MTEC 88A: SONGWRITING I
Foothill College Course Outline of Record
|Effective Term:||Summer 2021|
|Hours:||3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)|
|Advisory:||Not open to students with credit in MUS 58A.|
|Degree & Credit Status:||Degree-Applicable Credit Course|
|Grade Type:||Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)|
The student will be able to:
A. Compare modern basic songwriting styles
B. Write at least partial original songs with lyrics and/or melody
C. Evaluate songs in a collaborative writing atmosphere
A. Basics of songwriting
1. The importance of being prolific
2. How the creative process starts
3. The importance of experience
B. Practical matters
1. Finding the time
2. A place to create
3. Recording the sketch of a song
4. Recycling partial songs
5. The skill of observation
C. Basic songwriting techniques
1. Creating titles
2. Opening lines and songwriting "hammers"
3. First verse technique
4. Second verse technique
5. Creating a song outline
6. Working backwards in songwriting
7. Taking a cinematic approach
8. Whether to write lyrics or melody first
9. The definition of "furniture" in songwriting
10. The importance of vocabulary
11. Basic rhyming schemes
12. Idea collection
13. The use of cliches
Laboratory activities are provided for students to practice and apply their knowledge of songwriting demonstrating their understanding of the subject. To accomplish this the student is required to compose at minimum partial song on a weekly basis. These partial songs are then evaluated, commented on and given credit for by the instructor.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment
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.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
1. On-going access to computer with email software and capabilities.
2. Email address.
Method(s) of Evaluation
Weekly songwriting assignments
Online participation in forums
Method(s) of Instruction
When taught via Foothill Global Access: supplemental lectures, and assignments are delivered via email. Feedback is delivered via email. Class discussion takes place in online forums and chat rooms
Representative Text(s) and Other Materials
Pattison, Pat. Writing Better Lyrics. 2010.
Zollo, Paul. Songwriters On Songwriting. 2003.
Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments
A. Reading assignments include lessons created by the instructor and available via Etudes
B. Writing assignments include but not limited to:
1. Writing a song or partial song from a second and third person perspective
2. Writing a song or partial song based on the observation of strangers
3. Writing a song or partial song using three chords or less