Program Description

As a songwriting major, you’ll learn to write artfully as well gain the skills for writing commercially viable songs. Over eight semesters, while completing the college’s core music curriculum, you’ll develop a creative approach to contemporary music compositions. Using the college’s state-of-the-art facilities, you will work with a diverse community of musicians, faculty, and industry professionals, gaining real-world experience while earning a bachelor's degree.

Program Details

As a student majoring in songwriting at Berklee, you will develop skills in melody, harmony, and arranging as well as creative approaches to musical composition, lyric writing, and an individual writing style. You will choose a curriculum that focuses on both songwriting and performance, culminating in a portfolio of your original songs. If you are interested in writing songs for other artists, you will have the option of taking more arranging courses and you will learn studio and MIDI demo production techniques.

To demonstrate mastery of songwriting skills and concepts, you will complete a portfolio of several songs that typify various current practices of contemporary songwriters. The portfolio will include lead sheets, lyric sheets, and demonstration recordings of each of the songs, equivalent in production quality to those typically presented to music publishers, record producers, and record companies by professional songwriters.

Through the study of acknowledged masterpieces of the songwriter's art, you will develop the critical skills necessary to recognize and discuss quality elements in musical and lyrical structure. Interpersonal and situational skills will develop through the many collaborative situations that exist in the professional environment, such as cowriting songs both as composer and as lyricist, working with vocalists and instrumentalists in the production of demo recordings, and working with engineers, artists, and producers in the studio environment.

As a graduate of the songwriting program, you will have sufficient skills and knowledge to work in the music industry as a songwriter, lyricist, singer-songwriter, arranger, and/or demo/MIDI-production worker. You will also have a sufficient background in stylistic breadth, analysis, and understanding of permanent musical values to work in a variety of situations and environments with changing stylistic, artistic, and production demands.


Shape Your Songs in a Community of Songwriters

Hear from students and faculty on what makes Berklee's Songwriting Department a great place to find who you are as an artist. Explore a wide range of styles, including EDM, roots, and hip-hop, and find your voice in a close community of songwriters who will support you while pushing you to take creative risks.

Program at a Glance

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