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For Educators

Songwriting Strategies synthesizes my work as a songwriter with my teaching experience, especially my past decade of teaching songwriting at Berklee. At heart I’m a songwriting process guy. My approach, reflected in the book’s structure, is all about cultivating versatility in the ways you can begin and develop songs. I’ve created and used the exercises in the book to push my own writing forward, and to challenge other songwriters to expand and refine their work.

So I intend the book to be useful to teachers and communities of students, as well as songwriters working individually on their craft. Designed as a stand-alone book you can work through on your own, in a self-directed ways, it is not a “textbook” per se, or dependent on other books or curriculum. However, the book could fit well in a variety of educational settings, from formal courses to workshops and community writers’ groups.

These settings could include:

  • College - A semester- or year-long course in songwriting at a conservatory, four-year, or community college. These courses could be in departments focused on songwriting (still relatively few and far between), or departments for popular music studies, composition, or music production.
  • High School - Many aspiring songwriters start aspiring—that is, writing—at high school age or earlier. For use directly by high school age students, the book is most appropriate for performing arts oriented high schools or independent schools with enriched arts and music programs. However, this book could also be a resource for songwriters and teachers who are creating workshop residencies for high school settings.
  • Community music schools and adult education programs - In these settings the book might be most useful as a resource for teachers and facilitators, who could select exercises and challenges to share with the students.
  • Home schooling networks—especially if local songwriters are available to work as mentors with students.
  • Summer music camps, retreats, and workshops - Exercises from the book can serve as participatory group or partner “ice-breaker” exercises, or writing challenges.

I’d love it if you decide to use this book in your class, and would welcome hearing about ways you are using Songwriting Strategies in your teaching.

If you are a teacher considering using the book as a textbook, you may qualify for a complimentary educator’s “desk copy.” Please contact