The main goal of the “Songwriting made Simple” workshop/residency is to show students of all ages that anyone can create art and to get them excited about making music. Workshops culminate in the writing of a song or verse by the students that they then perform during the concert at the end of the residency in front of their hometown peers. By stripping away the mystery, songwriting team Jonathan Kingham and Ryan Shea Smith will help students realize that they already possess the needed skills to improvise and craft a song. Simple exercises will illustrate that the path to inspiration can be found in everyday events and objects. Jonathan Kingham has been writing songs for over 20 years and won numerous national and international songwriting awards. He has recorded 5 CDs, toured internationally with Julio Iglesias Jr. and currently tours with Toad the Wet Sprocket, and has shared the stage with Michael McDonald, Shawn Colvin, Suzy Boguss, Doug Stone and others. Additionally, he is an in demand producer and studio musician. Ryan Shea Smith is also a veteran songwriter with a musical skill set honed through jazz studies at the University of Washington and a steady touring schedule. He is also a recipient of multiple songwriting awards. Kingham’s love for the turn of phrase is matched only by Smith’s quest for the perfect accompanying chord. Although their diverse musical tastes and skills range from Jazz to Country to Hip Hop and R&B, in the end it all comes back to a great song. Together their passion for music, patient teaching styles and improvisational spirit foster a supportive and encouraging environment where student’s creativity can flourish. With less and less access to art and music in our schools today, it is more vital now than ever that kids are exposed to music and are encouraged to create.