Story-to-Song Project

Class: 2014 Winter Accelerator

Company Description

StorytoSong Project is an experience. Our company brings the stories of life into song. We offer workshops and consulting sessions to build songs from spoken stories and experiences, celebrating people's lives through collaborative songwriting. Our products help our cutomers to reach beyond commercial music to the real stories of life. Our mission is to help communities hear the musical voices of their own people and to help each person create a song from their own life. Our products include (but are not limited to): 1. Special Event Songwriting 2. Songwriting Workshop or Demonstration 3. Gift of Song 4. Personalized Song 5. Story-to-Song Performance 6. Custom Orders

03/17/2014 07:27 PM
I would like referrals for new customers.


Playing in the Sandbox


We have been told multiple times during each of the past two weeks that we should not be comfortable in this program. We should push ourselves out of our comfort zone. If we feel ourselves growing too comfortable, we need to do things that make us uncomfortable once again. At tonight’s session, David spoke gave us tips for working with our mentors. He told the group, “You are evolving together.” I love this idea, as if we will literally be an entirely different being at the end of these three months and an entity will have been created from our connection with our mentors.


I am reminded of the transformation that happens within the chrysalis. Inside the chrysalis, there is a whole mess of stuff going on. We are in there, moving around in the goo. And our mentors are sitting in a circle around us, coaching us and offering different advice. But in the end, we have to do the work from within. If you help a moth or butterfly to emerge from the chrysalis, they will be weak and unable to fly. Likewise, if our mentors do the work for us, we will not succeed in the long term. We literally learn by doing.


This past Thursday evening, our fearless and ever patient leaders, David and Lianna, offered advice and wisdom to keep us on track as we begin to work with mentors from the business community in the Merrimack Valley and beyond. Working with mentors is new territory for me, and I am thankful to be exploring new things with help.


“You want to learn from your mentors,” David told us. “But do it with a gentle touch.”


I leave each Sandbox session with my head spinning, but it is the good kind of spinning. I leave inspired. I feel myself floating down the long hallway, uplifted with the belief that I can and will be successful in my business venture.


Trying out new ideas is a risky business. Combine that with starting a business that is an abstract idea and you are doubling the risk. Being welcomed into a community of people who value you and your idea and will whatever they can to help you succeed is an incredible gift.


I am thankful to be a Winter Accelerator Sandboxer and a part of the Merrimack Valley Sandbox community.

~ Marieke Slovin, Story-to-Song Project


Examples of Story-to-Song(s)


To try to shed a little more musical light on StorytoSong, which I typically refer to in short as STS, I thought I would share a few examples of different kinds of StorytoSong(s) that I have written.


Example #1: A short song I wrote with a friend when I was learning how to write a song in 20 minutes from a short story. She was feeling low because she had a crush on a guy and couldn't tell if he reciprocated her feelings. The song was written collaboratively with me as composing guide. The song came to be called "Pick A Side."


Example #2: A longer song written in about 7 hours. I interviewed the participant for 2 hours and captured 9 pages of single-spaced text. From there, I composed the song.

Example #3: Here is a series of videos from an STS demonstration my co-founder and I offered during our Dissertation Presentation at Prescott College this past spring.
Start at Video #11
Example #4: A very short teaser (like music you find at the beginning of a television show) that I wrote for a project that was going to be a television show about Lowell with the LTC. Didn't end up happening. I called the teaser "Oh City."
Thank you all for your encouragement and support!
Marieke & Malcolm

Getting to know Story-to-Song


Songwriting, particularly a method like Story-to-Song, can be a challenge to describe in words alone. So, I thought it might be helpful to share a couple of informational videos I put together.


In the first video, I offer a definition of Story-to-Song:




In the second video, I describe how I discovered Story-to-Song:




The third video is a longer one with a demonstration of Story-to-Song in real time. I compose a song from a story in about 40 minutes:




If you are interested in watching some shorter videos of a few different kinds of music I have composed with my co-founder Malcolm Brooks, I will share some different examples in the next post. Read on.


How much is that doggie in the window?

IMG_0027What kind of person is interested in a Story-to-Song experience?

Could it be you? A friend? A family member? An organization?

Would you pay to hear your own story in song?

I am in the beginning stages of learning about all things having to do with starting a business. In place of melodies, my head is currently spinning with questions and new language to learn.

By way of learning, I am putting out the word to my supporters to begin to get a sense of the audience of people who might be interested in the products I have to sell.

I would be ever grateful if you would help me learn from you by answering a few, simple questions that I have included in a survey. To take the survey, click on this link. I thank you in advance for your help!

A week in the Sandbox

Story-to-Song is an experience and an abstract one at that. For this reason, it can be difficult to describe in written words alone. When applications I have submitted for grants, conferences, and research opportunities are turned down, I try to lift my spirits with the reminder that I simply have to improve my skills at describing Story-to-Song.

A recent Story-to-Song submission was accepted, and for this I am very thankful. The Merrimack Valley Sandbox saw potential in this business venture and welcomed my co-founder, Malcolm Brooks, and me into their fold.

A week into the Sandbox winter Accelerator program, and I am quickly witnessing what an incredible gift I have been given.

There have been three sessions thus far, including an orientation and two official classes, and already I am taking the first steps toward making my business idea a reality. I am thinking about business questions and goals, potential customers, problems my product might help people to solve, and coming up with a viable product to get things started.

What I had previously thought of as more of a dream of a business, I am now envisioning as something that can and will really happen.

With Thanksgiving right behind us and the passing of an important leader on my mind, I wanted to share a quote that is relevant to those of us who are trying new things and putting ourselves out there. 

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” 

~Nelson Mandela