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Intro To Songwriting

Fall/Winter 2020/21 


One 60 min. Zoom class per week + homework

Mondays 4 - 5 pm Pacific

October 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 30 



Singers usually approach contemporary songwriting from the "lyrics and melody first" perspective. How do you approach song structure? What makes a set of lyrics good? What considerations should you make for creating a catchy melody?

This 7-week course will introduce you to the basics of songwriting such as:

  • song structure

  • how to transform stories, feelings, and experiences into lyrics

  • guidelines for writing lyrics and melody for verses, choruses and bridges

  • types of rhyming schemes and tools

  • using natural speech as a source for melodic ideas

  • contrasting song sections both melodically and lyrically

  • creating a catchy chorus (the "hook")

  • building an emotional arc to each song


Professional lyricist Catherine Warner will be Rocío's co-instructor for this course. She is a songwriter, lyricist, singer and cellist whose lyrics have appeared on albums selling over one million copies. Her album Loss and Found was released in 2020.

The course includes 5 group sessions and 2 on-on-one feedback sessions with the instructors. Class size is limited to 6 participants.

Note: A follow-up course addressing how to add chord structure to a melody will be held in the future.

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