Songwriting Course! Jan 11 - Feb 1, 2019

Start 2019 with a Song!  An original song that you write yourself—start to finish—in four 2-hour classes of the Girls and Guitars’ Songwriting Course with Doris Folkens & Marie Zimmerman.

For four dark nights in the depths of winter between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00, you’ll start and finish a song through four lessons:

January 11th, 2019:  Lesson 1:  Making your Chorus more effective, memorable and singable.

January 18th, 2019:  Lesson 2:  Overcoming barriers to writing the 2nd and 3rd verse.

January 25th, 2019:  Lesson 3:  Structuring your song to better reflect its emotional content.

February 1st, 2019:  Lesson 4:  Putting It All Together; Learning how to self-critique and edit.

You may get a chance to perform at Hillside Inside 2019, which runs from February 8th-10th, 2019!


The course will be $115 (includes HST) for all four classes.  Class size is limited so you will receive lots of individual attention.  E-transfer to [email protected], or cheque or cash.


Easy sign up:  Contact Doris Folkens at 

[email protected] by January 5, 2018.  



Basic music knowledge required—guitar, piano, or whatever else.

The idea is to create a new song from start to finish—a song of which you are proud, which you have never necessarily thought of before, using a songwriting technique that you may never have used before. Come with an open mind, ready to start something completely new.  

Lessons will include supportive songwriting circles that will help you communicate the emotion of a song better.

Plan to attend all four classes.


About the Teacher:

Guelph-based, award-winning singer-songwriter, Doris Folkens, is developing a reputation as a storyteller in Canada’s folk music scene. Her self-titled debut album, released in June 2018, is firmly rooted in the bluegrass-folk genre, and is described as “the perfect addition to any folk music fan’s playlist” (Canadian Beats Media).  See for yourself at Back again for Hillside’s Girls and Guitars songwriting course, teaching the craft of songwriting is a highlight of her musical year. 





“This course gave me increased confidence in songwriting, encouragement to re-work the words and sounds that don't quite fit, an experience to be

vulnerable with others in writing and simply being a learner!”


“A great way to help you get down your ideas in a proper way so that, in the end, you have a song you can be proud of.  It had a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that was great for learning new techniques and to share your own ideas.  :)”

“I loved that the course gave me a new way to look at songwriting that is different from my own.  The materials we received (esp. the booklet of all keys with

corresponding chords) were great, as was the opportunity to perform at Hillside Inside!

“Helpful, fun, cozy.”


“I was thrilled to be able to perform at the end of the course, totally fun and unexpected, but a great way to pull it together.  Doris is great.”


“No, it was well thought out. I benefited from the handouts, the song examples that connected to what Doris was teaching, and the sharing time for feedback/listening.


“This is a helpful beginner songwriting course that walks students through songwriting stages with the goal of completing an original song. The feedback from other students was very helpful, and the creative environment was motivating for trying new things.

Each lesson was focused on a different part of a song structure and we practiced as a group, which was very valuable!”


“It gave me new ideas to think about and something to really reach for.”


“I would have done the whole course again with a second song!-- to build on the new knowledge and have an accountability aspect/deadline to work towards.  In our 4 weeks, we certainly had enough time to write a song.”


“If you’re female-identified, this course will give you the support you won’t get in the real world.”