AMST 15
Contemporary American Songwriting Winter 2022

Cross-listed MUS 15 / AMST 15

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.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 14
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final performance and a 2- to 3-page paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: at the discretion of the instructor
Unit Notes: Singer/Songwriter Bernice Lewis has been teaching her Winter Study Course on performing and songwriting since 1995. She is also a published poet, a producer, and a sought after coach. She holds an M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Materials/Lab Fee: $35 and cost of books
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
MUS 15 AMST 15

Class Grid

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