching why I do music, to inspire creativity and self expression. I didn’t want to tell them I was a hip-hop artist from Arizona because that’s what I do, I wanted to tell them why I do what I do. That is so much more powerful,” said Mankin.

Once the students arrived in New York, they were met by major music industry successes, Ben Lovett, co-founder of Communion Music Publishing and Mumford & Sons Toby Lightman and American Authors Banjo player James Adam Shelley.

Senior Katie Dayton experienced significant growth over the course of the trip after working with Lovett and listening to what advice he had to offer.

“He told us what he thought without fear. He treated us like adults which was one of the most helpful things that happened over the weekend,” said Dayton.

Thanks to Communion Music Publishing and the tools they provided, this group of songwriters was filled with confidence to continue their careers as songwriters.

“Who am I to be around such amazing songwriters like Ben Lovett and James Adam Shelley? Throughout the weekend this experience solidified for me why I’m doing this, I’m doing this for a reason. I’m more confident now in my own abilities as a songwriter,” Said Dayton

On the last night of their trip, crowded around a street performer by the Brooklyn Bridge, Blake Mankin, freestyled with a stranger. This is what music is about, said Dayton.

“What you’re doing is not as important as why you’re doing it,” said Mankin.

The unlimited creativity in this field is why these five students have devoted their studies and future goals toward songwriting.

This story was written by Meg MacDonald. Photos courtesy of Becca Naber.

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