Become a Better Songwriter with Berklee

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

12-Week 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.

Lyric Writing: Tools and Strategies

Generate more and better ideas. Express them in compelling and original ways.

Lyric Writing: Writing From the Title

Make your writing process more efficient and your lyrics more effective. Learn how to find a powerful and effective song title, and discover how to build lyrics, develop the rhythms of your song sections, create contrasting sections and ideas to re-color your chorus based on that title.

Lyric Writing: Writing Lyrics to Music

Get the most out of your lyrics by learning how to combine them accurately and effectively with melody.

Songwriting: Writing Hit Songs

Learn to make the most effective settings for your melodic, harmonic and lyrical ideas. Move your listeners and express yourself more effectively by crafting song sections and complete songs the way hit writers do.

Songwriting for Film and TV

Explore the techniques of writing music that will appeal specifically to music supervisors, editors, directors, and producers across any number of different genres.

Songwriting: Melody

Learn to create all types of melodic ideas that clearly convey the emotion of the lyrics to your audience. Then, learn how to develop those melodic ideas into complete sections and complete songs that your audiences will remember and, if you want, sing along with.

Songwriting: Harmony

Learn how harmony can help you to convey the essential emotion of a song to your audience, and the best ways to adapt chords and progressions to suit your unique songwriting style and ideas.

Jazz Composition

In this music composition course, you'll learn effective techniques that will help you compose jazz tunes that have a balance of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic appeal.

Commercial Songwriting Techniques

Learn to write for commercial success by reproducing the time-tested characteristics of hit songs while maintaining your own unique voice.

Writing and Producing Advertising Music

Gain a practical working knowledge of how to compose, produce, market and monetize commercial music in three important categories: Jingles, Library Music, and Television Theme music and scoring.

Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice

Learn to write clearly and strongly in your own unique voice, bringing your full self to your writing process every time you write.

Creative Writing: Poetry

Learn to craft and control your writing, enhance your ideas, and write better lyrics through the study of poetry.

Creative Writing: Literature Studies for Musicians

Strengthen your writing skills and creative expression by exploring and learning from the works of musician-writers and those for whom music has had a profound influence.

World Music Composition Styles

Add depth and flavor to compositions in any genre by studying the characteristics of a wide array of world music compositional techniques.

Music Composition for Film and TV 1

In this music composition course, you'll learn to write music in the style of big budget Hollywood films and TV programs. Analyze melody, harmony, counterpoint, tempo, rhythm, and orchestration in a variety of genres to gain a complete recipe book for writing for film and TV.

Music Composition for Film and TV 2

Gain a thorough understanding of the compositional styles used in Hollywood projects. In this music composition course, you'll learn to analyze specific genres of film and television music in terms of melody, harmony, counterpoint, tempo, rhythm, and orchestration, forming a template that you can then apply to your own writing.

Contemporary Techniques in Music Composition 1

Learn how to construct your own melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic language through the study of modern twentieth century compositional techniques. In this music composition course you'll develop your unique, compositional voice to write music for visual media, concerts, recitals, or personal enjoyment.

Interactive Scoring for Games

Whether you’re working on a small iPhone or Facebook game, or a large PlayStation or Xbox title, this course will teach you the fundamental music approaches and skills that professional composers use to create interactive scores for games.

Producing Songwriting Demos with Pro Tools

The course acts as a springboard for the novice producer/songwriter to jump into the world of producing, recording, and mixing songs to a professional level using Pro Tools.

Contemporary Techniques in Music Composition 2

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.

Collaborative Songwriting

This course will actively engage students in an intensive program of online song collaboration, which will allow them to develop practical and creative real world skills for professional co-writing.

Producing Songwriting Demos with Logic

Just because you’re a great songwriter doesn’t mean people will know how great your songs are. You need to make recordings that prove the potential of your compositions, which is where Logic Pro X and this course come in. In Producing Songwriting Demos with Logic you’ll learn production approaches and Logic Pro X techniques. Upon completion of the course you’ll have created a professional demo. It is recommended that you take OSONG-150 Music Technology for Songwriters prior to this course.

Music Production Fundamentals for Songwriters

As a songwriter, you don’t have to limit your compositional tools to just you and your old standby instrument. Technology can offer so many points of entry to make creative ideas become musical realities, but you need a map to help you navigate this technological terrain. This course gives you all you need to learn your way around the latest recording and composing technology. You’ll learn how to use a Digital Audio Workspace as a compositional tool, you’ll learn how to arrange with MIDI, and how to engineer and produce your own recordings.

Multi-Course Certificates

Certificate programs are 3-18 months in duration and are designed for students who want to gain a deeper proficiency in a chosen area. No application necessary.

Programs marked with " Degree Path Certificate" allow you to earn credits that transfer directly into the online Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program. Upon successful completion of a degree path certificate, you'll be awarded provisional acceptance into the certificate's correlating degree major. Learn More About Degree Path Certificates

Master Certificates (8-12 Courses)

Writing and Producing Music
Degree Path Certificate

You’ll come away with the multi-faceted skill set necessary to start or advance your career as a contemporary writer/producer.

27 Credits
Degree Path Certificate

While there is no “right” or “wrong” way to write a song, Berklee's accomplished songwriting faculty will teach you the tools and techniques for lyric writing, melody, harmony, theory, and arranging that have been employed by some of the all-time great songwriters.

27 Credits
Songwriting and Guitar

This program is the perfect match of time-tested tools, theories, techniques, and applications that you can use immediately to hone your craft and become a more successful and well-versed songwriter, guitarist, and performing musician.

27 Credits

Professional Certificates (4-6 Courses)

Degree Path Certificate

While there is no “right” or “wrong” way to write a song, there are time-tested tools and techniques that have consistently yielded beloved, memorable music. Studying with Berklee’s accomplished songwriting faculty, you'll delve into lyric writing, melody, harmony, theory, arranging, and strategies employed by some of the all-time great songwriters.

18 Credits

Make the most of your passion and talent, become a more complete musician and songwriter, and begin to craft and perform songs that express your unique voice.

15 Credits

Specialist Certificates (3 Courses)

Creative Writing for Musicians

Learn the necessary tools needed to communicate effectively through writing. This program takes an approach that incorporates literature study along with extensive writing workshop exercises.

9 Credits
Orchestrating and Producing Music for Film and Games

Build a solid orchestral, film scoring and game audio background that can be used to further your career creatively and entrepreneurially.

9 Credits
Lyric Writing
Degree Path Certificate

Explore the time-tested tools and techniques that have consistently yielded beloved, memorable lyrics. In this certificate program, you'll delve into the strategies that will help your craft, like learning to write from the title or write lyrics for an existing musical composition.

9 Credits
Orchestration for Film and TV
Degree Path Certificate

Drawing on the most up-to-date tools and information, this extensive certificate program will help equip you to become a more marketable composer and/or songwriter by offering in-depth instruction in orchestration while also delving into the placement techniques that will help your music find a home—and a paycheck—via TV, movies, video games, and other media.

9 Credits

Develop the skills used by the best songwriters and performers, and learn how to frame your melodies in captivating harmonies and voicings, play those on the guitar, and polish your vocal delivery.

9 Credits
Degree Path Certificate

While there is no “right” or “wrong” way to write a song, there are time-tested tools and techniques that have consistently yielded beloved, memorable music. Studying with Berklee’s accomplished songwriting faculty, you'll delve into lyric writing, melody, harmony, theory, arranging, and strategies employed by some of the all-time great songwriters.

9 Credits

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.


Learn the techniques for writing original songs in a variety of musical styles that have propelled Berklee alumni to write number one songs and win Grammy Awards. In this program, you will develop skills to create song structures, harmonies, melodies, and lyrics that support and enhance the ideas that you want to express

Interdisciplinary Music Studies (Create Your Own Major)

“Build your own” music major by selecting coursework from a number of disciplines that align with your personal career goals.

Writing and Producing Music

The Writing and Producing Music major is for the musician of the future. Because of the intense focus on multiple disciplines—writing, producing, arranging, and the latest music software available—you will become a versatile asset to any project within the music industry.

Undeclared Option

This major is geared specifically for new and entering students who are not yet ready to declare their major.

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