Songwriting Teacher – Francesca de Valence
Speaking, Coaching, Mentorship & Songwriting Workshop Facilitation
Francesca de Valence is an Australian artist, award-winning songwriter, international (and virtual) speaker and mentor, and founder of I Heart Songwriting Club; helping emerging singer-songwriters inspire their way to success in a music career they love. She has been acknowledged by the Los Angeles Music Awards with an International Songwriter of the Year Award and also holds an Australian Songwriting Award. Francesca has supported artists including Jimmy Webb, her music can be heard on ABC radio around Australia, and she performs regularly in Australia and Paris.
Francesca writes for Songwriting Magazine UK, has a fortnightly ABC Radio songwriting segment and facilitates songwriting workshops nationally and internationally for PROs including APRA AMCOS (AUS/NZ), IMRO (IRE), UBC (BR). When she’s not on the road running workshops, making music and speaking, Francesca can be found in her hometown of Brisbane (self-isolating!) or in her creative hub in Paris.
Francesca has a Masters in Music and has taught at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. She is an in-demand speaker in areas of songwriting and creative and personal development (BIGSOUND, Going Global, Indie Con, WAMCon) facilitates songwriting workshops nationally and internationally for songwriters of all levels (APRA AMCOS, IMRO, QUT, WAAPA, QMusic) and has delivered successful long-term creative and songwriting development programs (Ipswich City Council, MusicACT, Big Sky Girls).
Songwriting Keynote Speaker & Panelist
As CEO and founder of I Heart Songwriting Club, Francesca is an inspiring speaker in the areas of songwriting & creative development, artist entrepreneurship, and technology to enhance community and creativity. She has presented at leading music industry conferences and events including BIGSOUND (Brisbane), Durango Songwriters’ Expo (CA, USA), WAMCon (Perth), Going Global (Auckland), Indie Con (Adelaide), Turn Up Event (Sunshine Coast), APRA AMCOS Meet The Locals (Australia, NZ National tours), IMRO (Ireland).
For PROs, Conferences, Schools, Music Communities and more
Let Francesca inspire and empower your students, staff and music community to creatively develop, re-energise and thrive in her songwriting, creative development and professional development workshops. Workshops can be half day, full day or artist/teacher in residence programs.
Francesca has extensive experience working with schools, music communities and songwriting groups around the world. She has facilitated workshops and professional development, online and in-person, for global organisations including APRA AMCOS (AUS/NZ), IMRO (IRE), UBC (BR), Ivors Academy (UK), music communities including The Music District (Fort Collins, CO, USA) and at conferences like Folk Alliance International (USA), Rio Music Market (BR) and Durango Songwriters’ Expo (USA).
She has presented staff professional development sessions and/or papers at DAYTiME Adelaide and Perth, 2020, and ANATS National Conference Hobart.
At a secondary and tertiary level, Francesca has held workshops for QUT, WAAPA, Qld Conservatorium of Music, JMC Academy and schools including QACI, St Pauls School, Brisbane Girls Grammar, St Andrews Anglican College, Woodridge State School, Cannon Hill Anglican College and Goondiwindi State High School.
Francesca facilitates all public workshops through I Heart Songwriting Club. All in-person workshops are listed here, however free online workshops are usually only made available via Facebook or the I Heart Songwriting Club mailing list. Click here for a list of upcoming workshops for the public
For workshop inquiries for schools and music communities, please email your requirements, time frame and a brief outline of your educational goals and Francesca will contact you directly.
“Francesca’s approach to supporting songwriters along their creative journey is inspiring. She covered a range of approaches in her workshop which can be applied not only to songwriting but to many other areas of life. Her experience and passion shine through, and have clearly helped many writers in her songwriter club to get songs written and move their music careers forward.”
Charlie Phillips (Chief Operating Officer, Worldwide Independent Network Ltd (WIN), UK)
“Francesca’s workshop was a much talked about and much-loved session with many participants taking steps immediately to make this a reality for themselves. Many new songs were written as a result of this workshop. The space that she held for songwriters and her clear understanding of the songwriting journey reminded us just how important creativity, connectivity and community is for the betterment and wellness of our songwriting community. We whole-heartedly recommend, support and welcome Francesca back at any future Durango Songwriters Expo”
Jim Attebery (Founder of Durango Songwriters’ Expo, USA)
“No matter whether to a group of 8 or 80, Francesca found ways to connect with her audience and was able to tailor the presentation, making small tweaks to cater for more specific questions being raised or areas that a particular group were facing overall…I believe Francesca has started something unique and necessary and hitherto missing with I Heart Songwriting Club.”
Nicola Tuckwell (National Education and Outreach Representative, APRA AMCOS, AUS)
“Francesca came to The Music District in February 2020 to host workshops for songwriters of all levels. During her residency here, she hosted both beginner classes and classes for more advanced musicians. It was a tremendous experience having her here on campus. So many local musicians dove deep in her sessions and came out writing amazing tunes, facing writing blocks, and beginning their musical journey. At the end of the week, students from each session showcased their brand-new songs at a local restaurant and pub to family, friends and customers who just happened upon the showcase!”
Saja Butler (Team Community – The Music District, Fort Collins, CO, USA)
An Inside Look at a 1-Day Songwriting Workshop
“While the students who I work with have always had a rich history of making and performing music, original composition has sometimes been something that they haven’t engaged with in a free or holistic way. My students are very risk-adverse, and usually tend to isolate their songwriting to completing the aspects they are good at; the band players jamming the changes and structure and the singers shaping the melody and lyrics, and not often doing these things in a fully collaborative way. Having Francesca work with these students allowed them to see music-making and composition occur in a more organic, expressive, and creative way.
Francesca has a manner of working with the students that is somehow both supportive and challenging. She creates an environment where the students feel safe, but also sufficiently challenged to work outside their comfort zones. This is a balance which is rarely achieved in a ‘traditional’ classroom setting, and as a result new visions of what music making can be materialise for them. She uses questions to guide students in the creative process and realise the possibilities themselves, rather that leading them to, or even giving them the answer.
I approached our student song-writing workshop with the goal of having an original song around a pre-arranged theme composed and recorded by the end of the day. Francesca threw this goal out the window and framed the workshop as a rich, liberating learning experience for the students, where the goal was to collaborate, connect, experiment and express. This made me a little anxious of getting what I wanted from the experience as the teacher! However, by the end of the day the students had not only participated in a learning and creating experience that will stick with them, but had created a genuinely collaborative artwork that vastly exceeded my, and everyone else at my school’s expectations.
The students are immensely proud of, and excited about their efforts, and recently debuted the song, performing it live at out annual awards evening. The experiences has added value to the overall positive culture of our school.”
David Turner (Acting Head of Music, Woodridge State School)
“Francesca had a warm way about how she interacted with everyone and she was extremely personable and knowledgeable. I would recommend her services to anyone seeking to professionally develop their staff, gain insight into the most recent research and trends and provide exciting workshop/teaching opportunities for their students.”
Andrew Eunson (Director of Music, St. Andrew’s Anglican College)
“Before the songwriting workshop students seemed to be hampered by their lack of confidence and inhibitions to do with songwriting. They came away from the workshop feeling excited about the prospect of writing their own songs, and the mental walls that were barriers to their success have been well and truly toppled. I’m so proud of what they did, and I can’t wait to see what they write as the year goes on!”
Kellee Green (Director of Music, St. Pauls School)
“The open discussion Francesca had with the girls about her journey as a songwriter was really helpful. As a teacher, watching her sequence games that gradually gave them more creative freedom pushed them outside of their comfort zone was great to see and I definitely want to incorporate more similar activities and experiences into my every day teaching. The biggest breakthroughs that happened at the workshop was seeing the girls improvise vocally.”
Adele Cummings (Music Teacher, Brisbane Girls Grammar)
“I’m an award-winning songwriter but hadn’t managed to finish a whole song in almost 2 years. Within 6 hours of attending Francesca’s songwriting workshop, I had written and finished 2 songs. She shared very vulnerably about her personal journey with being blocked with songwriting, as well as how she moved through it, plus practical action steps I could put into place straight away. There was no fluff, no playing it safe. I felt seen and heard, and her courage in sharing her journey made me feel inspired to exercise my courage muscle, too. I wish I’d done it sooner.” – Rose Wintergreen (singer-songwriter, Melbourne)
“Francesca is a great communicator with an engaging presence. Her songwriting workshop was full of great ideas for getting started without relying on the ephemeral nature of inspiration. Highly recommended!” Helen Perris (singer-songwriter, Sydney)
“Francesca’s workshop gave me a breakthrough in my songwriting. It was very informative but in a very fun way! There was a great energy and no one felt afraid to show their work or be involved in sharing thoughts/ideas. We covered all the basics yet the most vital parts of arranging, lyrics and melody. This has inspired me to look at songwriting as a fun or therapeutic hobby instead of trying to making it a pressurised task” Kerry Raywood (singer-songwriter in Pink Matter, Brisbane)
“Francesca supplies a much needed element for writers – structure! Many believe that they’ll write when ‘inspiration’ comes along. This is a nice myth, with some substance, since we need to be open to that idea coming at any time of day and night. But Francesca offers a pathway which, when followed, gets results. All super points well packaged and presented.” – David Cronin, (songwriter, Adelaide)
“I attended a Songwriters Workshop, that Francesca ran, and was pleasantly surprised with how much she packed into the time. I left feeling motivated, energised and inspired to write. I highly recommend it for songwriters of any level of experience!” Alastair Taylor (Founder of The Official Top Ten Night, Sydney)
Songwriting Coaching & Mentorship
Francesca helps singer-songwriters and music businesses inspire their way to success in a music career they love. When they work with Francesca, they overcome the obstacles that trap them from building their artist brand and career with a crystal clear pathway to making their wildest creative dreams come true – not some day – now!
And through her New World Leaders Mentor Program, Francesca supports and empower hard-working mid-career creators to reclaim their financial independence using their creative genius.
“For so long I had a dream of a career playing, recording and releasing my own music, but the biggest problem was that I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t know how to get to where I wanted to go.
I started working with Francesca five months ago and she helped me break everything down into bite-sized chunks with a manageable structure so I knew what to focus on at what time and always knew what to do next.
People are starting to take me seriously as an artist now. Doing this work has resulted in real momentum for my career and I love it. I am more confident than ever and I know that music career that I dreamed of is really achievable for me now.” Hannah Ana
“The biggest problem I had before joining Level Up Club and working with Francesca was that I was going around and around in circles with my music and I felt so frustrated and felt like giving up. I had music that I recorded years ago just sitting on my computer going nowhere; I kept hitting walls musically and creatively and I was completely stalling to take the next steps in my career.
Since joining Level Up Club, I have finally released a new single, played several successful shows in Wellington, NZ and am making money from my music, my music is played on radio stations, and I am increasing my Facebook and Spotify numbers and know how to continue doing this moving forward. And what’s next is I’m about to embarking on my first national NZ tour.
My biggest breakthrough has been learning to let go of everything having to be perfect and be consistent. I have a new-found confidence in myself and my music. I am not afraid to create and dream big because I know I have the discipline and accountability to take action and level up through the structure and learning in the club. Honestly, without Level Up Club, I would be still going around in circles.” Kara Lockwood
“Francesca has helped me to take real steps towards making my creative dreams come true! I am so thankful for the accountability I am receiving and the real skills I am learning as part of this program.
It is a real comfort and major driver to know that Francesca is right there alongside me every step of the way. She is heartily invested in helping me to do the work to make my creative dreams a reality and as a result, I’m achieving things I never thought would be possible.” Sophie Head
“Before I started working with Francesca 7 months ago, I’d had all this music that I had made, but I didn’t know what to do next, how to make connections. I didn’t know how to market myself as a musician and I didn’t know how to build my music business. I hadn’t actually considered the idea that I could make money from this.
Francesca has given me the tools that have helped me take steps towards achieving my goals. My biggest breakthrough has been realising just stepping up and doing the work, every day, every week will get the results. And my results have been really consistent and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved.” Carla Thursday
“Francesca de Valence is inspirational dynamite! A songwriter so full of passion, commitment and belief in the importance of the craft, she spreads this energy and positivity in her wake. She has been an incredible mentor for me through Level Up Club, offering invaluable advice and guidance and empowering me to find the answers I need for myself.” Anna Maynard (NURIA)
“I am incredibly grateful for my mentorship experience with Francesca. Throughout my journey in the Level Up Club, I gained the skills and knowledge that transformed my confidence and propel my music career.” Tessa Fleur
“Before I started working with Francesca, the biggest problem I had was how to record and release my music and get out there as an artist and also how to connect to my fans and the music industry. The goal setting and accountability to taking action has had the biggest impact on my music business, and now, just 5 months into the program, I’ve actually released my debut single. This is my music dream and I’m now living it!” Jeremy Sullivan
“I had imagined myself as an artist who would play and record my own songs, but I was only busking playing covers and had only written 2 songs. In just 4 months working with Francesca, I have 15 new songs – a whole set of original music that I play regularly – I have paid gigs booked in my calendar, plus so much confidence to seek out new opportunities like playing a support slot for a high-profile Australian artist. I am recording one my first single this month in Nashville and I am really starting to feel like an artist. I know this is only the beginning and I’m so excited for the new possibilities I see for myself.” Amy Elise
“I absolutely love working with Francesca and in just 6 months I am truly back on path. Francesca has helped me rebuild so much faith and belief in myself and my music. I trust myself and know I can do the work and know what it takes. I definitely have so much room to grow which excites me. I’ve finally moved past the small picture and I can see the long path now which makes me so unbelievably happy! Thank you so very much.” Erin Ross
Media, Publications & Radio
Francesca writes for Songwriting Magazine UK, APRA AMCOS and more.
Some published articles:
“Dear Songwriter who struggles to finish songs” – APRA AMCOS, Aus/NZ, January 2019
“Dear Songwriter who struggles to write good songs” – Songwriting Magazine UK, Website – July 2019
“Dear Songwriter who isn’t confident” – APRA AMCOS, Aus/NZ, July 2019
“Dear Songwriter (are you done waiting?) – Songwriting Magazine UK, Website – August 2019
“Embrace the Here and Now” – Featured Writer in Songwriting Magazine, Autumn Magazine 2019. Purchase for the full article.
“Are You In A Boredom Funk” – Featured Writer in Songwriting Magazine, Winter Magazine 2019. Read the full article online.
Watch a few of Francesca’s shows on ABC Radio Brisbane. This series is now in it’s third year.
Read Francesca’s blog for Songwriters:
Five Small Steps to Big Songwriting Goals
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Creating New Holiday Traditions
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Fuel Up to Level Up – How you Can be a Conscious Co-creator in this New World
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Leadership for Creatives in the New World
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How To Access Creative Joy – A Simple Tool To Keep You Open
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I Can’t Write Songs (Because I’m Not Talented Enough)
One of the most disheartening things I hear from people who want to be songwriters is: “I can’t write songs because I’m not talented enough.” This breaks my heart. These people have a belief [...]