Studying Songwriting at Berklee
As a Berklee student majoring in songwriting, you’ll learn all the aspects of the craft and business of songwriting, from music (including melody, harmony, and rhythm) and lyrics (including structure and content) to production and music technology, performance, and business skills.
You’ll find an array of performance opportunities, including open mics, session in-the-round, and assorted showcases. You’ll also learn to use the music technology tools required to produce professional-level recordings of your songs, and you’ll do all of this while working with visiting artists and faculty members who are professional songwriters with vast experience in the music business—faculty who have written for top recording artists, TV shows, movies, and commercials.
Watch this video about the Songwriting Department, and check out the answers to frequently asked questions about studying songwriting at Berklee below.
As a songwriting major, you will have at least four semesters of private instruction on your principle instrument while taking songwriting courses, as well as at least one semester of piano and one semester of either guitar, bass, or piano.
The core songwriting courses are genre-neutral. After you’ve taken these foundational courses, you can choose to focus on courses specializing in your genres of interest, such as R&B, pop, hip-hop, rock, or electronic music.
All songwriting majors will take the Directed Study in Songwriting (SW-398) course, in which you will work one-on-one with a songwriting faculty member to rewrite and develop your songs.
As a songwriting major, you will take a minimum of two technology-focused courses in which you’ll learn to write and produce in the digital audio workstation (DAW) of your choice; you can choose Logic, Pro Tools, or Ableton Live. Several technology-focused electives for specialized interests, such as electronic performance or recording a band, are also available at Berklee.
Many types of scholarships are available from Berklee and other sources. Visit the Paying for Your Education section of this website to learn more about different ways to help fund your Berklee education.
Many students interested in studying songwriting at Berklee find it helpful to get a taste of the program by attending Berklee’s one-week Summer Songwriting Workshop.
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