Energetic text reading "Respect Her Crank: Sounds of Blackness” "Writing"

Black women have voiced and penned some of the most popular songs in American music history. From Gertrude “Ma” Rainey to Lizzo, Respect Her Crank!: Writing Sounds of Blackness examines the delicate craft of songwriting through influential Black women singer-songwriters. Renowned singer-songwriter Amber Mimz facilitates multiple songwriting workshops designed to comprehensively teach elements of quality songwriting in various genres of music.

Register for a workshop, or several, today. No prior experience is needed.

You Ain’t Got the Blues.
Tuesday, February | 9 4:00–5:30  (tailored for educators, open to all)
Thursday, February | 11 4:00–5:30  (for teens)

What’s it like to have the blues? Do you feel it in your stomach, in your heart, or in your throat? Learn about modern and historical blues music, explore storytelling through lyrics, and create your own blues cadence by using Soundtrap.

Don’t tell me, don’t tell meI know that song!
Tuesday, March 9 | 4:00–5:30  (tailored for educators, open to all)
Thursday, March 11 | 4:00–5:30  (for teens)

It is well-known that music sampling is a key element in hip-hop. However, did you know that RnB singers also use samples? Analyze the work of Erykah Badu, Lil’ Kim, and Ari Lennox to explore how RnB singers sample vocal melodies and lyrics of the past. Then, create your own vocal sample using Sample-Stitch and Audiobridge.

Flute Turned Pop
Tuesday, April 13 | 4:00–5:30  (tailored for educators, open to all)
Thursday, April 15 | 4:00–5:30  (for teens)

The flute is among the smallest instruments and yet it has been deployed as a secret weapon. From jazz to pop, you will examine the work of artists like Bobbi Humphrey and Lizzo to understand how to create feel good melodies using wind and brass instruments. Then, create your own melodies using wind and brass instrumental loops on Soundtrap.

That’s a Vibe
Tuesday, May 11 | 4:00–5:30  (tailored for educators, open to all)
Thursday, May 13 | 4:00–5:30  (for teens)

What do Sade and Jhené Aiko have in common? Their songs are delicately balanced with memorable melodies and heartfelt lyrics, which is the ultimate definition of a vibe. Learn how to tap into your vulnerabilities and channel these two songwriters to produce your own loop on Sampulator and write a one of a kind hook for it.

The Effects of FX
Tuesday, June 8 | 4:00–5:30  (tailored for educators, open to all)
Thursday, June 10 | 4:00–5:30  (for teens)

Vocal effects take songs to the next level, captivating listeners along the way. They include interludes, ambient sounds, and dialogue that bring the listener into the moment that inspired the song. From Janet Jackson to SZA, examine the impact of vocal effects on song composition. Then, using Voisey add effects to your favorite songs.


This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.