Essential Verses


Who is it for?

This course is aimed at composers, musicians and poets. As well as anyone without previous musical knowledge who are interested in learning to write and compose their own pieces.

This course will be teached in spanish. For more information about the level visit ( FAQ).


The objective of the workshop is to open our minds to compose in a different way. We will analyze a
a lot of resources that are used by poets and composers when facing us to the dreaded blank sheet and how to achieve these resources without losing our own voice and our own identity.
We will read poems and listen to songs to understand why they work (or not) and we will write our own verses using these resources.
In each class, songs or verses composed by our classmates will also be heard. At the beginning of each session we will do some vocal warm up, neck stretching and throat.






DAY 1 Monday
Voice warm up
Introduction to the workshop “essential verses” where the resources that we will study will be indicated
throughout the course. Resources that will be useful when composing, writing and interpreting.
We will study authors such as Jorge Luis Borges, Wislawa Szymborska, Jorge Drexler, Silvio
Rodríguez, Joan Manuel Serrat and Alejandro Sanz among many other composers and
writers. Marta will also talk about her own compositional process and how she has used it
same the resources to study.
A- Enumerations: We will analyze, songs and poems that use the resource of enumerating
(feelings, things, verbs).
B- We will talk about the phrasing, types of rhymes, structure of the songs and poems How to correctly accentuate the words when we sing, what kind of rhymes avoid, how to mix folk elements when composing in genres such as pop or jazz and how to find our own voice within the thousands of voices that we listen daily. We will study forms such as sonnet, tenth, traditional rhyme, rhyme short, free rhyme and couplet.
3) We will listen to compositions by our fellow students and we will do the exercise of composing a
verse or song using the resource of the enumeration.

DAY 2 Tuesday
Voice warm up
Resources to analyze on day 2:
A- long sentences: we will read poems and listen to songs that have been written in base to long phrases, very different from those of traditional pop. We will analyze the challenges that this represents when composing but also the enormous wealth of this resource.
B- Melodic jumps: we will study how to use the melodic jumps resource (fifths, sixths, octaves) when composing. Resource that has been inspired by rhythms traditionally brought to other current genres.
3) We will listen to compositions of our colleagues from the previous day using the list
as a resource and we will do the exercise of composing a verses or songs using the resource of the
long phrases and unconventional melodic jumps.

DAY 3 Wednesday
Voice warm up
Resources to analyze on day 3:
A- repetitions: in almost all the writing courses they ask us to avoid the repetition of verbs or words. Today we will study songs and poems that have broken this scheme and that have surprised us by repeating a word or a whole sentence and have been very
B- Melismas: we will study the use of melismas and how to take advantage of them.
C- Jewels / powerful images: we will study some poems and songs that I have considered as jewelry. That they have an idea, (Sometimes even just one word) absolutely innovative.
3) We will listen to compositions of our class mates using the resource of long phases and melodic jumps and we will do the exercise of composing a verse or song using the resource of the repetition.

Day 4 Thursday
Voice warm up
Resources to analyze on day 4:
A- Change of order: we will see how sometimes, changing the order of verbs, words or phrases can not only not alter the meaning, but enhance and enrich our writing.
B- Adjectives, nouns: we will do exercises to avoid falling into the same combination of adjectives and nouns when composing. For this we will do the exercise of choosing the random nouns and adjectives and compose based on that.
3) We will listen to the compositions of our classmates.

Day 5 Friday
Voice warm up
Resources to analyze on day 5:
A- Politics / social: we will study poems and songs based on current political events in different countries of the world and the different ways of approaching social problems.
B- Environment: we will study how it has influenced the authors, the place where they live and how is the relationship of these with their environment when composing.
C- love: we will see the different way of talking about love.
D- Lullabies / children / parents / grandparents: we will see how the language changes when we speak of relationships other than purely passionate ones.
3) We will listen to the compositions of our class mates and we will do the writing exercise a verse or song using our surroundings.

Day 6 Saturday
Voice warm up
Resources to analyze on day 6
A- poems or songs bands in literature, painting and cinema: we will study how compose inspiring us in another type of artistic representation.
B- use of the first person vs chronic: we will study the way to approach a composition depending on your narrator.
3) We will listen to the compositions of our class mates.



Marta Gómez

Marta Gómez, Colombian singer-songwriter, winner of two Latin Grammys:
Best album of the year for children. Colores 2014.
Better packaging design El momento 2015.
Creator of the song and international campaign for “Para la guerra nada”

Graduated with honors from the prestigious Berklee College of Music after receiving the “Best Achievement” scholarship, Colombian singer-songwriter Marta Gómez has developed an artistic career that positions her as one of the most outstanding composers and performers of the current music scene international. Marta was nominated in 2005 for the Billboard Latin Music Awards in the Latin Jazz category with Paco De Lucía, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Néstor Torres and has been described by the press as a singer with an “exquisite voice”. The newspaper “Los Angeles Times” recently described her as “an exceptional talent with a sublime voice”.

Marta Gómez began her musical career at the age of 4 years singing in the Liceo Benalcázar choir, in the city of Cali, Colombia. In the summer of 1999 Marta traveled to Boston to join Berklee where she later received the Alex Ulanowsky composition award for her bambuco “Confesión” before graduating Magna cum laude in 2002.
In 2003, Marta was chosen by the famous American blues singer Bonnie Raitt to open her concert with the young Grammy winner, John Mayer and later Marta was the special guest at the concert of the great Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa.
At the beginning of 2004, the young singer-songwriter was included by the label Putumayo World Music in her collection of Latin American female singers, where singers like Peruvian Susana Baca, Toto la Momposina and Tania Libertad among others also appear.
Composition has being her center of focus and with more than 80 songs composed, Marta has won many competitions in this field, the most prestigious has being the SIBL Project, from the USA, which chose her song “Paula Ausente” as the best song Inspired by a Latin American writer. Paula Ausente is a song dedicated to the Chilean writer Isabel Allende and Marta had the opportunity to sing it to Allende in November 2004, in California. This same song was included in another Putumayo album called “Women of the acoustic world” (2007) and is part of the soundtrack of the series “Capadocia” produced by HBOLatino América.

Marta was chosen by the Colombian magazine Fucsia as one of the five most representative Colombians of the year 2005. Later, Marta recorded a song called “The circle” (The circle) composed by the North American singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson dedicated to the disappeared in Argentina and Iraq. Marta “took the song to a very high level, where it really belongs” in the words of Kristofferson himself. The writer John Sandford, referred to this interpretation in his novel “Dark of the moon” (the darkness of the moon).

Her production “Entre Cada Palabra” (2005 Chesky records) earned her the title of “Best National Act of World Music” of the year 2006 by the Boston Phoenix newspaper. Her fifth production “Musiquita” brought Marta once again into the list of the ten best albums of the “World Music” genre of the European World Music Charts for several consecutive weeks. With this work, Marta offered a series of concerts in countries as diverse as the United States, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Israel, where she also frequently collaborates with the music icon of that country, Idan Raichel.
In “El corazón y el sombrero”, her sixth album, the singer-songwriter pays tribute to the great Granada poet Federico García Lorca, playing 12 of her poems with Latin American folk rhythms. On this CD, Marta was fortunate to have the participation of another great song, the Cádiz-born author Javier Ruibal. Promoting this new work, he has traveled to Israel (Zappa Jazz Club), Colombia (Music Festival of Cartagena), Ecuador (Teatro Sucre), Spain (Festival Barnasants and The Sea of ​​Music of Murcia) and South Africa (KKNK Festival). In an interview conducted by the National Public Radio of the United States, journalist Steve Inskeep said he admires the singer’s ability to “transform the hard history of his country into sweet music.”
Marta is nourished by the everyday, and from that nostalgia arise songs with a deep social and human content.

• 4 April, 2018

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