Francesca de Valence
Speaking, Mentorship & Workshop FacilitationFrancesca de Valence is an Australian artist, award-winning songwriter, international speaker and mentor, and founder of I Heart Songwriting Club; helping emerging singer-songwriters inspire their way to success in a music career they love. She has been acknowledged by the Los Angeles Music Awards with an International Songwriter of the Year Award and also holds an Australian Songwriting Award. Francesca has supported artists including Jimmy Webb, her music can be heard on ABC radio around Australia, and she performs regularly in Australia and Paris.
Francesca writes a monthly column for Songwriting Magazine UK, has a fortnightly ABC Radio songwriting segment and facilitates songwriting workshops nationally and internationally for PROs including APRA AMCOS (Australia and New Zealand) & IMRO (Ireland). When she's not on the road running workshops, making music and speaking, Francesca can be found in her hometown of Brisbane or her creative hub in Paris - eating baguettes and writing songs in French language.
Francesca has a Masters in Music and has taught at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. She is an in-demand speaker in areas of songwriting and creative and personal development (BIGSOUND, Going Global, Indie Con, WAMCon) facilitates songwriting workshops nationally and internationally for songwriters of all levels (APRA AMCOS, IMRO, QUT, WAAPA, QMusic) and has delivered successful long-term creative and songwriting development programs (MusicACT, Big Sky Girls).
Upcoming WorkshopsFrancesca facilitates all public workshops through I Heart Songwriting Club. All in-person workshops are listed here, however free online workshops are usually only made available via Facebook.
Click here for a list of upcoming workshops
Songwriting Workshops / Artist in Residence
Let Francesca inspire and empower your students to creatively develop and thrive, and re-energise your staff in her PD workshops. For inquiries, please email your requirements, time frame and a brief outline of your educational goals and Francesca will contact you directly.
Francesca has held workshops at universities including: QUT, WAAPA, Qld Conservatorium of Music, JMC Academy and schools including QACI, St Pauls School, Brisbane Girls Grammar, St Andrews Anglican College, Cannon Hill Anglican College and Goondiwindi State High School.
"Francesca had a warm way about how she interacted with everyone and she was extremely personable and knowledgeable. I would recommend her services to anyone seeking to professionally develop their staff, gain insight into the most recent research and trends and provide exciting workshop/teaching opportunities for their students."
Andrew Eunson (Director of Music, St. Andrew's Anglican College)
"Before the songwriting workshop students seemed to be hampered by their lack of confidence and inhibitions to do with songwriting. They came away from the workshop feeling excited about the prospect of writing their own songs, and the mental walls that were barriers to their success have been well and truly toppled. I’m so proud of what they did, and I can’t wait to see what they write as the year goes on!”
Kellee Green (Director of Music, St. Pauls School)
"The open discussion Francesca had with the girls about her journey as a songwriter was really helpful. As a teacher, watching her sequence games that gradually gave them more creative freedom pushed them outside of their comfort zone was great to see and I definitely want to incorporate more similar activities and experiences into my every day teaching. The biggest breakthroughs that happened at the workshop was seeing the girls improvise vocally."
Adele Cummings (Music Teacher, Brisbane Girls Grammar)
An Inside Look at a Songwriting Workshop
"While the students who I work with have always had a rich history of making and performing music, original composition has sometimes been something that they haven't engaged with in a free or holistic way. My students are very risk-adverse, and usually tend to isolate their songwriting to completing the aspects they are good at; the band players jamming the changes and structure and the singers shaping the melody and lyrics, and not often doing these things in a fully collaborative way. Having Francesca work with these students allowed them to see music-making and composition occur in a more organic, expressive, and creative way.
Francesca has a manner of working with the students that is somehow both supportive and challenging. She creates an environment where the students feel safe, but also sufficiently challenged to work outside their comfort zones. This is a balance which is rarely achieved in a 'traditional' classroom setting, and as a result new visions of what music making can be materialise for them. She uses questions to guide students in the creative process and realise the possibilities themselves, rather that leading them to, or even giving them the answer.
I approached our student song-writing workshop with the goal of having an original song around a pre-arranged theme composed and recorded by the end of the day. Francesca threw this goal out the window and framed the workshop as a rich, liberating learning experience for the students, where the goal was to collaborate, connect, experiment and express. This made me a little anxious of getting what I wanted from the experience as the teacher! However, by the end of the day the students had not only participated in a learning and creating experience that will stick with them, but had created a genuinely collaborative artwork that vastly exceeded my, and everyone else at my school's expectations.
The students are immensely proud of, and excited about their efforts, and recently debuted the song, performing it live at out annual awards evening. The experiences has added value to the overall positive culture of our school."
David Turner (Acting Head of Music, Woodridge State School)
Songwriting & Professional Development
Francesca has run workshops and professional development for organisations including IMRO (Ireland), QMusic, MusicACT, Topology and I Heart Songwriting Club, and initiatives including Big Sky Girls. She also facilitates workshops at festivals, such as Winton Way Out Festival.
"I'm an award-winning songwriter but hadn't managed to finish a whole song in almost 2 years. Within 6 hours of attending Francesca's songwriting workshop, I had written and finished 2 songs. She shared very vulnerably about her personal journey with being blocked with songwriting, as well as how she moved through it, plus practical action steps I could put into place straight away. There was no fluff, no playing it safe. I felt seen and heard, and her courage in sharing her journey made me feel inspired to exercise my courage muscle, too. I wish I'd done it sooner." - Rose Wintergreen (singer-songwriter, Melbourne)
"Francesca is a great communicator with an engaging presence. Her songwriting workshop was full of great ideas for getting started without relying on the ephemeral nature of inspiration. Highly recommended!" Helen Perris (singer-songwriter, Sydney)
"Francesca's workshop gave me a breakthrough in my songwriting. It was very informative but in a very fun way! There was a great energy and no one felt afraid to show their work or be involved in sharing thoughts/ideas. We covered all the basics yet the most vital parts of arranging, lyrics and melody. This has inspired me to look at songwriting as a fun or therapeutic hobby instead of trying to making it a pressurised task" Kerry Raywood (singer-songwriter in Pink Matter, Brisbane)
“Francesca supplies a much needed element for writers - structure! Many believe that they’ll write when ‘inspiration’ comes along. This is a nice myth, with some substance, since we need to be open to that idea coming at any time of day and night. But Francesca offers a pathway which, when followed, gets results. All super points well packaged and presented.” - David Cronin, (songwriter, Adelaide)
"I attended a Songwriters Workshop, that Francesca ran, and was pleasantly surprised with how much she packed into the time. I left feeling motivated, energised and inspired to write. I highly recommend it for songwriters of any level of experience!" Alastair Taylor (Founder of The Official Top Ten Night, Sydney)
"I so enjoyed our intimate songwriting workshop yesterday under the tent at Coolum. You unleashed new creativity in all of us!! I woke this morning with ideas for writing the last verse for my “evocative” song." Maggie (beginner adult songwriter, Coolum)
Keynote & Panel Speaker
As CEO and founder of I Heart Songwriting Club, Francesca is an inspiring speaker in the areas of songwriting & creative development, artist as entrepreneur, and technology to enhance community and creativity. She has presented at leading music industry conferences and events including BIGSOUND (Brisbane), WAMCon (Perth), Indie Con (Adelaide), Turn Up Event (Sunshine Coast), APRA AMCOS Meet The Locals (Australia National), IMRO (Ireland).
Francesca writes a monthly column for Songwriting Magazine UK and has been published by APRA AMCOS.
Read some of her articles here:
"Dear Songwriter who struggles to finish songs" - APRA AMCOS, Aus/NZ, January 2019
"Dear Songwriter who struggles to write good songs" - Songwriting Magazine UK, July 2019
"Dear Songwriter who isn't confident" - APRA AMCOS, Aus/NZ, July 2019
"Dear Songwriter (are you done waiting?) - Songwriting Magazine UK, August 2019
"Embrace the Here and Now" - Featured in Songwriting Magazine, Autumn 2019. Purchase for the full article.
Francesca helps singer-songwriters and music businesses inspire their way to success in a music career they love. When they work with Francesca, they overcome the obstacles that trap them from building their artist brand and career with a crystal clear pathway to making their wildest creative dreams come true - not some day - now!
"For so long I had a dream of a career playing, recording and releasing my own music, but the biggest problem was that I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t know how to get to where I wanted to go.
I started working with Francesca five months ago and she helped me break everything down into bite-sized chunks with a manageable structure so I knew what to focus on at what time and always knew what to do next.
People are starting to take me seriously as an artist now. Doing this work has resulted in real momentum for my career and I love it. I am more confident than ever and I know that music career that I dreamed of is really achievable for me now." Hannah Ana
"Francesca has helped me to take real steps towards making my creative dreams come true! Iam so thankful for the accountability I am receiving and the real skills I am learning as part of this program.
It is a real comfort and major driver to know that Francesca is right there alongside me every step of the way. She is heartily invested in helping me to do the work to make my creative dreams a reality and as a result, I’m achieving things I never thought would be possible." Sophie Head
"Before I started working with Francesca 7 months ago, I’d had all this music that I had made, but I didn’t know what to do next, how to make connections. I didn’t know how to market myself as a musician and I didn’t know how to build my music business. I hadn’t actually considered the idea that I could make money from this.
Francesca has given me the tools that have helped me take steps towards achieving my goals. My biggest breakthrough has been realising just stepping up and doing the work, every day, every week will get the results. And my results have been really consistent and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved." Carla Thursday
Before I started working with Francesca, the biggest problem I had was how to record and release my music and get out there as an artist and also how to connect to my fans and the music industry. The goal setting and accountability to taking action has had the biggest impact on my music business, and now, just 5 months into the program, I’ve actually released my debut single. This is my music dream and I’m now living it!" Jeremy Sullivan
I had imagined myself as an artist who would play and record my own songs, but I was only busking playing covers and had only written 2 songs. In just 4 months working with Francesca, I have 15 new songs - a whole set of original music that I play regularly - I have paid gigs booked in my calendar, plus so much confidence to seek out new opportunities like playing a support slot for a high-profile Australian artist. I am recording one my first single this month in Nashville and I am really starting to feel like an artist. I know this is only the beginning and I’m so excited for the new possibilities I see for myself" Amy Elise