Songwriting Sessions in Los Angeles

Los Angeles
Ages 14+
Discover the art of songwriting and production by exploring melody, rhythm, harmony, lyrics, and the latest technology. Learn to use your computer to write and produce new songs. Collaborate with other students and get real-world advice from veteran songwriters, industry professionals, and up-and-coming young writers and producers in Los Angeles. Students will study in the heart of the Los Angeles arts corridor on the campus of the Colburn School.
July 22-July 26
Check-in Time
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT
Coming Soon
Registration fee
$50 (nonrefundable)

How to Enroll

  1. Submit your registration by June 1.* Begin by submitting your registration online. If applicable, you may need to submit additional supporting materials.
  2. Make your tuition payment by June 1.* All programs have limited capacity, so be sure to complete your full tuition payment to reserve your space in the program.

*Please note: This program has limited capacity. Submission of registration materials alone does not guarantee participation in the program. You will secure your spot by paying in full.


Each day, students will participate in three core classes: Writing Workshop, Tools and Techniques, and a visiting artist presentation. As the daily final class, students can elect to attend a collaboration session, faculty office hours, or a group feedback session. 

Students will also choose several electives to attend throughout the program. The following is a list of electives previously offered that will give you a sense of what to expect:

  • Topline Writing
  • Rhyme and Beyond: Playing with Sound in Your Lyrics
  • Generating Inspiration: Finding Ideas for Your Songs
  • Intro to Production
  • Diving Deeper into Harmony
  • Production Prosody: The Hidden Secret in Front of Your Ears
  • Master Class with Courtney Harrell: Performance Workshop
  • Master Class with Adrianne Gonzalez: Songwriting for Film and TV
  • Master Class with Amy Allen: Live Cowriting Session with Eric Leva
  • Master Class with Priscilla Renea: My Journey
  • Master Class with Robert Kraft

Below is a sample of a typical day in the program. 

9 AM–10 AMPractice time
10 AM–11 AMTools and Techniques
11 AM–12 PMWriting Workshop
12 PM–1 PMLunch (provided)
1 PM–2 PMVisiting artist presentation
2 PM–3:30 PMElective
3:30 PM–5 PMWriter camp, producer lab, one-on-one, or feedback session
5 PM–6 PMOpen mic
6 PMEnd of day

Schedule subject to change.

Performance Opportunities

The program culminates in a final showcase of student performances. This performance is not mandatory, and interested students must sign up to confirm their spot.

Students also have the opportunity to perform in open mics in the evenings. 

All performances are open to friends and family.


General Requirements

All students 14 and older with some background in songwriting or production are welcome to attend.

Participants must possess a proficient level of English to enroll in this program. We do not require proof of English language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo) as part of the enrollment or application process; however, you are expected to have a sufficient command of the English language to understand class material and assignments.

Required Materials

A key component of this program is sharing your work as part of the master class experience, interacting with fellow program participants, and receiving feedback from the instructors. Therefore, you are encouraged to bring charts or lead sheets and/or recordings of your songs (via tablet, computer, or another accessible format). If a song’s lyrics are not in English, an English translation will be needed. If you choose to bring a lead sheet, please be aware of the following:

  • A lead sheet can be written on staff paper by hand or notated in a music program such as Finale.
  • The melody is written out on the staff. If you are unable to prepare the melody, notating the chords to the song is helpful.
  • Chords go above the staff. Place them on the beat where they occur. Lyrics, if applicable, go under the staff.
  • Each section of a song (verse, chorus, bridge) needs to be notated only once. Additional lyrics can be written on an attached sheet. If students are unsure of the format of their song, some assistance will be available at the program.

Students should also bring any portable instrument they use to compose music. Pianos will be provided, as well as small MIDI keyboards. If you compose music on a laptop, please bring your computer and any equipment that’s important for your creativity.

With the exception of pianists and drummers, students are expected to bring their instruments to all summer programs. Additionally, please note the following:

  • Contemporary vocalists are required to bring their own low-impedance microphone and cord. You can review microphone recommendations on this page from the Voice Department.
  • Drummers should come prepared with sticks and brushes. While students are welcome to bring their own cymbals, hi-hat, and clutch, these items are also provided during the program.
  • Guitarists and electric bassists should bring any necessary cables and foot pedals. Amplifiers will be supplied during instruction. Consider bringing a small practice amplifier (with headphones) for individual practice rooms.
  • Keyboardists who wish to bring a synthesizer for ensemble purposes or private practice may do so.
  • Electronic Digital Instrumentalists (EDI) must bring a computer with Ableton Live and a MIDI keyboard.
Program-Specific Details

Participants will study on the campus of the Colburn School. This program is conveniently located in L.A.'s downtown arts corridor at 200 South Grand Avenue. Students are encouraged to commute to campus or stay in a local hotel with family.

Students must remain on the Colburn School campus during this program.

Once You've Enrolled

The Berklee Summer Programs Team is excited that you've taken the first step! Now that you've enrolled, here's what to know, to be sure you're prepared before and after you check in for the experience of a lifetime.

What to do first?

Complete These Tasks by June

Prepare to Arrive and Check In

Access the Summer Programs Help Center

Explore some of these top articles from the Summer Programs Help Center.