In this course, artists, writers, and producers team up each week in constantly changing groups of two to four students. Groups write and produce either a single for their artist or a pitch for a "Who's Looking" list of currently charting Hot 100 acts. Teams will write using several real-world methods: track-first (toplining), song-first, and song and track simultaneously. Tracks may be provided from in-class producers, or through cooperation with the Music Production and Engineering and/or Electronic Production and Design departments. Students analyze current Hot 100 singles to understand attributes of melody, harmony, lyrics, and production common to hit songs. Students discuss the relationship of technology and production to hit making, as well as the business of pitching songs. This course includes presentations with industry publishers, A&Rs, producers, and songwriters. Instructor approval is required for this class; application information is available through firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced Lyric Writing 2 offers students a close look at their own writing process in an intimate seminar setting, focusing on individual strengths and weaknesses, tailoring assignments to each individual student's needs. We'll look especially at the rewriting process, concentrating on how and why choices are made, paying special attention to prosody. The course will demand a high level of skill and commitment. A project will be due each week.
Students will explore methods of musical storytelling and incorporating a larger dramatic arc to their vision; develop songwriting approaches for dramatic contexts; gain further experience in collaborative songwriting and scene writing; improve skills of giving/receiving peer feedback as a tool in the writing process; learn project management techniques on a large-scale project; and gain appreciation of professional possibilities in musical theater writing, a vibrant and vital contemporary American art form. Through ancillary rehearsals, students learn to prepare accurate scores and hand-off scores to a pianist/music director and actors.
This course offers students interested in the practical application of modern collaborative songwriting the opportunity to work collaboratively with student producers and songwriter–producers on multiple projects. Students will work collaboratively with producers on all aspects of modern popular music creation including hook writing, toplining, vocal performance and production, arranging, recording, editing, sequencing, sound designing, and mixing to create finished tracks or original songs. Special emphasis will be placed on the interrelationship of vocals and electronic music and finding creative solutions to songwriting and production challenges. Work for the course will include two projects that encourage the songwriter to work with producers to explore new sub-genres of electronic popular music and a third final project that will be a culmination of the songwriter/producer team experience. Lectures and discussions will cover analysis techniques, workflow, the dynamics of collaborative working relationships, and in-depth critiques of works in progress. The class will meet concurrently with EP-482, Electronic Music Producer–Songwriter Practicum. Combined class meetings will be held throughout the semester. Admission to the course is by application.
The course allows students to study the screenplays and songwriting of a variety of film musicals from the beginning of the genre to the present. In addition to focusing on the writing of the musical film, the manner in which song assists in telling the story will be of particular interest. Working in groups, screenwriting students from Emerson will complete an outline and first act of an original screenplay, and composer/lyricist students from Berklee will write the songs that will help tell that story. The semester will culminate in a staged reading—with music—performed by acting/musical theater students from both Berklee and Emerson.
Monitored and evaluated professional work experience in an environment related to the songwriting major. Placement is limited to situations available from or approved by the Career Center and the Songwriting Department chair or a designee. To apply for an internship, students must visit the Career Center prior to registering. Note: Equivalent credit for prior experience is not available due to the requirement of concurrent contract between the employer/supervisor and the college. International students in F-1 status must obtain authorization on their Form I-20 from International Student Services prior to beginning an internship.
Small group seminar designed to guide students majoring in songwriting in the preparation of their final projects.
This course offers individualized instruction in Musical Theater Writing. Designed to provide students in the Musical Theater Writing minor the opportunity for highly focused, in-depth study of writing music, lyrics, book, or any combination of the three. In collaboration with their instructor, students will determine the specific work and outcome of the course. The primary outcome is the preparation of the Final Portfolio required for the Minor.
This course explores lyric writing and is designed both for experienced songwriters and those who are new at it. The course is tool-based, designed to dig into the craft of lyric writing, to explore practical strategies and techniques, and to reveal options and opportunities. Students explore strategies for finding and developing song ideas; they choose and organize song ideas more effectively; they explore and apply the concept of prosody; and they learn to create stable and unstable structures to support stable or unstable ideas. Students also explore the compositional elements that support lyric writing, including, among others number of lines and line lengths, rhyming, rhythm, titling, and phrasing. Students also learn how to critique their own work and the work of others, as well as how to revise lyrics to make them more effective.
Immersion into a different culture broadens understanding of one's own culture and society. This course develops students' awareness of and communication between cultures, highlights the importance of diversity, encourages conversation, and explores global issues in context. Its goal is to help students articulate their identity as artists and global citizens. The course is designed as a seminar, with hour-long weekly meeting, including speakers, visits, special events, and experiential learning. Students are required to perform a diversity-related project.