Appalachian Chapter of Nashville Songwriters Meeting: “How To Write Your First Song”

Appalachian Chapter of Nashville Songwriters Meeting: “How To Write Your First Song”
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By David Rogers. June 16, 2017. BOONE, NC — A lot of people have had “ideas” for a song, but relatively few know how to actually develop the core idea into performance art, much less get it to market.¬†The June 17th meeting of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) — Appalachian Chapter) will focus on those challenges, 2:00 pm, Watauga County Library. There is no admission charge.

Katurah Christenbury, a classroom faculty member in music therapy in the Hayes School of Music will offer her views and lead the discussion.

“Getting started is one of the hardest parts of songwriting,” the NSAI Appalachian Chapter organizer Kevin Troyer noted to Blowing Rock News. “So this meeting will be a good opportunity for newcomers to songwriting maybe as a jumpstart to following a new creative path. It will also be a great opportunity for established songwriters to weigh in, add their own perspectives and share their approaches.”

Christenbury is both realist and idealist when it comes to songwriting.

I prefer songs that tug at your heart.

“While the music industry seems to want upbeat, catchy phrase tunes that last three minutes and 15 seconds, the industry awards are going to heart-felt, often deeper thinking ballads that might even go four minutes,”¬†professional songwriter and music therapist Katurah Christenbury told Blowing Rock News on Friday. “I prefer words and music that tug at your heart.”

A music therapist since 2009, Ms. Christenbury joined the Hayes School of Music faculty in 2011. Her primary role is serving as an on-site supervisor to the undergraduate music therapy practicum students as they implement music therapy services within the community. Having provided clinical music therapy services for children, adolescents, and young adults with behavioral and emotional needs, Christenbury has supervised pre-internship students across a wide variety of ages and populations including: Special Education programs within the elementary schools; after-school programs for at-risk youth; older adults at assisted living facilities; adults with intellectual disabilities; and preschool aged children at risk for communication disorders. Additionally, she teaches two Functional Guitar classes, as well as Music Therapy Lab for the graduate degree seeking music therapy students.

Ms. Christenbury holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Milligan College (2005), an equivalency degree in Music Therapy from Appalachian State University (2008), and a Master’s Degree in Music Therapy from Appalachian State University (2010). She has completed additional training in Orff-Schulwerk, and the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. She has presented at community awareness programs on uses of self-care for the parent/caregiver/professional, as well as taught strategies for working with children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional needs.


  • 2010, MMT in Music Therapy, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • 2009, Completed Level I Training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM), Little Switzerland, NC
  • 2008, Equivalency in Music Therapy, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • 2005, Bachelor of Arts, Milligan College, Elizabethton, TN (Cum Laude)

Professional Affiliations & Honors:

  • Music Therapist–Board Certified. Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).
  • Pi Kappa Lambda
  • Alpha Chi

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