HOW TO WRITE SONGS | Songwriting: Collaboration & Co-Writing
What you'll learn
- How a real co-writing session works through a live songwriting demonstration
- How to properly prepare for a co-writing session
- How to generate new song ideas and bring them to life
- How to access networks of artists, musicians, and songwriters to collaborate with
- How to build confidence and develop valuable skills specific to creative collaboration
- Practical steps to take during and after a co-writing session
- Industry standard protocols for file sharing and demo recording
- No experience or skills required - just an open-minded approach to creative collaboration.
Open up a world of creative possibilities and build professional skills & networks through co-writing and collaboration.
For many songwriters, musicians, and artists, co-writing with others provides some of the most exciting and rewarding moments of their creative lives. Connecting with others through collaboration opens up doors and opportunities that you may never have considered possible.
This course has been designed to take you step-by-step through the co-writing process, in three main sections:
PREPARATION - we give you a checklist of things to do before you get into the room with another writer or musician. This checklist will build your confidence and maximise your chances of success when you start writing—you will learn what kinds of ideas to bring, in what form, as well as what not to bring to a co-write.
PROCESS - we take you behind the scenes and show you a live-demonstration of our co-writing methods, guiding you through the songwriting process whilst also noting things to avoid and common pitfalls.
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE - we provide industry-standard protocols that will help you continue your collaborations beyond the first session - we show you how to establish a reputation for being easy to work with and well-organised, two important traits that will attract collaborators.
Drawing on more than 20 years' experience, we show you the ins and outs of co-writing and professional collaboration - how it differs from writing alone and how you can start to build skills and relationships in the music world and beyond.
We also answer some of the most commonly asked questions:
What should I look for in a co-writer?
How and where do I find people to collaborate with?
How do you best structure a session?
How do you deal with anxiety and feelings of not being good enough?
Is there a formula for writing a song?
Your Teachers - Industry Experts
Keppie and Benny are working professional songwriters, and both teach contemporary songwriting in some of the world’s most renowned colleges and universities. They are also the founders of the popular ‘How to Write Songs’ YouTube Channel, with a hell-bent mission to help people become better songwriters.
Keppie has taught songwriting at the Berklee College of Music, for Berklee Online, the Australian College of the Arts, the Open Academy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, as well as at the Songwriting School of Los Angeles. Ben has taught for the JMC Academy and the Australian Institute of Music.
As working songwriters, Keppie has written and co-written songs that have had over 10 million streams in the past 2 years with bands and artists as diverse as ARIA-nominated Twelve Foot Ninja (heavy metal) and Universal Music songwriter Skye. Keppie’s songs appear in major network television shows, and most recently, Keppie was commissioned by Penguin Random House to write one of the first full albums of original work to appear in a major audiobook release (Mothertongues, 2022)—many of the songs were co-written with the authors.
Keppie’s “voice is beautiful, just gorgeous. She’s like a contemporary female Nick Drake…and her guitar playing is so beautiful, so raw…” —John Mayer
“Coutts’ songs marry soul and folk so gorgeously, you’ll cheer when they get stuck on endless repeat on the jukebox in your brain.” —The Boston Globe
Ben Romalis has composed music for large companies such as Adobe and Cathay Pacific, and also composes music for games, televisions and advertising. As a songwriter, he is a founding member of the internationally touring alt-country band, The Green Mohair Suits, which has released 4 studio albums to date. Ben is the founder and head producer at Silamor Studios, a boutique studio specializing in video and audio production, as well as out-of-the-box creative collaborations.
Ben lectures across a range of subjects including Songwriting, Production and Composition for Screen. He has vast experience designing and delivering workshops on creativity and innovation, as well as mentoring and coaching other industry professionals to help them realise their potential.
“Green Mohair Suits make music for pleasure. Our pleasure. If you don’t find yourself smiling, tapping or joining in on one of those harmonies, you’re leading a very sad life.” —Sydney Morning Herald
By becoming effective and skilled at co-writing and collaboration, we have had the privilege of building careers that include:
Composing and writing for artists under a publishing contract
Composing in film, television, and video games
Working with visual creatives on multimedia artworks
Working with programmers and digital specialists to create immersive virtual reality worlds
Writing for bands in different styles and genres
Collaborating with audiobook and podcast producers
KIND WORDS FROM STUDENTS OF 'THE SONGWRITING PROCESS START TO FINISH'
I love these guys. Such a great inspiration, sharing their experience in songwriting. All useful tools, and their songs are amazing. I can't wait to put it into practice. —Antonio M.
This is such an excellent course from two super experienced songwriters. Perfect for those who aren't quite sure where to start. Keppie & Benny provide you with the tools to get you through the entire songwriting process. —Danielle.
Thank you very much for this high quality songwriting course! Clearly explained, nice presentation, very easy to understand and to apply. —Richard C.
Keppie and Benny walk you through the process of songwriting step by step and it's wonderful. They are consummate songwriters and this course provides intriguing insights into their processes and shows you a bunch of universally applicable pathways for finishing your songs. :) Thank you ! —Quentin B.
As a songwriter this is extremely helpful as I am able to develop new ways of approaching a song and cultivating a good set of skills to help me move forward. —Natasha C.
Who this course is for:
- Songwriters who want to know how co-writing is different from solo writing
- Songwriters who want to collaborate but don't know where to start
- Songwriters who want guidance on the best practices for preparing for a co-writing session
- Songwriters who want to co-write, but think they may not be skilled or experienced enough
- Songwriters seeking guidance on how to structure a co-writing session
- Musicians who are looking to connect with other artists
- People who want to learn from professional songwriters who are also expert teachers
We are Keppie Coutts and Ben Romalis, two professional songwriters, performing artists and teachers with over 40 years of collective experience in the music industry.
We have studied and taught at some of the best contemporary music colleges in the world including Berklee College of Music, Sydney Conservatorium, the Australian College of the Arts, the Australian Institute of Music, the LA School of Songwriting and JMC Academy.
Our goal is to help people write better songs! Our belief, having worked with thousands of songwriters (many going on to find careers and success in music), is that your songwriting, like all things, can get better with meaningful and deliberate practice. Our intention is to share the skills, knowledge and ideas that we've had the privilege of gathering with others who embrace the art and craft of songwriting.