MusicalWriters Academy is made up of bookwriters, composers, and lyricists from all over the world. We love supporting our members, and we want to help share what they’re doing, what they’re learning, and where they’re headed.

David Waldner is one of our fantastic members hailing all the way from London, England. David is an excellent songwriter-turned-musical writer, but also a wonderful and relatable member to our MusicalWriters.com family.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned from your writing journey that you’d like to share?

David Waldner: I’ve learned what my limitations are, and with that, I know what I have to work on and who I should be working with. I’ve also learned to think inside a bigger frame and travel a longer arc—the basic mechanics of book writing as compared to songwriting. When you think you’re done you realize you’re not. Though I suppose at some point you have to let it go. I’m not there yet.

Writing a musical isn’t easy. What’s your “why” in being a musical writer?

DW: I feel my songwriting has always led me here. Since there is some autobiography in the musical I’m currently working on, there’s also a cathartic aspect and there’s been some weird instances of inevitability in what I’ve been doing. Why? All I can say is “I have to” – a cliché, but true.

Why did you join MusicalWriters Academy?

DW: I first joined to meet people, seek advice and find resources. Soon, those same people became my Zoom friends. I have to say that they’ve all been very giving and accommodating with their schedules because I’m the guy 5 or more hours ahead over here in London! The encouragement and advice I’ve gotten from my two writing groups has been invaluable. It’s always better to hear different viewpoints especially when you’re writing the book, lyrics, and music yourself.

The writers groups I’ve been in and MusicalWriters.com’s get-togethers have been great for getting a heads up on which books to read and musicals to check out. All the different tips, tools, news, and talks that MusicalWriters.com offers has really helped.

MusicalWriters Festival speakers Macy Schmidt Drew Gasparini

The encouragement and advice I’ve gotten from my two writing groups has been invaluable. It’s always better to hear different viewpoints especially when you’re writing the book, lyrics, and music yourself.

How did you get bit by the theater bug?

DW: The same as a lot of people, I guess. I grew up with the classics and then went on to seeing shows, which for me was anything from your average high school musical to a professional musical on London’s West End. And finally, understanding that my songwriting abilities could be used to tell the stories I’ve realized I’ve wanted to tell.

What do you love about MusicalWriters.com?

DW: I love the people that I’ve met and the wonderful things they’re working on. I also love the advice I’ve received and help I’ve given. It’s all been inspiring.

What are you working on right now?

DW: The Day in the Life of John Denizen, a diverse rock opera/musical which takes place over a single workday in present-day London. A lot of the songs have been demoed and uploaded to YouTube: John Denizen. It’s mostly through-sung and at the moment there’s over 40 songs. I’m still working on the book.

What is your favorite musical-writing tech tool?

DW: Garageband. I like its balance of simplicity and power that allows me to produce my demos.


Originally from Canada, David Waldner has been living in London UK now for 2 decades. As lyricist, composer, and bookwriter, his rock opera/musical The Day In The Life Of John Denizen, evolved from the experience of living in London, commuting to and working in its offices. A songwriter from early on, he fronted 2 bands in Toronto as well as performed solo shows in Canada and Europe. David also independently released an EP and 2 albums. Along with being a singer-songwriter, his other passion is photography. He has been a professional analogue and digital photographer for the past few years. Demos of The Day In The Life Of John Denizen can be found on its own eponymous YouTube channel.