Write Your Own Leadsheets!

May 11, 2024 | 11:00 - 2:00 [PDT]

Online Workshop with Michele Weir
1 Saturday: May 11, 11:00 - 2:00 [PDT]
$100 advance ($115 on the day of)
*Sponsored by California Jazz Conservatory

Write Your Own Lead Sheets! A Practical Workshop for All Musicans

Tired of outsourcing your charts? Learn to write your own – it's simpler than you think.

Not only is this a highly useful skill, it also feels empowering to know that you can do it! The only prerequisites are to have basic music skills, know the notes on the piano, and have a piece of staff paper. Yes you need to work with jazz chord symbols which may be unfamiliar, but it's not necessary for you to be an expert on those (or even know exactly what they are,) as long as you start with a jazz-authentic song source.

In this workshop you'll learn:

• Where to locate and identify quality, jazz authentic song sources to base your lead sheet on,

• How to determine the best jazz-friendly key for your song,

• How to transpose a chord progression to your key,

• How to notate a simple chord and slashes chart for different types of tunes and song forms,

• Several different options for adding intros and endings, turning your lead sheet into an arrangement,

• How to write repeats and road map markings which help to direct traffic during your song's performance,

• And how to write simple rhythmic kicks to optionally add some punch!

This workshop is useful for jazz vocalists, song writers, instrumentalists who play in small groups, and teachers who work with jazz students. All questions that come up during the workshop shall be answered, and you'll come away with a new skill!

See FAQ below and free to reach out to Mich if you have any questions!

REGISTER HERE: The California Jazz Conservatory (link coming soon - plz check back)

Your Instructor

Michele Weir
Michele Weir

Michele Weir is a distinguished educator who has made significant contributions to the advancement of vocal jazz education, globally. As an arranger / pianist / vocalist, she is well known for her versatile skill set and ability to inspire. As one student put it, “Thank you again for being such an amazing mentor. You are truly the person I strive to be.”

Michele’s arrangements have been performed by renowned vocal groups such as New York Voices and the Swingle Singers, in addition to orchestral works played by symphonies including the Boston Pops. Michele served as Vocal Producer for the Manhattan Transfer’s 2009 CD release, The Chick Corea Songbook,contributing two arrangements to the project as well. Her numerous educational arrangements are available through various publishers in addition to her online platform, the MichMusic Store.

Currently on faculty at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Michele is an active teacher and clinician. Her expertise has taken her to over 20 countries, presenting at premier music conferences such as the World Choral Symposium, the Jazz Education Network Conference, and the ACDA National Conference. A notable highlight was her invitation to be Keynote Speaker for the inaugural International Jazz Voice Conference in Helsinki, 2015.

Michele’s educational contributions include globally recognized book/CD sets: Vocal Improvisation (Schott Music), Jazz Singer's Handbook, and Jazz Piano Handbook (both from Alfred Publishing). Innovating further, she introduced the first iOS app designed for scat singers, ScatAbility, as well as her online educational resource, MusicHabit, designed for jazz singers, pianists, arrangers, and educators. (www.MusicHabit.com)

Michele is a former member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers vocal group under Phil Mattson’s direction, and she collaborated with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman on their duo CD, The Sound of Music. As a performer, Michele has headlined as a vocalist for numerous educational events and toured as pianist and background singer for Bobby Vinton, among others. Michele served as Music Supervisor for the DreamWorks film, Prince of Egypt, journeying through Europe and Asia to oversee the music production for the film's international dubs.



Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to prepare?
You need to know basic music fundamentals - reading and writing notes and rhythms at the piano. Ideal to have a piano or keyboard near you during class as well as a piece of staff paper and pencil! (We will email staff paper for printing prior to the workshop!)
How will I get the Zoom login link?
You'll get an email 1-2 days prior to start of the workshop. Will include Zoom login and possibility some musical materials or info.
Can we ask questions during class?
Yes! Michele always welcomes questions and will stay late, after conclusion of the workshop at least 30 (+) minutes for any additional questions! We would like for you to come away feeling confident on the material!
Do I need to be on camera during the sessions?
It is preferred yes, to help develop a sense of community! But: if for any reason you prefer to keep your camera closed it's ok - please be comfortable.
Can I reach out to Michele with questions in the days / weeks after the Workshop?
For relatively short questions, yes! If you need more time than that, please consider booking a private lesson with Mich.
What is the time zone for the Workshop?
Pacific Standard Time (PDT). To calculate the time between your location and the workshop location, just Google, "What time is it in Los Angeles?" (We welcome students from anywhere in the world!)
How can I contact Michele if needed?
You can write her here: [email protected]