Grammy-nominated musician Molly Ledford to lead songwriting workshop

It isn’t every day people get to learn how to write songs from a Grammy-nominated musician, but Columbia teenagers will have the opportunity to do just that during “Let’s Rock with Molly Ledford!,” a workshop hosted by Richland Library.

Molly Ledford will lead a teen songwriting workshop later this month at Richland Library. (File photo)

Molly Ledford will lead a teen songwriting workshop later this month at Richland Library. (File photo)

Ledford has been making music in Columbia with indie rock trio Lunch Money since 2003. As frontwoman, Ledford sings songs about childhood and parenting told in moments of timeouts, summers at the river, frogs finding ponds and in visits to the library.

Ledford says she is looking forward to the unique challenges of working with teenagers during her workshop at Richland Library.

“I am excited to really get into talking about language, about having a voice in your writing, about the range of subtlety to blatancy and trying to unlock why things work in songs, what makes them fresh,” Ledford said. “Songs are so personal, and I hope that each person will attempt to write their own.”

Ledford also knows her way around a library, having worked in the children’s department of Richland Library.

“I have performed in a lot of them, too, with Lunch Money,” Ledford said. “When I worked for Richland Library, I was so inspired by Leslie Tetreault and Ginger Shuler. I quickly sensed their deep level of respect for children and for children’s literature.”

Attendees of Ledford’s workshop will be given access to instruments and iPads during the five-hour session. Collaboration during the songwriting process is welcome but not required, and previous musical experience is not necessary. In fact, the class is intended to be a safe space for beginners to learn as well as an avenue for more experienced young musicians to experiment.

Participants will be able to take home a rough demo of an original song they create in class.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for aspiring young musicians to learn some of the fundamentals of songwriting in a hands-on workshop,” said Taylor Caughman, a librarian at Richland Library. “Chances like this don’t come around often, especially for free.”

Workshop attendance also gets participants one-step closer to completing the Richland Library Summer Learning Challenge, a summer-long literacy initiative with rewards like tickets to a Columbia Fireflies baseball game and $3 off library fines.

“I love that a library program is always ‘free and open to the public,’ and I do my best to try to create experiences that are in keeping with the library’s respect for the minds of their young patrons,” Ledford said.

The one-day class is scheduled from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. July 29 at Richland Library’s Northeast location. Spots are limited, but registration is still open. Those interested can call the Northeast Branch at (803) 736-6575 or register online through the library’s event calendar.

Categories: Hometown, Richland County