Writing a song is like making a new friend: Free songwriting course from Berklee
The world always needs new songs. They put a spring in our step as we hear them on the radio, help us reflect on painful experience and offer new angles on love, sex and death. As an important part of what makes us human, songs are always going to be valid cultural currency. And there will always be a need for people who write good ones.
‘Good’ is subjective, but there are many different markets to serve in modern music. In country music, for example, songwriters are employed full-time by Nashville record labels to churn out bona fide country songs, and singers are hired to perform them. This is one way of producing new songs to serve a particular genre. Then there are the singer-songwriters who do it all themselves. Their output ranges from the most formulaic to the most original, with everything in between.
Many songwriters are also musicians, and most of them can come up with a tune. But often fitting the right lyrics to that tune is the hard part. Spare a thought for Rufus Wainwright when he said “The melody and the chord structure comes pretty quickly, lyrics are the bitch.” A good song, whatever the genre, needs to have a soul, an atmosphere, a feeling. The words have to match the tune and the feel of the song to create something new and fresh, or fit well into a particular mould.
Some songwriters just have the knack, and songs come out of them effortlessly. But others can only produce good material after a longer and more strenuous process of reflection, planning and creation. These are the ones who might benefit from a new course from Berklee College of Music that takes 3 to 6 hours a week for 7 weeks and teaches Prosody, Rhyme and Rhythm alongside the ‘Journey of the Song’ and Phrasing & Body Language.
Berklee College of Music alumni include Quincy Jones, Branford Marsalis, Donald Fagen, Melissa Etheridge, Saint Vincent, Steve Vai and many other famous names in the music world. Their Bachelor of Music is arguably the most sought-after contemporary music qualification out there. So a free songwriting course from Berklee is something aspiring songsters ought to jump at. The world’s largest independent college of contemporary music can teach you a thing or two about songwriting, as its long list of famous alumni can testify.
Start date is May 28, 2018.