Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ann Arbor Rec & Ed Classes w/ Spencer Michaud

Registration is now open for a number of personal enrichment classes that I will be teaching through Ann Arbor Rec & Ed this summer! I am so excited to be working with a great organization like Rec & Ed and have the opportunity to help people achieve their creative dreams. : ) Check out this article by David Fitch from the Washtenaw Voice if you are curious about my teaching style!:

http://www.washtenawvoice.com/2014/02/songwriting-instructor-inspires-through-experience/

















Below you will find courses that I am offering and links to register. Classes begin June 18th and go for 6 weeks.  Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

https://www.facebook.com/events/469802699821035/

Guitar for Beginners 9th Grade - Adult:

Grade 9-Adult. Calling all aspiring guitarists! Whether you are a future rock god, jazz cat or campfire strummer, basic fundamentals and a strong foundation in technique is essential. Gain the beginning skills you need to launch your musical dream! You learn how to make easy chord shapes, strumming patterns and basic music theory that can be applied to almost any style of music. Sign up today to improve your string knowledge! Instructor: Spencer Michaud is an experienced songwriter, performer and teacher. 6 weeks. Mondays 6-7pm, 6/23-7/28 Tuition: $95

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/guitar-for-beginners-9th-grade-adult/35512

Songwriting Workshop:

Grade 9-Adult. Do you have a song to share with the world? Explore what makes a song great. Build the skills and confidence necessary to turn your ideas into finished and fully realized songs. You study the basic concepts of lyric, melody, harmony and rhythm. Structured activities help you beat writers block and become more prolific. Open to beginners and seasoned songwriters alike. Students are encouraged to bring their instruments, but no previous experience or instrumental knowledge is necessary to benefit from this class. Instructor: Spencer Michaud is an experienced songwriter, performer and teacher. 6 weeks. Mondays 7:15-9pm, 6/23-7/28, Tuition: $135

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/songwriting-workshop/35513

Creative Writing Workshop:

Whether you have the heart of a poet, the visionary imagination of an author or just words in your head that are screaming to get out, this class is for you! Conquer that writer's block once and for all with an array of in-class writing exercises, thoughtful discussions and confidence building creative writing techniques. Over the span of six weeks you will focus on creating a meaningful story arc, writing from your senses and courting your inner muse. Instructor: Spencer Michaud. 6 weeks. No class 7/9. Wednesdays Noon-2pm, 6/18-7/30, Tuition: $125

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/creative-writing-workshop/35507

Astrology:

Astrology is much more than a horoscope in a newspaper! It is an ancient language that can help you understand yourself and the world around you. Explore the major symbolic components of Astrology including planets, signs, elements and aspects. Gain a better understanding of how to read a basic natal chart. Learn highly effective techniques for identifying your own unique talents and inner wisdom. Instructor: Spencer Michaud. 6 weeks. No class 7/9. Wednesdays 2:30-4pm, 6/18-7/30, Tuition: $95

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/astrology/35498


Upcoming shows in June:

6.12.14 - Pittsfield Township Farmers Market - 4pm

6.19.14 - Chelsea Sounds & Sights - 6:30pm

6.25.14 - Ann Arbor Summer Festival: Grove Stage - 6pm

6.27.14 - Yellow Barn - 7pm


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Upcoming shows: May / June

Hi Friends!

Here is a peek at what I've got coming up this spring. In May, I will be joined by singer-songwriter Vincent Colbert for a series of solo shows. Vince is a talented artist that participated in the Polar Vortex Songwriting Game with me the past few months. You can check him out here:

http://www.vincentcolbert.com




We have an early show THIS FRIDAY May 16th at B-24's coffee shop in Ypsilanti at 5pm. This will be a FREE / ALL AGES show.

On May 25th, we will be traveling to Kalamazoo for a pre-memorial day show at the Vine St. Neighborhood Association at 1pm. Joining us at this show will be another talented musician, Kaitlin Rose:




In June, I have a series of outdoor shows, starting with Chelsea Sights & Sounds on June 19th & then Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Grove stage on June 25th. I'll be rounding out the month at the Yellow Barn on Friday June 27th as part of a "Summer mini-folk festival" featuring:

Emily Rose - http://www.reverbnation.com/emilvrosemusic
Audra Kubat - http://www.audrakubatmusic.com
Andru Bemis - http://www.andrubemis.com
J. Washburn Gardner - http://www.jwashburngardner.com
Ebb Tide - http://www.ebbtidetrio.com

Looking forward to seeing you all soon! : )

MAY / JUNE SHOWS:

5/16 - B-24's w/ Vincent Colbert - Ypsilanti, MI

5/25 - Vine St. Neighborhood Assc. w/ Vincent  Colbert & Kaitlin Rose - Kalamazoo, MI

6/19 - Chelsea Sights & Sounds - Chelsea, MI

6/25 - Ann Arbor Summer Festival - Grove Stage -Ann Arbor, MI

6/27 - Yellow Barn - Ann Arbor, MI

: )

-Spencer


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

EP Pre-release: Sat. 3/22 @ The Ark / Sneak Peek Track!

Hello Friends!

Exciting things are happening around here! : ) This Sat. 3/22, I will have 50 limited edition, hand-signed & numbered "pre-release" copies of my Debut EP Tightrope Walker at the Ark when I open for the Ben Daniels Band! I am also including a free digital download code on each copy of the CD! Doors open @ 7:30pm. I'm on at 8pm sharp!


Tickets can be purchased here: http://theark.org/3827.html



Here is a sneak peek of the first track off the EP called "Guinevere":






https://soundcloud.com/spencermichaud/guinevere

Meet me beneath the blossom tree
Before the day overtakes the night
Just make sure that no one sees
Be like a white shadow
Moving like the wind against the night

I'll flash my candle four times
One, two, three, four
The raven's watching from on high
Oh but we must stay away from their prying eyes
If we want to meet tonight
If we want to meet tonight

You have disarmed me Guinevere
I'm laying down my sword
And I'm lowering my shield
I'll brave the pyre
And I will brave the flames
Just to lose my honor
In your arms again

Meet me beneath the blossom tree
You know your secret
Will always be safe with me
No one can tell us this is wrong
Cause our love is the grail
They've been searching for
And searching for so long
They've been searching for so long

You have disarmed me Guinevere
I'm laying down my sword
And I'm lowering my shield
I'll brave the pyre
And I will brave the flames
Just to lose my honor
In your arms again

I'll brave the pyre and the flames
Just to lose my honor in your arms again
I'll brave the pyre and the flames
Just to lose my honor in your arms again
Just to lose my honor in your arms again

Just to lose my honor in your arms again

Thanks again for your support! I always welcome your feedback. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!


: )


-Spencer


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Polar Vortex Songwriting Game

A few months ago my friend Mike Vial proposed doing a song-a-week challenge with a group of local and regional musicians. It would go like this: each week we would pick a phrase, write a song using said phrase, record it & post it for the others in the group to see. He called it "The Polar Vortex Songwriting Challenge". So far it has been an amazingly productive experience for myself and others in the group. I've written more new material in two months than I have in the last year! As an independent artist, it's also helped me feel the pressure of a deadline and learn how to release the need for perfectionism.

Admittedly I have a tendency to work slow.  I have been know to hem and haw over small details and delay sharing my finished work. (Yes, the EP is still coming!, lol) But this game has taught me the value of letting go. Originally,  I was hesitant to share these songs publicly, (They are basically demos that are written and recorded, sometimes in one take, at home.) but I feel good about the songs and hope that there will be folks inspired by hearing about the process.

Recently I came across a very inspiring video by Ira Glass that encouraged people to overcome the gap between your TASTE and your SKILL simply by being prolific. I am taking that advice to heart:


I have started a new soundcloud page and have been posting the songs there:

https://soundcloud.com/spencermichaud

Feel free to follow me and leave comments! : )

This week's phrase was "Chasing my heart". At first I tried to write about the story of Artemis and the hunter, but found that I was having trouble developing the story. (What else can you do but chase her? If you catch her, Zeus will SMITE you!!) So I shifted mid-stream to the story of a street photographer named Vivian Maier whose photos were recently discovered by a Chicago man who bought a few mysterious cases of undeveloped film rolls at an auction. This allowed me to surround myself with her imagery and imagine her thought processes as she snapped her way through the big city on her day off from her job as a nanny. I always do quite a bit of research before I write a song. I approach songwriting as a novelist or a method actor would; complete immersion in the subject of interest. It helps me come up with imagery that I would never have been able to invoke just from memory.

Here are the fruits of my labor this week:



Black & White
It's the perfect light
Late afternoon

Spots & Stripes
Under hats & ties
Their faces bloom

A baby cries
The clown weeps too
It's a story of lines
Shadows & clues
Snapping through the city streets
Who knows what I might find
Behind the Brownie box
I am the spy

Fur & Lace
Their hands embrace
I crank the spool

Dirt & Grime
Father time
Can be so cruel

The tired old men
They hypnotize
Lightning & leather
Frame their eyes
Rusting in the dusty corners
The ancient soldiers sigh
Behind the Brownie box
I am the spy

Chasing my heart
In the storefront mirrors
I am the ghost without tears
Scatter my soul in the undeveloped rolls
Maybe one day I'll reappear



Stay tuned for more updates on this project!

Here are some upcoming opportunities this month to hear me perform some of these tunes live!

March 7th: Plymouth Coffee Bean w/ Vincent Colbert & Acoustic Resonance 

March 22nd: The Ark, Opening for the Ben Daniels Band!

March 30th: Voxtropolis Grand Opening Event, Bab's Underground Lounge

As always, I am grateful for your support! If you would like to help patronize my art there is a donate button to the right ->

(Any little bit helps free up more time & resources to create more work!)

Thank you for supporting independent artists!

: )

-Spencer

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Folk The Police 2014

Thanks to everyone that came out the Blind Pig on Sunday! I had a great time participating & enjoy the lovely music community that we have here in the Ann Arbor area. : ) Check out my version of Poison by Bel Biv Davoe:


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WCC Songwriting Class Feature Article

Big thanks to David Fitch over at the Washtenaw Voice for his great article highlighting my MUS 146: Songwriting class at WCC this week! I enjoy my work as a teacher and it is always a new adventure every semester. : ) You can visit the Voice here:

http://www.washtenawvoice.com/2014/01/local-songwriter-brings-craft-to-washtenaw/

Local songwriter brings craft to Washtenaw

By DAVID FITCH
Staff Writer
photo of Forest Geesey
Student Forest Geesey watches his classmates perform. Geesey said that he was not nervous to perform because of his history of such doing such things. For others, it was no small feat to share their final project with the rest of the class.
Students sang about everything from losing their keys to wanting to get away from Michigan in the year-end performance for a songwriting course at Washtenaw Community College last semester.
The performance, which took place in the Student Center Community Room, while not a comfortable task for some performers, showcased students’ prowess as artists.
Local singer-songwriter Spencer Michaud has been teaching a songwriting course at WCC for the past several years and has been bringing students the opportunity to express themselves and to hone their skills.
Michaud, who plans to soon release his own EP, gives students practical information related to being a musician from his own experiences.
“There’s kind of a different flavor (each semester) based on my creative endeavors,” said Michaud.
And for some, the class is an oasis where they can develop their dreams and hear from others on the same paths.
“Sometimes our class can be a bit like group therapy, too, because we are talking out issues that may have prevented us from expressing ourselves fully,” Michaud said. “(People) like being able to see that they are not alone in that process.”
Thomas Harris, a 20-year-old music production student from Ypsilanti, had been producing music for years when he took Michaud’s course, but he still found the class helpful.
“It allowed me to connect my thoughts with my emotions,” said Harris. “It’s a way to vent. You can just take the class to learn how to write your feelings down on paper.”
Lindsey Klebba, 19, of Hartland, who already writes music and performs extensively, said that the course was helpful. And she spoke highly of Michaud.
photo of Melissa Welsh
Melissa Welsh shares her song in the final performance of a songwriting course taught by local musician Spencer Michaud.
“He’s very knowledgeable and a lot of fun,” she said.
And Michaud has a different message for his students than they may hear outside the classroom.
“That’s another cool part of the class is people get to talk about, well, maybe a parent wasn’t as supportive of this and said that they couldn’t do it, or maybe they said that they had to quote-unquote ‘get a real job’ or something like that,” said Michaud.
“I try to be balanced, I say that being a musician is hard work. It’s not an easy job… if they put their mind to it, and they keep at it and keep working at their craft, that there are ways to make a living being a musician and doing creative things,” he said. “That’s not something that everyone is telling them all the time.”
And besides helping students hone their skills individually, the class gives the chance to make connections and to work with others. Often instrumentalists and songwriters from the class teamed up for a project.
“We kind of turn into a creative family by the end of the year,” said Michaud.
While he cannot take credit for his students’ successes, Michaud acknowledged that it is exciting to see where students go from his class. Former students include Jetty Rae, Dan Henig, and Joshua Simmons.
Rae has been a featured artist in multiple festivals and events including being picked by Sarah McLachlan and Terry McBride as a local artist to perform at Lilith Fair in 2010. She has released several albums. Henig is an Ann Arbor-based singer/songwriter who achieved Internet fame when his cover of “Get Low” by Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz went viral.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tightrope Walker EP Mastering Sessions / Release Notes

Hi Friends,

Check out this video for the mastering sessions for my upcoming debut EP "Tightrope Walker"! A big thanks to Roman Vail at Joe Lambert Mastering in Brooklyn, NY for his skill and expertise! : ) Also wanted to give a shout out to Ross Federman for sitting in on the session and recording this video. Ross has been doing some amazing production work with this EP and has been instrumental in moving the project towards completion. Thanks Roman & Ross!! : )


Here's a sneak peak at the EP cover done by the amazing Tanya Andrews!


Right now I am researching and preparing for the most effective way to do an independent EP release. Been giving a lot of consideration to releasing the work under a creative commons license to make it available to the most amount of people possible without the restrictions of a traditional copyright. As this artist paradigm is relatively new, I am making sure I educate myself thoroughly. I will try to share as much of my findings here as I can!  If you would like to read more about creative commons and "freeing your work" I suggest visiting Nina Paley's site:

http://blog.ninapaley.com/

She has been at the forefront of the "free culture" movement and found great success with a non-traditional release of her movie "Sita Sings the Blues".




I will do my best to keep you all updated on my progress!! I am hoping to have an official release of the EP some time in early 2014!! Thank you for all your support through this journey. It really does take a village to make things of value and I am grateful to have a community like you! : )

-Spencer