Songwriting Majors: A Double-Edged Sword

What is a Music Writing Major?

The songwriter is an alchemist creating gold with words and music. If you see yourself as one of these alchemists, you may be asking yourself how to become a songwriter.

Throughout recorded history, songwriters have encapsulated their own musical traditions into pieces that we enjoy today. And, the ability to write, record, and publish songs is increasingly accessible to more people with the advancement of technology.

Songwriting majors go beyond just loving a good tune. Through constructive criticism of their work, immersion into many historical songwriting traditions, and the opportunity to give their gifts to the world through performance and recordings, these passionate creatives are trained to create new traditions through song.



Areas of Commercial Songwriting

The dream for most all songwriters is to be successful performing and recording their own music. While the record songwriting industry is a complex field to engage with, songwriters are still at the heart of it all.

Some songwriters make a name for themselves, while others create compositions for different artists to use. Some songwriting majors find themselves as part of a record label’s team to draft the next great chart-topping hit, while others are creating compositions for different media.

If you watch television, see a movie at the theater, or hear elevator music, you’re hearing something written by a person. For some songwriting majors, cinema is their inspiration, and cinematic music is their career path.

The career prospects for songwriters are promising. It is a human-centric industry, and its students like you that make it all happen.

Performance, Recording, and Scholarships

Every songwriting major should have a clear understanding of how to present themselves.

The act of performing a song you wrote is a method of conveying an idea. Songwriting majors will most all complete their studies with a clear picture of how best they can transmit their ideas to more permanent mediums.

Portfolios that showcase your best work are crucial for aspiring songwriting majors. Recordings of your work in an easy-to-access format will give you an edge with your applications, but knowing how to present this work to an admissions counselor and faculty is not as straightforward as one might think.

Additionally, scholarships for songwriting majors are widely available. Whether it’s from foundations created by influential songwriters, music schools with their own scholarships, or private institutions supporting the arts, songwriting majors have many options to help pay for school.

How Can IMS Help?

Finding the right school for you

A student-centered approach to the music school admissions process.

Through a rigorous exploration of the student’s interests, career goals, and enrichment goals, we develop a comprehensive preparatory program of mock auditions, portfolio development, and admissions interview strategies informed by over 40 years in the business.

Consulting students on the admissions process also requires a keen understanding their motivations for pursuing music.

Students who know how to put their passion forward in music school applications will more successfully pursue those passions. Inside Music Schools is built on a deep experience of how admissions staff and faculty read into those passions when deciding who to admit.

At the end of this process, we develop a comprehensive list of schools the student should apply to based on several factors:

  • Interest - What inspires the student to play?
  • Skill Level - Our recommendations aim to be constructive environments, not ones that sets the student up to fail.
  • Career Prospects - What does the student want to do with their performance major? Some schools are better for teaching, while others are better for musical theater and jazz performance.

With our comprehensive list of schools in hand, and the guidance of consultant Steve Lipman, students have a better chance of getting into the school that’s right for them.

The Best Schools for Songwriting Majors

Songwriting careers are not only for future pop stars and stellar recording artists. Songwriting education is an enriching environment for all types of desires, dreams, and levels of determination.

Students who live and breathe songwriting have several options for top schools to attend. The University of Southern California offers a comprehensive songwriting major, while Berklee offers many opportunities to find and develop a songwriter’s particular voice.

Yet there are students who only want to learn songwriting as part of their lives, or to learn more about it for many different careers in the entertainment industry. CalArts has programs perfect for people who want to study songwriting courses, but have another subject in mind for their main concentration.

Whatever the desires of the student, there is a school to study songwriting for every student.


Let’s Talk

The first step on any student’s musical journey is asking questions. After our first conversation, you’ll see the value in embarking on this often complicated process with the right guide on your side.