Songwriting Club offers haven for student musicians
UB’s Songwriters Club offers students a new place for musicians to share, critique and analyze each others’ music. From left. Alex Urdaneff, a freshman accounting freshman; Volkan Turkkan, a senior civil engineer; Zoë Bandes, a sophomore sociology major; and Scott Herman, a senior English major.
Corey Marikovics has been performing music for 15 years, but when she's on stage at open-mic nights in Buffalo, her heart races and her palms get sweaty.
The senior psychology major, who has been singing since childhood, is planning to move to Nashville, Tenn., to pursue music after graduation. But she believes she can't pursue her dream on her own. A strong support system must accompany every musician, she says, and the temporary Student Association group Songwriting Club exists to serve that need.
The club, which reached its temporary status this spring, aims to provide musicians at the university a place to share music with others, while they encourage each other's musical talents.
"This is really why I want to pursue Songwriting Club and push more people to be in it," Marikovics said. "Because if you do have this problem and you [have] stage fright, you have that support."
In the beginning of the year, club founder ZoÃ Bandes teamed up with Marikovics, Scott Herman, a senior English major, and UB alumna Laura Wastell to create an environment where UB artists could practice and share their music for critique and analysis.
Musicians need someone to reassure them when their music is good and offer advice when something's bad, Marikovics said.
Bandes expected to meet many musicians when she came to a large school like UB, but she was instead left wondering where all of them were.
She said for a university that is not predominately music-based, UB has a lot of talent.
"We want to have it where people go around, show what they're working on, critique, comment, maybe if you like someone's song you can collaborate," said Bandes, a sophomore sociology major. "It's just that way to find that network of people, so you can meet other people who like the same types of music as you or who want to play the same types of music as you."
Herman said UB Songwriting Club is the solution.
"[The club is] for students to realize that there are places and people for music playing and that college is not just about going back to the dorms and playing alone," he said.
The club provides a confidence builder, Herman said, and a place for musicians to be "able to share something rough with people [they've] never met before."
Herman pushed Marikovics to pursue music. She said her passion for singing would not be as strong without her fellow student musicians, like Herman, who she calls her "father in music."
She hopes to give similar guidance to another musician.
Alex Urdanoff, a freshman undecided major, has attended the group's meetings, but he has yet to share his music. He said he never really mustered the courage to do so, and in the past has only performed his original music for one friend.
He struggles with performing in front of others, and although he hasn't played in front of the club, he said the laidback environment will make it easier for him to eventually share his music.
"I think there may be a chance to further develop my own songwriting," Urdanoff said. "I just need to be less shy and more open with it."
Songwriting Club offers intimacy, which is important because musicians should be comfortable with the people analyzing their work, according to Marikovics.
SA offers another similar outlet - Jam Club - that meets every Sunday at noon for students to share and play their music.
Herman, also a member of Jam Club, said Songwriting Club provides a more structured environment. He said the two clubs go hand in hand, but Songwriting Club offers some aspects Jam Club does not.
"[Songwriting Club] is planned out, and you go in and it's almost like one of the artist critiques in the art classes where people make a painting and show it to everyone and people critique it," Bandes said. "That's more what it's like rather than being an actual art class and just painting. They're both creative outlets. They both supplement each other."
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