See also:
Songwriting Intensive
Up next:
Songwriting II

Songwriting I

Songwriting I

Songwriting I is a 10-week workshop, which includes lectures, exercises, and the critiquing of student projects. It’s for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

It happens in a darkened club. On a spotlit stage. Or behind the soundproof walls of a studio. A song unleashes its power and who knows where it’ll go? Songs fuel desire, inspire hope, break hearts, rock worlds, unite people, shake booties, turn blahs into blues, and sometimes make us feel as good as James Brown. All in a mere few minutes.

If you dream of taking your music beyond the shower, you’ll want to do it right. Here you’ll learn the time-tested elements of songwriting craft and how to market your work.

Whether you dig pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B, or country, we’ll show you how to write songs that soar.

About Songwriting
Songwriting I

I completed the course feeling that I was a better songwriter.

Neil OHagan



Songwriting is composed of music and lyrics. The Level I course explores lyric writing and song construction while also touching on musical concepts. The Level II course deals with lyrics and music in equal measure.

Upcoming Classes

Check back soon. You'll likely see options when we finish our next schedule.


This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of songwriting craft and gets you writing one (or two) songs. Course components:
     Writing exercises
     Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two times)

This course concentrates on the study of lyrics and includes an introduction to melody, harmony, rhythm, and music production.

Week 1
Introduction to Songwriting Structure: Four basic song structures and templates. Creating “listing” lyrics. Titles and opening lines.

Week 2
The Classic Form: Standard AABA form. Types of rhyme. Literary devices. Stresses.

Week 3
Contemporary Songwriting Styles: Verse/Chorus form and variations. Crafting memorable verses, choruses, and bridges. Generating stronger themes and ideas. Set and setting.

Week 4
Blues and Ballad/AAA Forms: Classic types. In a contemporary setting.

Week 5
Sharpening Your Craft: Creating strong memorable, melodies. Exploring rhythm and harmony.

Week 6
Scaffolding Strategies: Combining lyrics and music effectively. Pre-choruses, choruses, and bridges.

Week 7
The Art of Collaboration: Team songwriting. Plot, character, and storytelling. Musical thinking.

Week 8
Beyond Radio: Writing for film, TV, theater, and advertising. Developing a unique personal style.

Week 9
Song Demo Tech: Overview of music production. Creating an effective song demo.

Week 10
The Business of Music: Royalty streams, performing rights organizations, Publishing—master and synch rights. Songwriters associations.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.