Which songwriting course is right for me: Basic or Advanced?

If you've written songs for a while or are just beginning to discover your love of songwriting,

The Basic is right for you. The Basic teaches a unique "critiquing system" that gives tremendous freedom and choice in developing your ideas for songs. It will introduce fundamental songcraft tools used by successful songwriters and the structure to practice and get really good at using them. The Basic concentrates on developing LYRIC WRITING: visual storytelling, word-picture combinations, the development of song titles, and a host of techniques to accelerate and raise your creative capabilities.

The Advanced is for writers and artists four or five years out in the world, regularly playing live, making records, and practiced at using social media to develop a larger audience for their music. Writers use the Advanced forum to:

  • Road test new songs in front of a talented and savvy peer group of like-minded writer-artists who give seasoned, constructive feedback on lyric choices, song structure, production, and arranging options, saving costly re-writes, re-records, and editing expenses in the demo or master recording process. Basically members walk out with songs that are better crafted and stronger than when they walked in the door.
  • Finding producers, collaborators, and other resources--such as musicians, engineers, studios, lawyers, and ideas--to develop relationships with music publishers and music supervisors.
  • Many members love the challenging weekly writing assignments that utilize unique contemporary pop songwriting techniques that push their creative boundaries, taking their writing to places they never thought it could go. Others use the forum to concentrate full time on their latest crop of songs or to re-write older songs they see new ways to revisit. Either way, you're in for a fantastic creative ride.

What do I need to bring to the Workshop or Forum?

The Workshop and Forum run 2 1/2 hours. The courses typically have 15 participants; if you plan to play a song, make sure to bring 16 printed copies of the lyrics. We provide a guitar and a piano if you want to play live. For playback of pre-recorded tracks, we can play audio on iPhones, iPods, and computers. No CDs. 

What materials are provided in the Workshop and Forum?

You'll be given a syllabus written specifically around the lesson plan for the session you're attending. This is a physical copy; no digital copies will be provided. The text is part of a copyrighted book on songwriting created by the instructor.

Money's tight. How can I apply for the Friends of SAA program?

Fill out the application form and direct listeners via links to a hosting site where they can listen to your music, read lyrics, see pictures and/or videos, and read your profile. If someone responds to your music and wants to make a scholarship donation on your behalf, we'll be in touch with you ASAP!