On The Workshop

Do I need to be a member to attend a workshop?Not at all. Anyone with an interest in songwriting is welcome to attend. There are no fees, registration or membership requirements.
I don’t know how to write music. I just write the lyrics. Can I still participate in the workshop?Yes. All you need is the desire to become a songwriter, work with a songwriter, find a singer, find a songwriter … all are welcome.

It’s unusual, but we have had songs presented without vocals, no melody. But there is no rule that says songs has to have a melody, just as there is no universal right way or wrong way to write a song. The goal is to find a way that works for you.

You can also just come as an observer. Hearing a range of musical styles with comments from various perspectives helps us develop our ideas about effective songwriting - as opposed to just whether we like it or not.

I wrote a bunch of original lyrics but am having a hard time putting them to music. Could I just bring lyrics and get help on putting to music?Each song gets about ten minutes for presentation and discussion - not much time to start setting lyrics to music because there are so many different ways to go about it. Each songwriter could have a couple ideas, and we have a room full of songwriters. However, you might get some ideas for the hook, ideas on how to streamline the lyrics to make them more singable or suggestions on how to get started.

On Songwriting Services

I am looking for a songwriter to write a song for me. Can the ISS help me find one?

Yes, but it will help to provide the some particulars. How will the song be used? Do you want to own the song? How do you want to work with them and is there any compensation involved?

Different songwriters not only have different styles and skills, but they also have different goals and terms. Providing the answers to these questions will help you find the right songwriter anywhere you may be looking.

Other options include running a songwriting contest, or attending a workshop to meet us and hear our music.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can get my music heard? There are many services available to get your music heard. Here are just a few of the services used by our members:
The Island Songwriters Showcase does not officially endorse these services, but also was not compensated for mentioning them.
I am from out of town, but I’ll be in the area and would like to attend a workshop. Is that okay? Yes, definitely. You do not need to be a Long Island resident.

ISS Showcases

How can I be considered for being a featured artist in one of your Showcases? That’s easy. We need to hear you. Please attend any workshop and/or open mic so we can hear you. We like to feature new songwriters, but we still need them to be reasonably proficient to be featured. Come get to know us, and let us get to know you. We’re always looking for good performers – and always willing to do what we can to help any songwriter become a better performer.

ISS Open Mics

Can I play at your Open Mics?Songwriters are always welcome. No poets, comedians, jugglers or magicians please. Cover artists who are seriously interested in songwriting are generally welcome, but some of our open mics may be strictly original. Please check with the Showcase facilitator.
Can my band play at your Open Mics?All of our current venues require quiet-to-moderate volume levels. So, no loud, electrified bands, please. Acoustic ensembles are fine.
What equipment (if any) is provided?It varies depending on the venue and sometimes other factors. Generally, there is a vocal mic and guitar amplification available. Please check with the Showcase Facilitator.