Composition & Songwriting Program

Our 15-week program focuses on leveraging your unique creative talents so your music can interface with dozens of different sectors in the entertainment industry, regardless of musical genre.

Composers and songwriters come to Nashville from all over the world to pursue their careers. In our program you’ll study with instructors who are veterans in the industry. You’ll record songs at Dark Horse Studios where Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Matchbox Twenty, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Alice In Chains and countless others have recorded their music.

Areas of Focus

  • Music Theory: Rhythm, Harmony, and Melody
  • Song structure
  • Critical listening
  • Lyrical phrasing
  • Rhyme Structures
  • Songwriting strategy
  • Creativity Techniques
  • Constructing full length song
  • Creating a fan base
  • Co-writing
  • Writing for Sync
  • Writer’s Camp: Writing with an artist
  • Pitching your music
  • Marketing techniques

Is a Career in Composition & Songwriting Right for You? Find Out!

This fun, online quiz takes 3 minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for.

The 15-week, 375-hour Composition & Songwriting Program at Dark Horse Institute offers an incredible exploration of the art of songwriting. With an emphasis on writing hit songs, you will learn from the ground up. Classes will work through the concepts of music theory, MIDI production and beat making, song structure, rhyming schemes, writing powerful lyrics, studying hit song writing and production trends, writing and producing sync music for TV/film, and writing for and with other artists.

Throughout the course, there will be multiple real-world projects. Students will write, record, and pitch songs for Sync placement in TV, film, or video games. You will also create a portfolio of songs you’ve written or co-written in class. These demos will be recorded in our amazing studios at Dark Horse Recording and Dark Horse Institute. As a final project, you’ll be doing even more professional work, and writing with an outside artist in a “Writing Camp.” These collaborative writing camps are how many of the hit songs on the radio are created, and you will get the experience of learning to be intentional and universal in your writing.

Whether your ultimate career goal is to be an artist, a songwriter, a producer, or just understand how it all works — the collaboration between Composition & Songwriting, Audio Engineering and Music Business students and our location in Music City provides unparalleled opportunities for networking and industry engagement. We train our songwriters to take advantage of networking via social media and the ever-evolving platforms that will help you get your music the exposure it deserve.

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