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  • "Grain of Salt": Workshopping Songs in Progress with a Political Edge" (Online workshop)

"Grain of Salt": Workshopping Songs in Progress with a Political Edge" (Online workshop)

  • 06/22/2020
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Private Zoom Meeting


  • Requires code.
  • If you wish to join, PMN, see https://www.peoplesmusic.org/join-PMN

Registration is closed

Registration Deadline

The deadline to register is Sunday, June 21 at 8:00 PM.  You may still register for this event after this time, but you will be added to the wait list.

Workshop Description

Writing songs that deliver a compelling message of social justice in ways that move people's hearts is both a political and artistic process.  Are you somewhere in the middle of this process?  Are you interested in receiving peer feedback on your own work in progress?

This popular PMN interactive workshop is an opportunity to hone your listening and feedback skills as we collectively ponder the many elements – lyrics, melody, rhythm, chord progression, key, arrangement, etc. – that make a song click.   Using online tools, we’ll hear each song-in-progress and then become a collective think-tank about what’s working so far and what might be improved.

Positive and/or constructive feedback will be offered, and only on those elements that you request help with.

How to participate:

  1. Registration is limited to 7 participants, and we will take a waiting list, with the idea that we’d like to do this next month too.  Preference is given to first time participants in Grain of Salt. 
  2. Submitting a lyric sheet of the song in progress is required at the time of registration.  If the lyrics change, then, no later than noon (EST) on the day of the workshop, please send one copy of the latest version as an attachment to ben.grosscup@peoplesmusic.org, using subject line "Updated Lyrics for Grain of Salt".
  3. Check for the email with details on how to connect to the Zoom video conference platform.

Workshop Facilitators:

Eligibility to Participate

Performers in this swap must:

  1. be PMN members in good standing* 
  2. register using this form
  3. have a computer with functioning video camera and microphone.

* If you are not a PMN member, you may join here: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/join-PMN

Improving the Audio Quality of your Performance

  • Learn the Basics of Music on Zoom.  Watch a 10 minute webinar on "Improving Audio Quality for Live Musical Performances on Zoom".  This video distills the basic tips and tricks that first timers need to know.  The key elements are microphone quality, internet connectivity, Zoom advanced audio settings, and microphone placement. 
  • Explore more about improving the audio quality for your performance.  Using your computer's built in mic with Zoom's default audio settings is sufficient to participate and be heard, especially if your performance involves just the human voice.  The sound of a person singing or talking normally comes across on Zoom somewhat better than a telephone.  Zoom applies audio compression filters to the sound of meetings by default.  These filters are effective at reducing background noise, but they also recognize the frequencies that most instruments use as being background noise, causing musical instruments to sound distorted.  It is possible to significantly improve the audio quality of both voice and instruments by using an external USB mic or a USB audio interface device.  (See PMN member discussion forum on, "What kind of External USB mic are you using to play music live online?").   Once you have the hardware in place, there is a setting in Zoom called "enable original sound", which removes Zoom's default audio compression.  Learning these tools helps improve the sound of your performance.  Please see here for a useful and simple tutorial about how to enable original sound in Zoom.       
  • Compare your sound with other set ups.  You can create a free account on Zoom that allows you to record videos and hear how your sound comes across to others when using different settings and equipment.  I recorded a video that shows how audio quality improves by enabling "original sound" and using an external USB microphone, starting with the worst set up and moving steadily to the best set up. (Enter this password to unlock it: P9.0v1!B).

Help Publicize!

Tell your friends how they can participate in this online musical event.  Share on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/663667777815836/

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