AMST 15
Contemporary American Songwriting Winter 2019

Cross-listed MUS 15 / AMST 15
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course will focus on learning how to write and perform songs in classical contemporary style. Song styles that will be addressed include pop, rock, blues, country, folk and jazz. Topics addressed will include the evolution of song structure, how to create a lyric that communicates, vocal and instrument presentation, recording and performing techniques, publicity for events, and today’s music industry. This class will culminate in a public performance of material written during the course. To successfully pass this course, students are required to create, edit, perform and possibly record two original songs in one of the above mentioned genres. These songs must be conceived during the course period (previously written material is not usable.) Students will be guided to create both music and lyrics. They may also be required to participate in a co-write session. One of these songs will be presented during the final performance, preferably by the student. Attendance at classes, feedback sessions, and final presentation is mandatory. Please note: this class meets every day. A short writing assignment will be passed in on the last day of class. Adjunct Instructor Bio: Bernice Lewis is the Artist Associate in Songwriting at Williams College. She is an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer and educator and has been a national touring artist for over thirty years She has performed at the Kerrville Folk Festival, PBS’s Mountain Stage, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In 2009, she was chosen by the National Park Service to be an Artist in Residence. She has released seven recordings of original songs.
The Class: Format: mornings
Limit: 14
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final performance and a 2- to 3-page paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: students with a musical background and the ability to play and instrument may be given preference, but anyone interested is encouraged to register
Materials/Lab Fee: cost of books
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MUS 15 AMST 15
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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