Songwriting Class

Wirth Sound Studio will teach an 8-week songwriting class June and July 2019. The class will be each Thursday beginning in June; 6th through July 25th, now by appointment only. So you must RSVP.  

The time will be from 7 to 9 P.M. I have waived the cost. I encourage you to get the textbook at $15.99. I have an acoustic piano and digital keyboard, with 7.2 surround sound. My lessons will be easily seen on the monitor and heard in Hi definition. I'm called to do this regardless of remuneration, but I will make my Cds available, and if you don't have them yet, come and buy them. I will welcome participants sharing songs that they would like critiqued in a positive manner, limited to 3 per session. 

You will learn: 

  • The inspirational nature of journaling based on God's Word to capture your ideas and sketches in a manner that can be passed on to others. 
  • Analyzing well written and enduring hit worship and secular songs and hymns. Why they remain celebrated classics. What strength they have in lyrics, melody and chordal accompaniment.
  • Theory and ear training-How to hear chords, scales, and their relationships. 
  • How to bring more meaningful chord progressions into your accompaniment. 
  • How to hear and identify chord progressions, scales, and modes.
  • How to find these scales and chords on piano and guitar. 
  • How to hear the various components of song forms. 
  • How to employ proven successful formulas.
  • How to build a song from the ground up, combining the elements into a coherent product that will engage the listener, making them want to hear it many times over and again!
  • How to prepare your song for production in the professional or project studio, and how to set up your home studio. 
  • How to communicate with and rehearse with pro and semi-pro band members on your songs, and how to prepare your arrangements and charts. How to avoid costly time-consuming mistakes made by professionals daily. 

Teacher James Lawrence Wirth has taught on collegiate and university levels since 1976 and has written hundreds of songs, arrangements, and orchestrations since the mid-1960s. 

Our required course resource book will be "The Heart of Songwriting: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Memorable Songs" by John G. Elliot. 

You can get it here for $15.99:

I have played with him during worship events, and he is well worth learning from! 

My resources, among many others, will be drawn from this excellent website: 

The 11 book bundle will be well worth your purchase of $37 for these Ebooks, though you will not be required to do so for this course, and you will get much of the information that is presented in this resource. 

I will also refer you to a very easy and helpful free resource  You can begin looking at this right now! It will be tremendously helpful. 

My contact info:

James Lawrence Wirth 

Composer, Arranger, Performer

Multi-Instrumentalist, playing guitar, string-bass, mandolin, and lute.


560 Livingston Dr.  Hurst, TX 76053  

Songwriters in the Body of Christ

I like asking my children in general music class, "what is this class about?" "Music." "Singing." "Instruments." "Playing." "Nonsense!" (Smart Alec.) I answer my own question, "It's about relationship, worship, discipleship, citizenship. All relationships begin in God, so our worshiping Him in spirit and truth is paramount. This is the upward call, the vertical part of our lives. discipleship is the relationship to Christ and His body, the horizontal. Our civic life, or citizenship is also horizontal, and not less important than our worship, for God desires that our lives reflect His goodness and glory in all arenas. We must view all these areas of our lives as worship. The secular is not separated from the sacred, or set-apart. We draw the sacred into the secular. 

I am now listening to Bach's concerto for 2 violins, movement 2. It reflects the depth of the relationship between the two violins and the accompanying orchestra. It reminds me of a husband, wife, and community. In perfect harmony! Listen to the voices, how they make statements that are answered and expanded in the harmonies of the orchestra. the accompanying voices are equally important and have no competition with the more prominent solo voices. 

Harmony takes discipline. All players must follow the direction of the composer's score, beginning and ending together, rising and swelling, falling and diminishing, speeding and slowing together, contributing their unique sound while carefully listening to the entire mixture. You hear the fine and happy result when everyone has rehearsed well individually and corporately. Any element that is in the mix too prominent or obscure hinders the outcome of the recipe. 

I'm immensely enjoying the book by John G. Elliot, "The Heart of Songwriting." In section II, "Speak to the Heart", he speaks thus of inspiration, "One of the reasons I love to write music that has its roots in the Bible is its potential to bring deep and genuine encouragement to people. I find a tremendous sense of fulfillment if I discover that a certain song I have written inspired someone toward something positive." he prefaces this section with the Scripture from Hebrews 10:24, "Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds." Further, he says, "Christian songwriters should view themselves as teachers, preachers, and pastors. The songwriter can be an imparter of wisdom, insight, and prophetic encouragement. A memorable song can literally be a source of stimulation toward love, the greatest of all virtues." "When a song incorporates a scriptural quotation or an idea linked to Scripture, it takes on a supernatural force simply because it is the Word of God. The Bible contains several promises that assure us the Word of the Lord obtains results. Real-time results."

John G. Elliot then gives an assignment;

"You have a story to tell. Tell it in your own words, following the insights and principle you have learned so far." 

Walk with me on this journey. let's explore songwriting together in my class I offer this June and July. We will become more adept writers, communicators, journalists, overcoming by the word of our testimony. 

Love, James Lawrence Wirth

Hymn Analysis

Of the possible chords in the key of D Major, this hymn uses five. It also uses the 'borrowed chord' from the key of A, or 'secondary dominant.' The V7 chord in A is E7, the ninth chord used in this example. I'm encouraging writers to use these chords outside the immediate scope of the key to enhance their harmonic palette. 

"HeavenSpeaks" James & Mary's 1999 release!

Download the new guitar album! $10

The Secret Potter

My newest work, a collaboration on Psalm 139 with songwriter Jenifer Molohon Mahler. I arranged it for flute, clarinet, piano and string quartet, along with her most marvelous singing. It will enhance your sense of the nearness, compassion, and lovingkindness of Father Creator God and assist you in deeply meditating on this scripture.

"The Secret Potter" now ready for download $8