Song Writing (5 credits)

Self-Study- Learn about story development, song structure, melody writing, prosody, phrasing, point of view and much more. 5 Credits

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This is a self study class.  This course is taught by Pat Pattison, who teaches song writing at Berkeley School of Music.

Course Description

There’s a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it’s safe to come out. Now it is. This course is an invitation to let your inner songwriter step into the sunlight. All it takes is a simple “yes” and you’ll be climbing that windy hill, marveling at the view.

If you haven’t written any or many songs, this course will show you an efficient, effective process for tailoring songs to express your ideas and emotions. If you have, you’ll look at your process differently, taking control of aspects of the process you may have not noticed.

The course will start by examining the tools available to you, all revolving around the essential concept of prosody. You’ll learn to use your tools to enhance your message—to work compositionally at the same time you’re developing your ideas.

You’ll be working both lyrically and musically, though musically it’s not necessary that you either read music or play an instrument. If you play, great, and you’ll be encouraged to play and record your musical responses to the assignments. The course also offers a number of musical loops to work with. All you’ll have to do is sing your melodies over the loops.

Assignments will ask you to post something for peer review—sometimes lyric lines or sections, sometimes melodies, sometimes both. None of it has to be polished. The course is about writing, not performing. Most important, you’ll have a lot of fun.


Course Objectives:

Learn 3 elements of songwriting 

Apply elements to your own songwriting



  • Define and identify the point of view, form, and the “who, what, where, when, and how” in a song

  • Identify whether a lyric is stable or unstable through the use of line lengths, number of lines, stressed and unstressed syllables, and melody

  • Utilize the various rhyming techniques to evoke specific emotions in a song and define the difference between Assonance and Consonance rhyme

  • Use phrasing to clarify your ideas



This course can be taken in two ways.

1. To earn 5 CMTEs from The Spiegel Academy:

  •  Watch 4 hours of video
  • Assignment-  Summarize the lessons you learn;   Apply the lessons to your own songwriting, share one of your songs, and describe how you applied the new ideas.

2. Or, if you choose, you can have a fuller experience of the course, including peer reviews of your submissions by paying an additional fee of $45.

Here’s What People are Saying: 

“I learned sooo much from this course. 

  •  Make sure your songs are factual and make sense but they don’t have to be the truth.
  •  You can have an opinion about something without it happening to you.” Katie Z.M.

“My favorite part discussed how the placement of the lyrics on varying beats make a significant impact in the audience’s emotional comprehension of the lyric.” Jennifer M.

“Not only did this help me with MY songwriting….it also gave me useful tips to use when working with clients who are writing songs of their own.”  Susan W.

“I liked the format of the website. It gave me the option of choosing those topics that were most important to me for my practice.” Katie Z.


CBMT Domain Area(s):

IIA5a,f,, g,m,n,x, z, aa,ab,ac IIA2a-q


Song Writing is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 5 CMTEs-Continuing Music Therapy Education credits. Deborah Spiegel MT-BC, CBMT Approved Provider #P-106,  maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.

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