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.
|Program length:||Five days|
|Program dates:||Monday, July 6, 2015 - Friday, July 10, 2015|
|Housing: Move in starting: Move out by:||$790 Sunday, July 5, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 10, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.|
|Age range:||15 years and older|
Classes are varied and are designed to provide information for songwriters of all experience levels.
Students will be asked to choose from the following electives:
Singer-Songwriter Workshop: Want feedback on your songs? In this workshop, you’ll play your songs in front of your peers and Songwriting Department faculty. You may perform solo, have a friend accompany, use a prerecorded track on CD. It is recommended that you have a typed or neatly written lyric sheet of the song(s) you are going to perform.
Working with a Band: In this two-part elective, songwriters who want a chance to work with a band learn how to check their key, create an arrangement, and make an arrangement chart. On the second day, they go into a rehearsal studio and play their song with high level Berklee students, who can help them get the sound they want. This class takes up two days of electives.
Recording Techniques for Songwriters: Recording at home is a crucial step to getting your music out and into the world. This hour-and-a-half workshop will cover the key techniques and tools to making recordings at home. Topics include: the vocal recording process and why it’s so important, microphone choice, room choices, and fixes.
DIY Solo Singer-Songwriter: Local legend Melissa Ferrick will cover the basics of being a touring solo singer-songwriter. Topics include social networking, making your record, to band or not to band, regional touring, sound checks, house concerts, and so on.
Write A Song In 90 Minutes: Tired of talking about writing songs? In this workshop, you will write a song in class solo or with a partner using one of three very fun writing exercises: interviewing a partner, turning a poem into a song, or writing a song in the style of a popular artist or songwriter. Be prepared to have some "a-ha" moments and songwriting breakthroughs.
Business of Songwriting: This class will cover some of the basics of the songwriting business. It will include making and marketing recordings, royalty income, performance societies, publishing contracts, collaboration, and licensing fees.
Collaboration: Some of the best songs ever written have been collaborative efforts. With the right collaborator you can improve your music and increase your productivity, and with the wrong one you may feel as if you’re just wasting your good ideas. Whether you’re the track person, the lyricist, the topliner, or the one that drifts in and out of the room (or all of the above), this class will explore the benefits and pitfalls of collaboration.
Stage Performance Workshop: In this workshop, you will work on the concepts of performance as it relates to songwriting, developing answers to questions such as: Who is your audience? What do you want to convey to them, and how can you do that? Should you perform solo or with a band? What instrumentation works best for your voice? What do you need to know to work with a band to arrange your song from the bottom up? What skills do you need to be a great performer?
Hip-hop Songwriting: In this class, you will learn how to write effective hip-hop songs by studying the lyrical and compositional elements involved. The class will listen to current hiphop songs, analyze different hook structures, and perform in-class writing and improvising exercises.
Topline Writing for Pop, R&B, and Dance Songs: You don't always have to sit behind a piano or a guitar to write a song. Many of the biggest songs these days are written using a technique called toplining. In this workshop you will learn how to write a song (possibly a hit song) using this technique.
About the Instructors
Members of Berklee's talented and experienced Songwriting Department will teach the classes and workshops in this program. Each day will feature clinics with Berklee songwriting faculty or guest clinicians.
Past guest clinicians have included hit songwriters such as Paula Cole, Melissa Ferrick, Hugh Prestwood, and Phil Galdston; singer-songwriters Beth Nielsen Chapman and Marshall Crenshaw; and ASCAP executive vice president for creative services 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.
Watch 2014 American Idol contestant Sam Woolf perform "The Same" at the Berklee Five-Week Singer-Songwriter Showcase: