This learning community — and all of the Songkeeper activities — will be designed to provide a safe and nurturing environment for students to have the courage to hone the skills to write and perform their first songs. According to coordinator and professional singer-songwriter Mr. Bill Muse: “I can tell you from personal experience that this process is a rite of passage, and one that students will find very powerful and empowering.”
For those incoming freshmen fortunate enough to be admitted, taking part in this learning community includes protecting and promoting the songwriter tradition by inviting these young folks to practice and master the art and craft. Then they, themselves, become protectors and promoters of the now embodied-tradition–literally sustaining it into the future.
One of the unique and interesting things that will happen with the students in the learning community is professional songwriters will help them master their craft. To that end, each student will prepare an original song for submission to the Kerrville Folk Festival’s University Students Songwriter’s Competition at the end of their first year and at the conclusion of their year together in the Learning Community. Local professionals will work with students throughout the year on these songs, invite other professional singer-songwriters to consult with the students on their work, provide performance opportunities for these students to showcase their work, and have their songs professionally recorded in Schreiner’s state-of-the-art music studio.
The goal is not to identify America’s next famous singer-songwriters (though it might just happen); instead, the goal is to identify those people who are passionate about their music (all academic majors welcome!) and want to be more than a hobbyist. They want to be a student of the genre, and they want to achieve an excellence in their tradition that can only occur through concentrated practice in the company of someone like Mr. Bill Muse who himself is a master singer-songwriter.