The tutors, interviewees/artistes and general advice to/encouragement of participants (students) were always helpful, inspiring and positive. I found the musical theory the hardest part of the course to grasp and understand, which is where other students comments and advice was always useful. Most songwriters feel that the music and words are equally important but I thought the course gave much more attention and importance to the music and more could have been done with the lyric writing (and ways to inspire this) content. Some of the artists interviewed were rather flippant about the words which maybe reflects the current dearth of meaningful songwriting in mainstream pop / rock with the emphasis more on beat ,rhythm
and repetitiveness rather than melody and story-telling and more imaginative writing and/or social comment. I don't think using someone else's poem was the best way to encourage a student to write their first song - better if one had been encouraged to dip into one's own inner store and unlock ideas and inspiration there. Adapting / putting a poem to music could then be looked at as a later stage / way of exploring a different avenue /offshoot of songwriting. I did not connect with the poem used in the course or wish to make a musical construct of it but the examples made by students in the last part of the course were all excellent and original and Martin Simpson showed what can be done by a true musical genius. And I was pleased with the song that I wrote as a result of doing the course. A big thank- you to all involved.