By: Debra Gordon
The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) provides a community that connects songwriters with other like-minded professionals to help further your music goals.
Joining a professional organization removes the guess work from navigating any songwriting career. Whether you are located in Nashville or far from the borders of Music City, the daunting task of understanding the ever-changing landscape of the music business is equally challenging.
Have you ever asked:
• How do I get publishers to hear my songs?
• How do I get co-writes?
• Is there room for new music in the film and TV industry?
• How can we stop illegal downloads?
• What is the future of the music business?
Well, NSAI consists of a body of creative minds, including songwriters from all genres of music, professional and amateur, who are committed to protecting the rights and future of the profession o
f songwriting, and to educate, elevate, and celebrate the songwriter and to act as a unifying force within the music community and the community at large.
As songwriters know, sometimes the best ideas appear during lunch, and that was the case more than 40 years ago with songwriters Eddie Miller, Buddy Mize and Bill Brock. In 1967, over lunch at Ireland’s Restaurant in Nashville, the three ca
me up with a great idea: a songwriters association.
That kernel of an idea, planted and nurtured over four decades ago, took root and has since grown into the world’s largest songwriter association, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), which today promotes awareness of songwriters’ cultural contributions (through events such as Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival), champions the legal rights of p
rofessional songwriters and helps develop the abilities of aspiring songwriters.
Today, NSAI makes a difference for all songwriters by helping to revise antiquated copyright laws and to establish new intellectual-property protection in the digital age, by establishing a worldwide network of songwriter workshops at home and abroad to provide local instruction, and by conducting more than a half dozen educational conferences and awards shows each year.
NSAI’s own events director David Petrelli moved to Nashville in 2005 from Boston. Before moving to Nashville, all he knew about NSAI was that they held an annual song contest. He admitted, “I wish I had known more about what NSAI could do for writers when I moved to Nashville. It would have made my transition so much easier; the first year or two navigating the music business would have been much less challenging.”
By becoming a member of NSAI, you will enjoy the following member benefits:
• Business Center (on-site, Nashville)
• Writing Rooms (on-site, Nashville)
• “Lyric Only” Evaluation Service
• “Ready-to-Pitch” Service
• Publisher Listening
• LIVE Webcasts of Nashville Workshops
• Webcast Archives of Nashville Workshops
• NSAI e-News
• Regional Workshops
• One-on-One Song Evaluations
• Bluebird Cafe Auditions
• Performing Songwriter Magazine & American Songwriter
• Active Legislative Involvement
• Visit the website for a detailed list of member benefits
I had the chance to sit down with one of our pro members, Lorna Flowers, to discuss why she is a proponent of NSAI. Lorna stated, “For me, coming here from England, NSAI was a place I could meet like-minded people. I benefited from access to writing rooms and office facilities right on Music Row, not to mention the mentoring from the staff. I made some of my best music business connections, including a chance meeting with Bob Welch of Fleetwood Mac. Bob and I actually ended up writing together and our first song made it all the way to the top five on a Country music chart in England.”
As a result of the connections that she made through NSAI, as well as other music professionals in Nashville, Lorna decided to officially move here in July of 2004. She has had three publishing deals and owns several music business companies. Lorna has certainly benefited from her membership with NSAI and continues to be an avid believer in joining a professional organization that strives to educate, inform and connect it’s members.
NSAI welcomes visitors to call with questions or just stop in for the tour and meet with some of our membership representatives for a chat to learn how you can join the family. Someone once said, “By building relations we create a source of love and personal pride and belonging that makes living in a chaotic world easier.” A membership to NSAI would certainly make navigating the music business less chaotic and connect you with people that will help to refine your craft and inspire you to greatness.
Just around the corner for NSAI:
• SONG CAMP (July 15-17) | Space is limited to 100 attendees, no application required.
• World’s Largest No. 1 Party (September 19)
• SongPosium (September 20-23) | The ONLY comprehensive, week-long, educational event exclusively for songwriters.
Though based in Nashville, NSAI represents all musical genres and includes songwriters from across the United States and overseas. NSAI provides a haven for both proven and undiscovered writers—to get a cup of coffee, to make a phone call or just to receive a word of advice or consolation. To quote NSAI’s motto: “IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SONG”—and, sometimes, it all begins over lunch.
“Visit nashvillesongwriters.com to jump start your