Stan Swiniarski, Assistant Professor
"I'm big into collaboration and cowriting. Nashville is a cowriter's town—you write with two, three people all the time—so I really want to have that same kind of environment in the classroom."
"You cowrite for many reasons. Number one, it's faster. Number two, if you're bankrupt in the idea department, you have another writer or two in the room who has got something to bring to the party. Another reason you do it is a business reason. If three of us create a hit song, we turn our song in to our respective song pluggers or publishers, and we have three times the coverage on Music Row. And the other reason is just because it's fun."
"What really is an A&R person looking for? They're gatekeepers; it's their job to say no. They say no to 99.9%, and usually they're checking their email while they're doing it. You're competing against big publishing houses that spend upwards of $1,500 a song to demo them. They bring in the same background vocalists that are used on all of the major albums. So how are you going to compete against that when you're the starving newbie? Your knowledge of production, your ability to make the best use of the dollars you have to spend on your demo, all of that will serve you well getting started. If you come in with a guitar vocal that you might turn in to me in Songwriting class, that's an immediate barrier to an A&R person, because they're used to hearing a radio hit already done for them."
"The more students arm themselves with the tools and techniques, the greater advantage they have. One of the real advantages of studying something like songwriting at Berklee is that you're going to go into writing situations with people who have no formal training, who might not be able to read a note and certainly won't have a theoretical background in harmony. That's always served me well, because I was able to bring something to the party that maybe someone else didn't have."
- B.M., Berklee College of Music
- Active independent Nashville-based songwriter, composer, and multi-keyboardist
- Worked full-time on Music Row until mid-2010
- Numerous independent cuts, most recently the title cut on Lathan Moore's 2009 debut CD Love in Your Life (Blue Steel Records)
- Instrumental composer for several production music libraries
- Instrumental placements include film/TV (Discovery Health) and muzak
- Released two independent country projects, Mexico (2004) and Ain't That Love (2005). Mexico charted on the Americana radio chart and the roots music report.
- Touried with Stroudavarious recording artist Matt Kennon ("The Call")
- Performance experience at a wide variety of venues including North Shore Music Circus (Cohasset MA); Indian Ranch (Webster, MA); Bluebird Cafe, Tootsies and many other venues in and around Nashville, TN; Country Crossing (Spooner, AL); and others
- Performed in the opening lineup with Jason Aldean, Gary Allan, America, Jeff Bates, Colt Ford, George Jones, Randy Owen, Kellie Pickler, bsp;and Dwight Yoakam