12 Best Songwriting Courses to Ignite Your Creativity and Unlock Your Melodic Potential

Discover the best songwriting courses for aspiring musicians and lyricists to hone your craft, unlock your creativity, and take your songs to the page.

Whether you’re an aspiring singer-songwriter or an experienced musician looking to sharpen your skills, taking a songwriting course is an excellent way to elevate your craft. As the demand for quality music has grown, so have the options for learning the art and science of songwriting.

To make your search easier, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best songwriting courses, focusing on various factors, such as instructor expertise, course content, price, and student testimonials. These courses are great creative hobbies that will provide valuable insights, techniques, and guidance to transform your songwriting aspirations into reality.

1. Alicia Keys Teaches Songwriting and Producing

Pricing: $15 per month, billed annually
Who It’s For: Beginning songwriters

Alicia Keys Teaches Songwriting and Producing
The course is tailored for novice and experienced musicians, but novices may benefit the most from it. It includes 19 video lessons spanning 3 hours and 22 minutes

Alicia Keys is an exceptionally skilled and versatile artist in the music industry. Her MasterClass, Alicia Keys Teaches Songwriting and Producing, on songwriting and producing is a must-see for anyone wishing to enhance their abilities in these fields. The course is tailored for novice and experienced musicians, but novices may benefit the most from it. It includes 19 video lessons spanning 3 hours and 22 minutes. It covers various subjects such as song structure, chord progressions, melody, lyrics, and production techniques. Keys imparts her innovative process and insights, offering valuable strategies and tips to help students bring out their creativity and produce compelling songs that connect with audiences.

One of the course’s most remarkable aspects is Keys’ teaching method. She is charming, approachable, and genuine, and her enthusiasm for music and songwriting is contagious. She uses a combination of lecture-style presentations, demonstrations, and interactive exercises to keep students engaged and motivated throughout the course. She also includes several anecdotes from her songwriting career that can be inspirational for women songwriters. You might be interested in these articles about art.

Pros
  • Very up close and personal
  • Insight into Keyes’ personal experiences
  • Coverage of production, not just songwriting
Cons
  • Very up close and personal
  • Insight into Keyes’ personal experiences
  • Coverage of production, not just songwriting

2. John Legend Teaches Songwriting

Pricing: $15 per month, billed annually
Who It’s For: Beginning and intermediate songwriters

John Legend Teaches Songwriting
He has written many of the last decade’s most popular and enduring songs

John Legend is a highly acclaimed musician with numerous Grammy awards for outstanding work. He has written many of the last decade’s most popular and enduring songs. In this course, John Legend Teaches Songwriting, he generously shares his creative process and insights, providing students with valuable tips and strategies to help unleash their creativity, resulting in compelling songs that resonate with audiences.

The course consists of 18 video lessons spanning 4 hours and 14 minutes. It covers some technical aspects of songwriting and includes a 42-page downloadable workbook comprising a glossary of music terms and explanations of certain musical concepts discussed in the videos.

Pros
  • Coverage of technical aspects
  • Combination of lectures with demonstrations
  • Excellent downloadable workbook
Cons
  • Might prove challenging for beginners
  • Music editing software needed to take advantage of some lessons
  • Sometimes tries to do too much in a short period of time

3. The Fine Art of Songwriting

Pricing: $197
Who It’s For: Beginning and intermediate songwriters

The Fine Art of Songwriting
The course can help overcome barriers that may have previously hindered your songwriting and provides detailed explanations of techniques that were once inexplicable

The Fine Art of Songwriting is a condensed five-week program created to benefit beginner and intermediate-level musicians and artists. Although the craft of songwriting can take years, or even decades, to develop, this course teaches the fundamentals and beyond in a fraction of that time. The lessons are well-organized, beginning with the necessary mindset for songwriting, then advancing to concrete topics such as song structure, lyric writing, chord selection, melody creation, and more.

The course is comprehensive, including 33 video lessons, and taught by Nashville’s Belmont University professor. It delves deep into songwriting, offering extensive and detailed instruction. While primarily intended for beginners, even experienced writers can benefit greatly from it. The course can help overcome barriers that may have previously hindered your songwriting and provides detailed explanations of techniques that were once inexplicable. Overall, The Fine Art of Songwriting is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their songwriting skills, regardless of their experience level.

Pros
  • Insight into what makes a song resonate with an audience
  • Comprehensive
  • Feels like a professional course for serious songwriters
Cons
  • Heavy focus on commercial songwriting
  • Mainly for guitarists
  • Not very engaging; it can feel like being in a classroom

4. The Basics Of Pro Songwriting

Pricing: $49.99
Who It’s For: Aspiring professional songwriters

The Basics Of Pro Songwriting
What sets this program apart from many similar online courses is its focus on practical skills and common mistakes that songwriters often encounter

The Basics of Pro Songwriting is a comprehensive course by renowned songwriting coach Tom Worth. What sets this program apart from many similar online courses is its focus on practical skills and common mistakes that songwriters often encounter. Worth’s extensive career of teaching over 10,000 students has distilled the core skills and habits that successful songwriters rely on to create hit tracks into this course.

The course concentrates on helping songwriters acquire the skills to craft commercial, “radio-friendly” songs. It comprises 21 online lessons covering various topics, including song structure, melody, lyrics, and production techniques. Worth’s approach is practical and straightforward, providing students with actionable advice and techniques to apply immediately to their songwriting. Overall, “The Basics of Pro Songwriting” is an exceptional resource for anyone aiming to enhance their songwriting skills and advance their career to the next level.

Pros
  • Songwriting coach Tom Worth is very down to earth
  • Content is the same as what he taught his students at university
  • Very precise instruction
Cons
  • Tailored for guitar players
  • Laser-focused on creating “radio” songs
  • Not a lot of focus on the creative process

5. Songwriting Simplified: Music Theory, Melody & Creativity

Pricing: $94.99
Who It’s For: Intermediate songwriters

Songwriting Simplified: Music Theory, Melody & Creativity
It aims to help individuals with a basic understanding of music broaden their songwriting knowledge

Songwriting Simplified is an intermediate-level course devised by professional music coach Steve Glazer. It aims to help individuals with a basic understanding of music broaden their songwriting knowledge. The course encompasses various topics, such as chord progressions, song transpositions, and music theory, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the songwriting process.

One of the primary benefits of Songwriting Simplified is its streamlined, step-by-step approach to teaching songwriting. The course delivers clear and concise instructions on writing songs, facilitating students to apply what they learn to their own songwriting. Along with imparting practical songwriting skills, the course emphasizes building a fundamental knowledge base. This enhances students’ understanding of songwriting, enabling them to produce more intricate and meaningful songs. Overall, Songwriting Simplified is an outstanding resource for intermediate-level songwriters aiming to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Pros
  • By the end of the lesson, you will have written one song
  • Great for beginners
  • Easy to follow along
Cons
  • Won’t help you learn more about reading music
  • Will learn a new system that you can’t use elsewhere
  • 38 downloads can be overwhelming

6. Songwriting Mastery

Pricing: $997
Who It’s For: Professional songwriters

Songwriting Mastery
It also covers music publishing, helping students understand how to monetize their work with smart publishing strategies

Songwriting Mastery Complete Course is one of the most comprehensive songwriting programs available. Created by Full Circle Music, this course provides hundreds of lessons that cover a wide range of topics, including music publishing, music production, and a thorough examination of various songwriting processes. It is among the best resources for musicians seeking to improve their songwriting skills.

The course features 123 online videos and provides step-by-step instructions on music production. It also covers music publishing, helping students understand how to monetize their work with smart publishing strategies. The course was created by Full Circle Music’s team and founder, Seth Mosley, providing students with access to the expertise of some of the top professionals in the music industry. Overall, the Songwriting Mastery’s “Complete Course” is an excellent resource for musicians looking to take their songwriting skills to the next level, with a comprehensive program that covers all aspects of the songwriting process.

Pros
  • Comprehensive
  • Works for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels
  • Covers all aspects of the songwriting business
Cons
  • Cost prohibitive
  • Requires a lot of commitment
  • Heavy focus on the publishing side

7. The New Songwriter’s Workshop

Pricing: $19/month through Shutterfly
Who It’s For: Beginning songwriters

The New Songwriter’s Workshop
After completing the first two sections of the course, Oli claims that students will have the ability to compose a basic song on their own

Oli Rockberger, a skilled pianist and producer, is the creator of The New Songwriter’s Workshop. This online songwriting instruction suite can be accessed through his website. The emphasis on melody in this particular class sets it apart from the other options on this list.

There are a total of nine sections to the course. After completing the first two sections of the course, Oli claims that students will have the ability to compose a basic song on their own. The first component of the course covers the fundamentals of song construction. The sections after that are centered on discovering and developing original melodies. Oli is also introducing various techniques to songwriting, so widening the student’s understanding of the possibilities available is another valuable aspect of this course.

Pros
  • Includes information on a wide range of songwriting subjects 
  • Each new section builds on what was learned in previous sections
  • Affordable for everyone
Cons
  • Tailored for piano players; other instrument players have to adapt
  • Not a lot of information for intermediate and advanced musicians
  • Will likely need to take more courses elsewhere to fully master songwriting

8. How to Write Your First Song

Pricing: $124
Who It’s For: Beginning songwriters

How to Write Your First Song
The course is designed to quickly leapfrog the student into a position where they can write a decent song in only a few short weeks

How to Write Your First Song is an “active” course. This means that it’s constantly being updated with fresh content. It’s a beginner’s course covering the basics, like fundamental music theory, chords, chord progressions, melody, etc. Every week, the course developer adds a new video, which is then analyzed by the students with the instructor’s guidance. The course is designed to quickly leapfrog the student into a position where they can write a decent song in only a few short weeks. If you’re starting out in songwriting or want to know what’s involved in songwriting, this six-week course might be for you.

Pros
  • The course was developed by The University of Sheffield
  • Taught by an actual professional musician
  • Weekly song analysis offered
Cons
  • Excessive use of case studies
  • Live content model and frequent updates can make it feel like you’re never able to finish the course
  • Geared toward students who know nothing to little about music and songwriting

9. Songwriting: From Idea to Finished Song

Pricing: $24.99
Who It’s For: Beginning songwriters

Songwriting: From Idea to Finished Song
He has laid out the course well from start to finish, beginning with the basics of song construction and ending with working out the lyrics

Songwriting: From Idea to Finished Song is taught by Ben Cooper, a professional songwriter in Nashville, TN. His goal is to teach anyone interested in songwriting techniques so they can write their own songs. He has laid out the course well from start to finish, beginning with the basics of song construction and ending with working out the lyrics.

The course is offered on Udemy and consists of on-demand videos. Ben’s pleasant nature makes the videos a joy to watch. All in all, there are 35 videos, which total a little over two hours and are divided into six sections. Ben plays guitar, so most of the videos are centered around that instrument. He covers topics such as developing a catchy title, getting unstuck when the ideas stop flowing, and rhyming techniques.

Pros
  • The instructor has a natural, friendly style of teaching that puts the student at ease
  • The videos are all less than 10 minutes, making it easy to fit the lessons into a busy schedule
  • The instructor is a full-time, working songwriter
Cons
  • Not much here for moderate to advanced songwriters
  • Very little attention to songwriting on the piano
  • Half an hour is dedicated to learning an instrument, not songwriting

10. St. Vincent Teaches Creativity and Songwriting

Pricing: $15 per month, billed annually
Who It’s For: Aspiring professional songwriters

St. Vincent Teaches Creativity and Songwriting
St. Vincent Teaches Creativity and Songwriting and helps budding songwriters get the songs in their heads onto paper

St. Vincent, a multiple Grammy-winning songwriting artist, teaches this course. She has a massive following and an eclectic sound. But surprisingly, she has a surprisingly down-to-earth and relatable teaching style that almost everyone will be able to relate to. She takes what seems like a complicated process and breaks it down in a simplistic way that is very easy to understand. St. Vincent Teaches Creativity and Songwriting and helps budding songwriters get the songs in their heads onto paper.

The course is divided into 16 video lessons that add up to two hours and 18 minutes of screen time. St. Vincent uses one of her own hit songs to demonstrate chord progression, the rewriting process, and putting it all together in the studio. The course is offered through MasterClass, a venerable online course platform.

Pros
  • Great behind-the-scenes look at how a hit song is made
  • The instructor is very relatable and easy to understand
  • Videos can be a very inspiring with cutouts from stage performances
Cons
  • Not a technical class; the focus is definitely on the creative process
  • Assumes a basic understanding of music theory
  • Leans toward a specific style of music that not everyone will enjoy

11. How to Write Lyrics

Pricing: $37
Who It’s For: Beginner, intermediate, and professional songwriters

How to Write Lyrics
This course offers everything a lyricist needs to know

How to Write Lyrics is offered through The Song Foundry, a platform for amateurs and professionals in the songwriting industry. Touted as “the last lyric writing course you’ll ever need,” it could also be considered the first lyric writing course you should take. This comprehensive course has at least 5-1/2 hours of video, divided into seven modules, plus an intro and outro.

Students will learn things like the hallmarks of a great song, key lyric writing strategies, how to write lyric hooks, rhyming schemes, the principles of prosody, the breakdown of singable vowels and consonants, and advanced techniques. In short, this course offers everything a lyricist needs to know. It also includes a 32-page, downloadable course pack filled with new and supplemental information. The instructor is Ed Bell, a well-known and popular songwriting educator. There is also a bonus module at the end that breaks down the lyrics of a popular song. The bonus module alone is an hour and 18 minutes long.

Pros
  • Little is missing from this course; its comprehensive
  • The instructor is a proven expert and an excellent teacher
  • Teaches things that other songwriting courses miss
Cons
  • So extensive that it may be overwhelming for some
  • Lengths of the videos make it challenging to work into a busy schedule
  • Requires a big-time commitment

12. How to Write a Song

Pricing: $37
Who It’s For: Beginning and advanced songwriters

How to Write a Song
This course will help you better understand the songwriting process and enable you to write your songs.

The How to Write a Song course from the Song Foundry comprises 12 full hours of videos broken down into ten modules and an introduction and conclusion. Also included is a five-minute bonus module reviewing how an actual song was written. A 34-page downloadable course pack provides supplemental information and some information that needs to be added to the videos.

This is a very powerful songwriting course that is surprisingly easy to follow. No matter your preferred genre, this course will help you better understand the songwriting process and enable you to write your songs. It covers what makes a great song idea, choosing a title with a hook, writing the chorus, choosing the best tempo, key and time signatures, writing chord progressions, writing verses, melodies, adding a bridge, and much more. After completing this course, you will have the skills and confidence to write your own songs and share them with others personally or professionally

Pros
  • Taught by Ed Bell, an accomplished songwriter, and educator in his own right
  • Very well-organized, with each new module building on what’s been learned in previous modules
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Material moves along quickly, so it might be necessary to review prior lessons to absorb it better
  • Prior knowledge of playing piano or guitar is necessary
  • Knowing Garage Band or similar software is needed

Selection Criteria

The songwriting courses on this list were chosen based on the professional background of the instructors, the diversity of material covered, and the range of student levels the courses are designed for.

Why You Can Trust Me

As a pianist, I have personally been involved with songwriting, both personally and in a professional capacity, for several working bands. I’ve experienced the frustration of coming up with music and lyrics. I can attest that these courses will help budding or experienced songwriters improve their songwriting skills. Loved this? Check out our round-up of the best MasterClass writing courses! You’ll may enjoy the John Legend Masterclass also.

Author

  • Meet Rachael, the editor at Become a Writer Today. With years of experience in the field, she is passionate about language and dedicated to producing high-quality content that engages and informs readers. When she's not editing or writing, you can find her exploring the great outdoors, finding inspiration for her next project.