Songwriting Workshop

Announcement: Students who complete two of four programs—Vocal SummitStage Performance WorkshopSongwriting Workshop, Musical Theater Summer Intensive—will receive a $100 rebate.

What's the program like?

Immerse yourself in the art of songwriting. Hone your craft in song forms, melodies, the interaction and use of rhythm and harmony, lyric writing, and the latest technological advances. Under the direction of Bonnie Hayes, chair of Berklee's Songwriting Department, you will receive expert support and feedback on your original material from veteran songwriters and industry professionals. You’ll also learn about the tools you’ll need to place your songs in TV and film, and start earning royalties.

Classes include:

  • Singer-Songwriter Workshop: This course is designed to provide you with an opportunity to perform your songs and receive feedback from faculty and peers. Songwriters can accompany themselves, have someone accompany for them, or use prerecorded music.
  • Music Composition for Songs: Topics and techniques include groove writing, melody writing, modes, and interesting and useful harmonic progressions.
  • Lyric Writing: Topics include prosody (setting words to music and vice versa), brainstorming techniques, and writing from titles.
  • Creating Your Own Demo and Recordings: Producing quality demos and ways to market them. MIDI and audio workshop sessions are continually held at Berklee’s Learning Center.
  • Business of Songwriting: Each class discusses different topics related to songwriting and the songwriter (including publishing, copyright laws, mechanical rights, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and promoting your songs).

The workshop offers a variety of songwriting topics providing you with a chance to focus on your interests.

Concerts will be held each evening, featuring faculty, guest artists, and students performing their songs in various settings (including concerts and open mic nights). Parents and friends are invited to attend.

Watch 2014 American Idol contestant Sam Woolf perform "The Same" at the Berklee Five-Week Singer-Songwriter Showcase:

Who are the instructors?

Members of Berklee's talented and experienced Songwriting Department will teach the classes and workshops. Each day there will be clinics featuring Berklee songwriting faculty or guest clinicians.

Past guest clinicians have included hit songwriters Paula Cole, Melissa Ferrick, Hugh Prestwood, and Phil Galdston; singer-songwriters Beth Nielsen Chapman and Marshall Crenshaw; and Warner Chappell senior vice president John Titta. In addition to day clinics, singer-songwriters who, in prior years, have presented concerts in the evening exclusively for program participants include Ellis Paul, Jennifer Kimball, Patty Larkin, Gary Nicholson, and Livingston Taylor.

Where will I eat and sleep?

Applicants will be sent information and an application for residence hall housing once accepted to the program. Most program participants elect to stay in the Berklee residence halls; however, space is limited. To optimize your chances for on-campus housing, you must return the housing application immediately upon receiving it.

If you apply to the program after mid-May, call the Housing Office at 617 747-2292 to find out if residence hall space is still available.

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