Songwriting

Become a Better Songwriter with Berklee

Develop your song and lyric writing skills and effectively express yourself as a songwriter through words and music.

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Masterclasses Are Here!

Learn from Berklee’s acclaimed instructors over the course of one live session for only $99.

Courses

Courses are best for students who are looking to meet a specific need, or simply want to get started with Berklee Online. No application necessary.

  • Next semester starts January 9, 2023
  • 12 Weeks
  • 5-10 Hours Per Week
OSONG-013
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
This Masterclass will show you how to get the most out of your lyrics by focusing on how to match the syllables of your words with the notes of your melodies.
  • Credit: $0
  • Non-Credit: $99
OSONG-012
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Learn the markers of a great melody, and how to get these melodies to complement the chords and lyrics you write.
  • Credit: $0
  • Non-Credit: $99
OSONG-150
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Learn how to use a Digital Audio Workspace as a compositional tool, how to arrange with MIDI, and how to engineer and produce your own recordings.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-250
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Create a unique sound and explore tools and techniques that will help you craft songs with the instrumentation and production to support your intended emotional meaning.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-240
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Learn to write for commercial success by reproducing the time-tested characteristics of hit songs while maintaining your own unique voice.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OCOMP-285
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Develop a unique compositional voice to write music through the study of modern twentieth century compositional techniques.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OLART-216
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Learn to write clearly and strongly in your own unique voice, bringing your full self to your writing process every time you write.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OLART-201
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Strengthen your writing skills and creative expression by exploring works of fiction, personal narrative, poetry, playwriting, and even music journalism.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OLART-215
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Learn to craft and control your writing, enhance your ideas, and write better lyrics through the study of poetry.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-220
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Generate more and better lyric ideas. Express them in compelling and original ways with your songs.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-221
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Learn to write effective song titles and discover how to build lyrics, develop the rhythms of your song sections, and create contrasting sections and ideas.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-222
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Get the most out of your song lyrics by learning how to combine them accurately and effectively with melody.
  • Credit: $1,315
  • Non-Credit: $1,165
OSONG-231
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Learn how to produce demos and recordings that capture your songwriting abilities and show off the potential of your compositions.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-230
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Jump into the world of producing, recording, and mixing songs to a professional level using Pro Tools.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OCOMP-385
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Gain a solid knowledge of modern instrumental writing and competence using twentieth century techniques in composition. In addition, you will gain enhanced listening skills to identify and appreciate new musical styles, and be capable of implementing these skills in your writing, enriching your capacity to express yourself in this intellectually stimulating musical idiom.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OCOMP-395
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Learn effective techniques that will help you compose jazz tunes that have a balance of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic appeal.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-430
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Learn how to write music that will appeal specifically to music supervisors, editors, directors, and producers across a number of genres.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-316
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Learn how harmony can help convey the essential emotion in your songwriting and the best ways to adapt chords and progressions to suit your songwriting style and ideas.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-315
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Create the melodic ideas that convey the emotion of your lyrics, then learn how to develop these melodic ideas into complete sections and songs to suit your songwriting style.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-310
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Learn to make the most effective settings for your melodic, harmonic, and lyrical ideas by crafting songs the way hit songwriters do.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OCWPR-385
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Gain a practical working knowledge of composing, producing, marketing, and monetizing commercial music, from jingles to television theme music and scoring.
  • Credit: $1,315
  • Non-Credit: $1,165
OCOMP-492
Level 4 Level 4
Undergraduate Course
Learn the fundamental music approaches and skills that professional composers use to create interactive scores for games.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OCOMP-490
Level 4 Level 4
Undergraduate Course
Learn to write music in the style of big budget Hollywood productions and gain a recipe book for writing for film and TV.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OCOMP-491
Level 4 Level 4
Undergraduate Course
Analyze specific genres of film and TV music in terms of melody, harmony, and orchestration, and form a template that you can apply to your own writing.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OCOMP-493
Level 4 Level 4
Undergraduate Course
Add depth and flavor to compositions in any genre by studying the characteristics of a wide array of world music compositional techniques.
  • Credit: $1,515
  • Non-Credit: $1,265
OSONG-505
Level 5 - Enrollable Level 5 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
This course explores the intersection of branding and personal and creative identity, giving artists, songwriters, and producers useful career strategies to use when navigating their journey in the music business.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-570
Level 5 - Enrollable Level 5 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
Develop your sound through song arranging techniques and by producing, recording, and mixing songs at a professional level. You will focus on creating unique instrumentation and overall sound for your original songs, harnessing the power of a Digital Audio Workstation and using professional production techniques.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-597
Level 5 - Enrollable Level 5 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
This course will teach you to write better songs, and refine your tastes by studying your influences. You will become a trained detective, examining and exploring the traits and techniques of successful songs, and applying them to your own writing.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-564
Level 5 - Enrollable Level 5 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
Songwriting Sync Success is a comprehensive look at the many enigmatic ways in which a professional songwriter can make a living beyond just “writing hits.” It draws directly from the author’s personal real-world experience to demystify these intriguing (and often lucrative) arenas of the industry.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-525
Level 5 - Enrollable Level 5 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
This course requires you to become intentional in every aspect of your writing: melodic composition, harmonic considerations, and lyric composition, all focused through the lens of prosody. You will learn to align each compositional element in relationship to your song’s central intent and emotion.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-599
Level 5 - Enrollable Level 5 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
This course is devoted to the exploration of the topline—a melody with lyrics conceived to go along with an existing track. To complement the development of the topline, we will also do a deep dive into vocal production techniques, offering you a set of tools to achieve successful songwriting results.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-676
Level 6 - Enrollable Level 6 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
This course highlights the many paths and combinations by which artists, performers, songwriters, producers, composers, and creators pursue their goals in music to get paid and build a sustainable career. Learn how to monetize essential income streams from publishing and licensing, to streaming, touring, social media, fan funding, sound design, production, and more.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-640
Level 6 - Enrollable Level 6 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
This course explores top examples of representative songs from different popular music genres, as defined by Billboard.com, with the goal of analyzing and understanding the musical components that determine the nature of these genres, resulting in a successful songwriting process, according to music industry standards.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590
OSONG-655
Level 6 - Enrollable Level 6 - Enrollable
Graduate Course
All creative works contain structure that make the success of the project more likely. In this course, you will learn to analyze specified current and recent hit songs to determine that structural basis, and apply what you’ve discovered in individual songwriting assignments.
  • Credit: $2,790
  • Non-Credit: $2,590

Certificates

Gain the professional credentials and marketable skills you need to succeed in your specific area of the music industry. Certificates range from foundational-skill building to graduate-level. No application necessary.

  • Next semester starts January 9, 2023
  • 3-18 Months
  • 5-10 Hours Per Week
Advanced Professional
9 Courses · 27 Credits
Delve into lyric writing, melody, harmony, theory, arranging, and the songwriting strategies employed by some of the all-time greatest songwriters.
Advanced Professional
9 Courses · 27 Credits
In this program, you’ll come away with the multifaceted skill set necessary to start or advance your career as a contemporary writer/producer.
Professional
3 Courses · 9 Credits
Study the key methodologies and strategies for writing impactful lyrics and in turn, learn how to better express yourself through your songs.
Professional
4 Courses · 12 Credits
Whether you’re a new or experienced songwriter, and regardless of whether your goal is to write a hit or just more emotionally powerful songs, this program will bring out your best work as a songwriter.

Degree Programs

Degree programs are the most affordable and flexible option for earning your music degree from Berklee College of Music. They are the best option for students who want a music education degree and the full Berklee experience.

  • Apply for January 9, 2023 semester start
    • Get a decision within 2 weeks
  • Master's Degree: 1-3 Years
    Bachelor's Degree: 2-4 Years
  • 5-10 Hours Per Week
36 Credits
The Master of Arts in Songwriting will instill in you a deeper knowledge of lyrical and musical techniques, song forms, and ideas on arranging and production that past and current innovators in songwriting have used with great success.
36 Credits
Expand your knowledge and skills in four areas critical to advancing a career in the music industry: music business, music production and technology, songwriting, and film scoring.
120 Credits
By focusing on song structures, harmonies, melodies, and lyrics, you’ll learn the techniques for writing original songs in a variety of musical styles that have propelled Berklee alumni to write No. 1 songs and win Grammys.
120 Credits
Hone your songwriting skills while developing your ability to record and mix professional-sounding music from your home studio using Pro Tools, Live, or Logic.
120 Credits
“Build your own” music major by selecting coursework from a number of disciplines that align with your personal career goals.
45 of 120 Credits
This major is geared specifically for new and entering students who are not yet ready to declare their major.

New! Masterclasses

With Berklee Online’s new Masterclasses, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from Berklee's acclaimed instructors over the course of one live session for only $99.

Get Access to Free Handbooks

Gain access to real course content from Berklee Online's 12-week, instructor-led online courses. From foundational concepts to advanced techniques, these free handbooks cover a variety of topics, all designed to provide you with marketable skills in music.

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