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core curriculum handout detail

COLLABORATOR ETIQUETTE HAND-OUT


TO ACCOMPANY THE: COLLABORATION ASSIGNMENT

The most important thing to remember as you enter into a series of “”forced”” collaborations over the next several months is: RESPECT.

If you treat your collaborators with respect, your experience will be far better - even if it is not the perfect collaboration that will turn into a life-long partnership.

DEADLINES: The first thing you will want to do when you begin a new assignment is to make a PLAN with your collaborators about how you will communicate, and what kind of internal deadlines you want to set to make sure the team can meet the assignment deadline(s). RESPECT your team by observing those deadlines.

COMMUNICATION: During the length of your collaboration, make sure you stay in touch with your team. If life intervenes and you can’t make a scheduled meeting/conference call/deadline - make sure you contact your team and let them know what’s up. RESPECT your team by staying communication.

DIVISION OF LABOR: You will be required to sign a Collaborative Agreement before you begin work on your assignments for the Core Curriculum. The purpose of this document is to establish your ownership of any of the work you present in the function to which you have been assigned: bookwriter, lyricist, composer, or some combination.

Please know that we expect you to take the division of these functions extremely seriously. You are certainly encouraged to have as much input as you want into the other areas on your project: if you are bookwriter, you should feel free to offer suggestions for song spotting; if you are a composer, you should feel free to suggest a particular line of dialogue; if you are a lyricist, you should feel free to argue strongly for a melodic or style choice.

But remember this: the ultimate decision belongs to the person who has been designated to the function. The bookwriter has the final word on dialogue. The lyricist has the final word on lyrics. The composer has the final word on the music.

Offer suggestions, request changes, argue your case as strongly as you can. But know that you only have the final word in your own arena.

Also – do not offer suggestions if you are then going to want to be given credit. Just because you suggest a couple of great lyrics does NOT mean you deserve to be credited as a co-lyricist. If you can’t make a suggestion without wanting credit for it, don’t make it.

Even more importantly: never, read NEVER, take it upon yourself to actually make a change outside of your function.

Bookwriters: If you are responsible for incorporating lyrics into your document, make absolutely sure you have accurately reflected the lyricist’s choices. Feel free to make suggestions for alterations, but do not make those alterations yourself and ask for permission later. If you have been asked to supply new dialogue to be spoken during a song, make sure you respond quickly and collaboratively.

Composers: NEVER submit a piece of music to a lyricist in which lyrics have been changed without permission. If you have a suggestion or a request for a change – make the suggestion in person or by email, but do not type it into your score and THEN ask for permission. If you can’t set what you’ve been given – type “la la la” into your score, and ask the lyricist to provide replacement lyrics. Don’t type in alternate lyrics and tell your lyricist they are just “dummy” lyrics and the lyricist can feel free to change them. Don’t do it. It is disrespectful.

Lyricists: NEVER submit a lyric in which you have revised the bookwriter’s words to suit your lyric. You can let your bookwriter know you need a line of dialogue, and possibly type “I need a line here about Joe loving Jane” – but do NOT write the dialogue yourself and then ask your bookwriter if it is okay. Don’t do it. It is disrespectful.