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Authentic Songwriting

John Mark McMillan dives into the many different ways an authentic song can impact your life. He teaches from experience how to choose praise and how that translates into songwriting. Here you will be encouraged to find language for your personal journey and learn practical tools on how to connect with your songs.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Course Overview

Unit 1
The Heart of a Songwriter
Unit 2
Refining Your Skills
Unit 3
Finding Inspiration
Unit 4
General Creativity
Unit 5
Song Stories
Unit 6
BONUS (Exclusive Unit) - Bethel Music Songwriting Retreat

Authentic Songwriting

John Mark McMillan

Music doesn’t tell us what to see as much as it colors the way we see it.

For too long, music has been viewed as the warm-up or the icing on the cake instead of the cake itself.

The definition of music: sound and silence organized.
* When does noise become music?

God commands praise the way the mountains command to be looked at.
* We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not only expressed but completes the enjoyment.
* The human organism has to praise. Praise is who you are. You get to choose what you praise.

Noise becomes music when there is a human intention or heart connected to it.

Music is about being in communion. In one accord, in harmony, in unison.
* We are made to not be alone.

4 basic components to a song:
* Melody
* Lyric
* Rythm
* Love - this is the most important

If you’re not convinced and fully in your praise, Jesus doesn’t want it.

“He doesn’t want your theology, He wants you. ”

When praise becomes an obligation, it ceases to be "praise".

The way you communicate something is as important to the subject matter as what you are saying.
* When music becomes a utility, it becomes a means to an end.
* The medium is the message.

You can be a bad person, and be a great worship leader, but not for very long.
* Anointing has to be paired with "character" for longevity.

If you want to be a person who writes a great song, you have to write bad songs and give them to people who will tear them apart.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
* Music is a continual conversation that started a long time ago, and each person takes it and moves one step forward and passes it on to the next generation.
* You job is to take what is given to you, pour heaven into it, and send it on its way.

Write from life. Write about YOUR life.
* Play with your word order. Rearrange words in every way that you can.
* Work on your melody. A good melody makes ok lyrics awesome.
* If a melody is good without words, then it will be good with them.
* Listen to lots of music. Become part of the conversation.

The greater the risk, the greater the value.
* Don’t give something to the Lord that doesn’t cost you.
* Take Risk. Push buttons.
* The risk speaks to the reward.
* If you’re safe, no one is interested in what you have to say.