Course Description

There's a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it's safe to come out. Now it is. This course is an invitation to let your inner songwriter step into the sunlight. All it takes is a simple "yes" and you'll be climbing that windy hill, marveling at the view.

If you haven't written any or many songs, this course will show you an efficient, effective process for tailoring songs to express your ideas and emotions. If you have, you'll look at your process differently, taking control of aspects of the process you may have not noticed.

The course will start by examining the tools available to you, all revolving around the essential concept of prosody. You'll learn to use your tools to enhance your message-to work compositionally at the same time you're developing your ideas.

You'll be working both lyrically and musically, though musically it's not necessary that you either read music or play an instrument. If you play, great, and you'll be encouraged to play and record your musical responses to the assignments. If you don't play, the course offers you a number of musical loops to work with. All you'll have to do is sing your melodies over the loops.

Assignments will ask you to post something for peer review-sometimes lyric lines or sections, sometimes melodies, sometimes both. None of it has to be polished. The course is about writing, not performing.

Most important, you'll have a lot of fun.

Lesson 1: The Journey of the Song

By the end of this lesson, you will see how to develop your song idea so it creates an interesting journey from start to finish. You’ll understand your options developing the point of view of your song and will be introduced to the songwriter’s six best friends.

Lesson 2: Stopping and Going

By the end of this lesson, you will understand the concept of prosody as it relates to the number of lines/musical phrases in a section and to line lengths/musical phrases, the school crossing guards of your song. You’ll create both stable and unstable line/musical groupings, using an odd or even number of lines and musical phrases. Using these tools, you’ll write a verse and chorus.

Lesson 3: Sonic GPS—Mapping Your Song with Rhyme

By the end of this lesson, you will understand the relationship of rhyme schemes to prosody. You’ll create both stable and unstable sections, using various rhyme schemes to show your ear the way to go home. Using these tools, you’ll write a new verse and chorus.

Lesson 4: Making It Move

By the end of this lesson, you will understand language rhythms—the difference between stressed and unstressed syllables and how to put rhythm in your lines, preparing them to join into the dance with musical rhythm. Using these tools, you’ll put last week’s verse and chorus to music.

Lesson 5: Writing the Song

In this lesson, you’ll select a new song title and create a worksheet to help develop your ideas. You’ll write your lyric and set it to music, matching your lyric rhythms to melodic rhythms. You’ll create a melody, using stable and unstable notes to support your ideas.

Lesson 6: Crossing the Finished Line

By the end of this lesson, you will understand the role of phrasing to create the body language of your song, using the relationship of your phrases to musical downbeats to create stability or instability. Then you’ll put the finishing touches on your song from lesson 5.

No prior songwriting or musical experience is necessary.

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Reviews on Springboard

  1. exactly what I wanted

    I am very happy to discover a free course that provides this level of information on songwriting! Berklee has always been the best x

  2. Very boring!

    This course is definitely not what I expected... in a bad way. I expected to come into this course to get great examples of songs wrote by people but we got examples of people I have never heard of and in my opnion the songs and lyrics were boring. To understand how to get insperation to write songs and how to improve them but instead we got drama performances. The video lectures were the worst part of this course, he just kept rambling on and on and on and he never seemed to get to the point until the last 1 minute of the video and all the quizs were based on parts in the video which weren't important to the quiz so you had to watch the whole video. I have always had an interst in song writing and I htought this course could help me develop my songwriting skills but this course really crippled it. The worse course I done and I would not go back to another lesson with this teacher. I rate this course 2/10