Consultation and critiques

By the hour     By the song      Six-month mentoring package     Pay online

In the good old days if you were a new songwriter in Nashville you could walk up and down Music Row with a guitar in your hand knocking on doors asking publishers to listen to your songs. If they liked what they heard, they would send you to their staff writers to teach you how to write a hit. Now, publishers are too busy, there are too many songwriters, and too many songwriters are ready to sue for plagiarism without real cause. Newcomer is mostly likely to be met by a receptionist spouting the stock reply, “We don’t accept unsolicited material.”

Fortunately, there are people like Barbara who have stepped in to fill the gap. Whether you are a songwriter who wants to pitch your songs or a writer/artist looking for a record deal, she can give you guidance and mentoring to help you take your writing to the next level and to navigate the music industry. Her feedback and advice is tailored specifically to your individual needs and her goal is to help you make your dreams come true.

CONSULTATION   – by the hour

At a typical consultation, Barbara will begin by asking a bit about your music background and your current goals. Then, after listening to songs, she will offer whatever feedback and advice she thinks will be most helpful to you, plus answer any questions you have.

You can meet with Barbara in person, by phone or through Skype. The fee is $90 per hour, $55 per half-hour. To make an appointment, call 615-383-5616 or use the contact form to send an email.

Barbara has no trouble critiquing a song as soon as she has heard it, but if you prefer that she listen to songs and make notes before the consultation session, there is an additional charge of $10 per song. That payment should be made in advance of the appointment. Click here to use Paypal  or mail a check to Barbara Cloyd, PO Box 121497, Nashville TN 37212.

CRITIQUES   – by the song

This option is for writers who are specifically looking for feedback on the craft and commercial potential of their songs. The fee is $45 per song or $35 per song for three or more.

If you want a song critique that you can refer back to, Barbara will record feedback and email it as an MP3. If you prefer a two-way dialog where you can ask questions, you can set up an appointment for a 20 minute phone or Skype call.

You can submit any type of recordings, from polished demos to work tapes made on your phone. The best time to get a critique is before you spend time and money on a polished demo so you can apply any changes you want to make in advance. Barbara can hear a great song in its roughest form, and a great demo won’t improve the quality of the writing.

In either case, begin by filling out the request form. Once you submit it, you will be directed to Paypal buttons for paying online and the address for mailing a check if you prefer.


Success in any field requires organization, discipline and consistency. For right-brained, creative songwriters and artists, that can often be a challenge, especially if you have to do it all on your own. This program is designed to give you support and help you stay focused as you learn and grow.

Meetings can take place in person, over the phone or with Skype. You can start the mentoring process at any time.

There are four components to this program:

1. Two-hour initial consultation

You and Barbara will begin the first session by discussing what your ultimate goals are for your music – in other words, what you would be doing if all your dreams came true.  Then Barbara will  listen to some songs and give you feedback on their craft and commercial potential. Based on your level of development and what you’d like to accomplish, you’ll establish an action plan with specific long-term and short-term goals designed to fit your life and the way you like to work.

2.  Monthly consultations

At 30 day intervals you will meet with Barbara for about an hour. She’ll listen to songs you’ve worked on in the last month and give feedback. Then you’ll look at how you did meeting the goals in your action plan for the month, celebrate the successes, learn from whatever didn’t work and then make new goals for the following month.

3.  Weekly contact

This feature is what makes the mentoring package differ from just booking consultation time. It gives you regular access to Barbara for guidance and advice.  If you’d like some input on a song you’re working on, have a question about the music business, an issue with a co-writer or just need a pep talk, you can call, Skype or email once or twice a week for a brief conversation. This gives you immediate help with whatever you’re dealing with, and it keeps you from feeling like you’re in this all alone.

4. Play for Publishers Workshop

These workshops are held 3 times a year and they are a way to learn about the demands of the market from successful professionals who regularly pitch to the top artists, producers and labels. Writers are invited to apply and 16 are selected to present their songs. Writers who are not selected are welcome to audit the workshop and they participate in every way except presenting their songs to the publishers. Your mentoring package includes attendance as an auditor at one workshop of your choosing. (If you would like to be considered for a spot as a presenter there is no charge to apply but  you have to pay the workshop fee if selected.)

Cost     $900

You can pay by sending a check to Barbara Cloyd at PO Box 121497, Nashville TN 37212 or pay with Paypal.