Hitmaking with Kara DioGuardi

With songs appearing on more than 160 million albums, Kara DioGuardi conveys real-world experience to a group of select Berklee students.

November 8, 2012

Kara DioGuardi, accomplished songwriter, producer, record and publishing executive, and television personality, is teaching a class at Berklee College of Music this semester, bringing her incomparable songwriting and production experience to campus. Developed specifically for Berklee, DioGuardi’s course, Hit Songwriting, pairs student songwriters and producers to mirror today’s music industry practices. DioGuardi has 27 students in the class, whom she hand-picked to take the course.

DioGuardi is one of the world’s most successful contemporary songwriters; her work has appeared on more than 160 million albums. She has authored over 50 charting singles with artists like Katy Perry, P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Colbie Caillait, Rascal Flatts, and Celine Dion, in addition to judging seasons eight and nine of the hit FOX show American Idol.

“I took a position at Berklee because I want to help educate and guide songwriters/artists in the early part of their careers,” said DioGuardi. “I love working with promising talent, and I aim to share my experiences with my students so as to better prepare them creatively and emotionally for an industry fraught with change and competition.”

“What Kara is doing at Berklee is important because she is simulating the most popular songwriting model our students will encounter when they leave campus: working in small teams that combine writers and producers in real time,” said Berklee president Roger H. Brown. “Kara has obviously thrived as a writer, and she is helping our students get ready for action from day one. She is also an incredibly dedicated and passionate teacher who holds herself to the highest standards.”

By studying with successful behind-the-scenes talent like DioGuardi, Hit Songwriting students will gain insight into the career paths of successful non-performance Berklee graduates like Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Claude Kelly ’02 (whose hits include Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.,” Bruno Mars’s “Grenade,” and Pitbull’s “International Love” featuring Chris Brown) and Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Makeba Riddick ’99 (whose most popular works include Rihanna’s “Rude Boy,” Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu” featuring Jay-Z, and Eminem’s “Love the Way you Lie” featuring Rihanna).

About Kara DioGuardi:

Kara DioGuardi is a hit songwriter, producer, Warner Brothers music executive, author, and TV personality. As one of the most successful contemporary songwriters in the world, DioGuardi’s songs have appeared on more than 160 million albums. She has had over 50 charting singles with artists such as Katy Perry, P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Colbie Caillait, Rascal Flatts, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, the Band Perry, and Cobra Starship. DioGuardi is also a co-owner of Arthouse


Liz Lupton is a publicist at Berklee College of Music. You can email her at llupton@berklee.edu.