Throughout history, the full gamut of human emotions and concerns has been expressed in song. During this workshop, 10 selected songwriters will be immersed in the basics of lyric development, music production, and how to communicate powerful emotion. Songwriters will also learn about the tradition of protest songs in the United States and the role that Motown Records played in societal change. This year’s workshop will explore Marvin Gaye’s prolific concept album (“What’s Going On”). Songwriters will be able to share ideas, receive feedback, and collaborate with other songwriters through live class sessions, clinics with industry professionals and legendary Motown Alumni, and independent coursework resulting in a virtual showcase of original material created during the workshop.
Admitted participants will be selected by audition and will be provided a scholarship to attend this workshop.
Legendary Motown Alumni
Paul Riser, Sr.
Paul Riser, Sr is a Grammy award winning music arranger, American trombonist, and legendary member of Motown’s “The Funk Brothers”. Mr. Riser has written and arranged songs for some of the biggest names in the business: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Luther Vandross, Joss Stone, Kylie Minogue, Marvin Gaye, Carly Simon, Bill Withers, The Temptations, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Kem, Raphael Saadiq, The Jackson 5, Wyclef, and many more. In 2009, Riser was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Mr. Riser is still active in the field of music – teaching and arranging
Kris Johnson is an award-winning trumpeter, composer, and educator. He has appeared on five Grammy-nominated albums and composed the original score for the four-time Emmy-nominated webseries “King Ester”. Currently, Kris is a freelance composer, arranger, and educator in Metro Detroit, and the creator and curator of the online educational series “Office Hours with Kris Johnson”.
Darell “Red” Campbell, Jr
- Open to youth ages 13-18 years old
- Access to a computer with broadband internet access (Google Chrome is preferred) or smartphone/tablet
- An email address
- A webcam
- Speakers or headphones
- An external or internal microphone
Specific program schedule will be available prior to workshop.
The workshop will operate in person at Motown Museum campus Monday–Friday 9AM – 5PM.
Final virtual showcase performance will be broadcast at 7PM on Friday July 16, 2021
Application Deadline: July 1, 2021
- Complete the online application form
Your application must include:
- Audition video recording of an original track
- PDF of the original lyrics from your track
- personal statement video that tells the story about who you are as an artist, what your goals are, and why you desire admission into the Lyric Project
- most recent school report card
Need help uploading? Email email@example.com
Will Motown Museum require students to have obtained a COVID vaccine in order to participate in Summer 2021 programs?
Motown Museum programs are not currently restricted to those who have been vaccinated. Motown Museum continues to monitor the situation and will keep students informed of any changes to requirements. Note that regardless of vaccination status, students should anticipate that there will continue to be COVID-19 related restrictions and students will be required to adhere to all rules and regulations throughout their program.
How will Lyric Project activities be adapted to comply with local guidance on COVID-19?
All activities will follow local social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines and CDC recommendations. For more information visit Motown Museum’s Safety Measures page.
I am under the age of 13 or over the age of 18, can I participate?
The curriculum framework for the workshop is research-based and developmentally appropriate and is therefore only open to young adults aged 13-18 during the time of the workshop. Youth who are younger are encouraged to check out our Spark Summer Camp!
What is the cost to participate?
This online program is available at no cost to participate thanks to the generous support of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.