Courses run Monday to Friday, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, over 14 weeks. There are five core classes in the program and they cannot be taken individually.
Music Business/Career Planning
This course will cover all aspects of the music business necessary for today’s singer-songwriter including the basics of copyright, publishing, recording contracts, song placements in film and television, marketing, promotion, and the digital realm of music. Special emphasis will be placed on the independent singer-songwriter and each student will formulate career goals, create a website, and learn uses of social networking and traditional networking. Students will be taught the necessary steps of how to record, release, promote and protect their own CD, as well as be able to negotiate and function in the traditional music business.
Songwriting for the Singer-Songwriter
This course is designed to take each individual singer-songwriter to their next level of songwriting. This workshop-type environment will focus on analyzing existing repertoire and creating new songs during the 14 weeks. Goals will include mastery of melody, harmony, lyrics, and artistic style. Emphasis will also be placed on other songwriting skills, including collaboration, rewriting, and overcoming writer's block will also be covered. Students will have many opportunities to showcase their material and works-in-progress and receive valuable feedback
Performance Skills for the Singer-Songwriter
The course will focus on developing performance skills as a singer-songwriter, both live and in the studio. Topics covered will include stage presence, confidence, microphone technique, and artistic style, as well as how to connect with a live audience. Every student will perform at least twice in a live setting during the semester. Students will be asked to focus on their individual artistic identity and given exercises and tools to aid them in accomplishing this. Students will define their individual specific performance goals and will be guided to formulate a plan to implement these goals. Self-evaluation and group critiques of live performances will help in this process.
Music Theory for the Singer-Songwriter
This class will cover elements of music theory that specifically apply to songwriters. The foundations of all musical genres from classical to rap will be analyzed as to form, melody, harmony, arrangement, performance, and production techniques. Each of these categories will be broken down so students will have the ability to compose songs across genres. Song arranging will be covered and students will be required to arrange their songs for a variety of instrument combinations. Students will also be taught re-writing and editing techniques so they may improve and refine their songs, as well as prepare them for recording.
Basic Digital Recording
In this essential course for the modern singer-songwriter, students will record everything from basic song demos (voice and one instrument) to fully realized band versions of their material. Techniques of MIDI programming and digital audio recording and editing will be taught using Apple’s Garageband. All aspects of album production from budgeting to manufacturing will be covered. Specific topics include microphone techniques, improving production value, dynamics processing, using drum loops, and mixing. Advanced topics will include an overview of ProTools and live performance set-ups.