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Effective: Summer 2015

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will utilize various song structures.
  • A successful student will be able to discuss and defend his or her choice of song construction and to conclude why it would engage the listener.
  • A successful student will be able to theorize why particular song structures are better than others.
  • A successful student will be able to analyze and discuss the overall structure of their songs.
Description -
Workshop course for advanced songwriters that focuses on higher-level topics such as Self Criticism, Rewriting and Co-Writing. Demonstrations of the practical use of technique and an understanding of the works of the most accomplished professional songwriters. Class is appropriate for advanced levels of songwriting competency.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. construct a complete song implementing techniques specific to accomplished professional songwriters
  2. re-compose a song adapting it to changes requested by the Instructor
  3. defend the technique they used in composing their weekly song assignment
  4. compose a complete song while functioning as a co-writer
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus:
    1. Classroom with digital recording system for student feedback.
    2. Projection system for video and multimedia content.
    3. Basic Sound reinforcement system for in-class performances.
    4. Drums and amplifiers.
    5. Grand piano.
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
    1. On-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities.
    2. Email address.
    3. Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Accomplished Songwriters
    1. What Makes Them Great
    2. What They All Share
    3. Great Songs from Different Modern Eras
    4. The Danger of Overwriting
  2. Rewriting and Self Criticism
    1. Too Easy on Oneself
    2. Too Hard on Oneself
    3. Techniques for Self Criticism
    4. Advanced Song Structure Choices
    5. When to Rewrite
    6. Rewriting techniques
  3. Humor
    1. Using Humor in Serious Songs
  4. Perspective
    1. Use of Change of Perspective in Rewriting
  5. Co-Writing Ground Rules
    1. Co-Writing Benefits
    2. Co-Writing Negatives
    3. Co-Writing Legal Guidelines
      1. When to Sign a Co-Writing Agreement
      2. How to Compose a Co-writing Agreement
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Song Writing Assignments
  2. Quizzes
  3. In Class Participation
  4. On-Line Participation
Representative Text(s) -
Reading material is created by the Instructor and delivered online.

Disciplines -
Commercial Music
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Oral presentations, Laboratory, Demonstration, Quizzes.
Lab Content -
Laboratory activities are provided in which the students can demonstrate, defend and apply their advanced understanding of songwriting including but not limited to appraising the work of Songwriting Masters, distinguishing great songs from mediocre songs and having the ability to defend their opinion and Co-Writing. The students create a approximately a song per week focusing on the application of songwriting lessons. These Lab Song Assignments are presented in class the following week. The students songs are then evaluated, commented on and graded by the Instructor.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading assignments include multi-media lessons created by the instructor and delivered via Etudes.
  2. Writing assignments include but are not limited to:
    1. Writing a complete song in the style of a Master
    2. Writing a completed song with a fellow student
    3. Write a complete song about a journey
    4. Re-Write an early song submission and explain why you made the changes you did and why it's a better song now.