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Seminar Offers New Perspective on Songwriting

By Rachel Judy | June 27, 2011

Glenn Packiam speaks during the morning session.

On Saturday, June 18, approximately 80 people gathered to learn about the art of writing worship songs. This seminar—titled "Songwriting 2.0: The Next Level"—was the latest offering from Regent University's Center for Worship.

The event featured both theoretical and practical advice from experienced songwriters and worship leaders, including Glenn Packiam, executive pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Cathi Muckle, an experienced worship leader, women's minister and vocalist; and David M. Edwards, recording artist, songwriter and creative director of the Center for Worship.

The seminar's sessions touched on a variety of topics related to songwriting, including crafting song lyrics that connect with people, creating memorable hooks, writing songs that publishers are looking for and avoiding simple mistakes.

"It was wonderful to see people from different backgrounds gather to study the theology and the art and craft of worship songwriting," shared Packiam, who led one session focused on the theology of worship songwriting and another session focused on the poetry of lyric writing. "We are not simply writing songs; we are shaping people's view of God."

For Muckle, the seminar was a chance to share her own experiences with others. "I believe what differentiates our worship songs from other songs is our willingness to be vulnerable and transparent in relation to our struggles, brokenness, joy and triumphs. These threads are woven throughout ALL of our lives and strike a chord of authenticity to the listener."

The participants in "Songwriting 2.0" found that the day provided a chance to learn and also to be refreshed. "I think so many people get into Christian music to make a living that the music, while very good, is missing the touch of the Spirit," said Steve Moog of Virginia Beach, Va. "That's what was so refreshing about the event last Saturday; there are very gifted writers who have not forgotten Who they are writing for."

Singer/songwriter Jason Morgan led worship at the beginning of the afternoon sessions. "I came away encouraged having seen so many people—all in different stages of life's journey—who desired to honor Jesus through the gifts He's given," he said.

Learn more about the Center for Worship.


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