Online Songwriting Lessons with a Pro
See what both clients and industry pros have to say about iDoCoach.
The big step forward for me this year is very clear, Mark Cawley agreed to coach & mentor me. Apart from being hugely inspirational and knowledgeable Mark has really helped me to understand how to write lyrics and how to do it more consistently. I’ve a lot more to learn but Mark has absolutely been my ‘tipping point’. Thanks Mark!
Having initially struggled to locate a song screener in the USA, we were thrilled to find Mark Cawley at iDoCoach.com. Although initially apprehensive (as we were based in Dublin, Ireland), Mark proved to be a God-send. His knowledge of the US music Market through different genres from Nashville and Austin Alt Country to “movie and TV” was unique.Mark Cawley is now our ‘go to’ person in the USA for individual song screenings and advice about publishing in the music business.
I have felt for far too long that I am stuck in a game of freeze tag. Somewhere along the way, out in the play yard of songwriting and artistry, I got tagged and did whatever I could do while standing in the same place, so as not to break the rules of the game. Upon meeting Mark, I knew I needed to contact him for coaching. It was an easy decision and in less than six weeks, I am moving at a pace that leaves a streak as I pass by those who are cheering me on. Thank you, Mark, for ”un-tagging” me!
Mark Cawley is the most amazing mentor that any songwriter could wish for - not only is he someone who has written for the legends, but a teacher who knows exactly how to inspire the same excellence in his students. An hour with Mark is an hour of pure fun and wisdom - he knows exactly how to take a song from good to great and never loses sight of the truth that music-making is joy and play. Working with Mark on my songs has been an absolute privilege - I feel like I didn’t just win the Lyrics Only Category of the UK Songwriting Contest when I won my session with Mark, I won the Songwriters’ Lottery.
Before working with Mark, I was highly intimidated by the “writing community” of Nashville and had a hard time calling myself a writer. However, Mark helped me learn how to draw from every aspect of life to nurture a continuous creative process versus sitting down for an hour or two at a time to write. Mark broke down the process of writing to help me see exactly where roadblocks were occurring and how to overcome them.It’s hard to find a person who is truly qualified to be considered a “coach” in Nashville. It’s even harder to find that person with a good heart and a true desire to help you grow your artistry. Mark Cawley is that person and I highly recommend him!
Mark Cawley is a rare find indeed! He has helped my sixteen year old daughter Makayla with so many aspects of song writing. He really cares about his students and goes far beyond just teaching them how to write songs. His expertise in so many areas of the music business is a gold mine for musicians. We are so blessed to have found Mark as a song coach and a friend.””I am so thankful to have found Mark Cawley as a songwriting coach. His knowledge of the music industry is astounding and extremely helpful. His coaching style has taught me so much about the many aspects of songwriting. He has helped me improve my melodies and lyrics. He pushes me to become a better songwriter. And most importantly, he has made songwriting a passion for me, not just a hobby. Thanks Mark!”
John Braheny, my first unforgettable songwriting coach, connected me with Mark over the net. During a 15 minute-long Skype session, he convinced me that I CAN write competitive lyrics in English - my second language as I was writing songs by myself in my mother tongue (Polish).If I say it was easy, I’d be a liar. The first song we worked for a few months. It took me that long to change my habits, my attitude, get a grip and focus, focus, focus. There were days when I was about to give it up, I must tell you that. Writing compelling stories in a foreign language for an undereducated man turned out to be a nightmare, at first. But then I realised it’s the only way up. Fortunately, my everlasting love for crafting songs did win and even more fortunately, I met the best songwriting coach I could’ve imagined.As a writer, I feel much more confident now, knowing Mark is within a reach... even though on the other side of the Globe.
Mark knows the art of songwriting, and he knows the business of songwriting. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to study other people’s songs, or to add books to your library which give instruction on the rules and regulations of songwriting. We all need a teacher, no matter what discipline we’re trying to master. A real teacher. Who understands that your song is unique to you, and that the kinds of things written down in books don’t always apply to you and your song. If you want help in learning your own art of songwriting, then Mark is willing to teach you how.And the other side of songwriting is the business of songwriting. If you wish to earn your living as a songwriter, then you have got to understand the business of songwriting. Mark can teach you about this business. He’s been there and he’s done that, believe me. He knows how the process works.I started working with Mark almost two years ago. In that time, I’ve learned more things from him than I could ever list. I recommend Mark highly as both a teacher and a friend.
Mark gave me the freedom to be myself. Up until then, I was doggy paddling in country waters which I thought were full of rules and barriers. Mark basically told me to just swim like I know how. He gave me ME back. And I can’t thank him enough!After our first session I went directly to my guitar and started a song . The freedom Mark handed to me that morning made me cry. He’s been where you’re sitting. He’s done it all. There hasn’t been a single question that I’ve asked that Mark hasn’t been able to answer. I wish I could talk with him everyday. My sessions with Mark are a highlight of my week and I’m a better writer because of him. Thank you Mark!
I originally contacted Mark to help review my songwriting, identify weak areas and develop practical skills to improve my songwriting. It quickly became apparent to me that Mark’s skills as a coach extend far beyond the craft of songwriting. I soon asked him to coach me about higher purpose goals and my balance of career, family, and the music business. Over the past year, Mark has coached me and several of my talented songwriting friends. He has an ability to listen closely, identify and unlock obstacles, and carries the right balance of truth and honesty in his feedback. I have gained much insight and focus for my own songwriting, but also found a real teacher and mentor in my quest to find new and creative ways to tell my story. Mark is simply the best.
Given that I’m from Australia and Mark’s in Nashville I wondered how all this would work, but thanks to modern technology and Skype, mentoring sessions seriously feel like you’re in the same room, not another country. Mark has this incredible way of teaching you through humor, color, imagination, and so much encouragement. His ability to share his songwriting expertise so generously is really quite something. He has certainly taught me to be ‘brave’ with my songwriting, pushed me where I needed it and encouraged me to keep writing even when time poor with my rather large family of 6. Mark’s enthusiasm and approach to teaching is totally contagious and I find myself totally immersed and wanting to learn more each week. How incredibly lucky I am to be mentored by such an inspiring, lovely, kind man.
A lot of people aspire to write songs. However, writing a song that conveys emotion, story, and structure is nothing short of art. On top of that, to make it ‘catchy’ or ‘pop’ or whatever area you are working in requires a whole different talent. It is becoming harder and harder to succeed in this field and having expert guidance is a godsend. Mark ticks all the boxes required as a hit writer. He has succeeded with some of the biggest artists around and has experienced all that the music industry can throw at someone, good and bad. This is invaluable experience. Mark has been, and will always remain, a major influence on my life.
I’ve known Mark and his family for close to 20 years. Mark is my longest running co-writer and my dearest buddy in life and in the ‘business’. We have both made a living putting words and music together, but I have found that explaining my admiration and appreciation for Mark to be harder than writing a hit song. Words can only point you in the direction of my deep feelings because my words fall short of what i feel. There are people in life we connect with on a level beyond this life. There are those who make you laugh and who lift your spirit, and who you know would drop everything to be there for you if you asked. That’s who Mark is to me.
Mark Cawley is one of my favorite songwriters on the planet. I’m pleased to say we’ve been writing songs together for about 15 years, a few I’ve recorded and have been blessed to have other wonderful artists record them as well. The best I can say is that it’s my honor to call him one of my best friends. I enjoy writing with Mark because he comes from a very soulful place of creativity. That’s what first caught my ear as I passed by a room where he was working on a tune during a songwriting summit at a castle in southern France, where we first met. Ever since then we have written some of my favorite songs together.
I first met Mark over 30 years ago. He was the bass player and one of the principal song writers in a regional band called the Faith Band. When I came on board with the band, Mark was one of the first to welcome me in. He always made me feel I was an important part of the group. When it came time for me to move on and seek new opportunities, Mark again was the first to encourage me to take the chance and opportunity available to me. Frankly, that transition was a springboard to where I am today; working at the top of the industry, mixing music that matters. . He has always been a huge supporter of my work and a great source of encouragement.
I have known and worked with Mark for over 20 years and have always been impressed by his skills as a songwriter/musician, his humour and humility and, most of all, the fact that he is about as good a human being as you are likely to meet in any walk of life, let alone the music business! The world would be less of a place without Mark in it. I wish he lived near me!
I have known Mark for about 15 years. I would be hard pressed to find someone who possesses an entrepreneurial spirit combined with a great mentoring gift equal to his. He is truly a great man of character.
Mark Cawley is a great mentor. He not only gives great feedback on material he hears, but also constructive ways to make it better and more accessible. I would highly recommend him as a songwriting coach!