HOW TO WRITE SONGS | The Songwriting Process Start to Finish
What you'll learn
- Two completely different methods for writing songs: starting from lyrics, and starting from melody.
- Professional tools and practical exercises for developing and finishing your songs, every time.
- How to make great chord choices, create magical melodies and write memorable lyrics.
- How to create compelling narratives that tell your story and captivate your listeners.
- How to create a meaningful relationship between your lyrics and music.
- Detailed breakdown of the two most common song forms.
- No prior songwriting experience needed!
- An initial song idea, or unfinished songs you want to finish.
- The ability to play basic chords on the guitar or piano (or the willingness to learn).
- Or familiarity with a DAW to create chord-based tracks.
- The burning desire to write some songs!
- A good sense of humor, and the willingness to try.
- This course is not for people who believe that you either ‘have it’ or you don’t. It is for people who understand that you can get better at anything, if you have the right tools, and are willing to practice.
Songwriting is like anything else: YOU CAN GET BETTER AT IT - with deliberate practice, practical tools and repeatable methods.
Got great ideas, but don’t know how to turn them into songs?
Bingeing YouTube videos on songwriting, but wish there was a step-by-step guide to follow?
Struggling to bring music and lyrics together?
Want to create beautiful melodies and interesting chord progressions?
Want to write your BEST lyrics and express your ideas with clarity and conviction?
This course has got you covered!
Even if you've never written a song before, this course is all about revealing to you the step-by-step methods that professional songwriters use to write a complete song, every time.
Your teachers, Keppie Coutts and Ben Romalis, are both professional artist and songwriters who have collectively over 40 years of experience writing, performing and teaching at Universities and Colleges around the world.
No matter where you start a song idea—with lyrics or music first—there is a step-by-step process you can follow to turn it into a finished song.
This songwriting course is radically practical!
Our singular aim with this course is to show you how to take your initial inspiration and turn it into a finished song - every time.
We take you step by step through not one—but two!—different songwriting processes:
starting with lyrics first, and
starting with music first
At every point along the way, we reveal the thought processes and creative decisions essential to the songwriting process, demonstrate how to do it, and how to fill your tool belt with techniques, methods, strategies, and processes that you can apply to your songwriting every time.
By the end of this course, not only will your tool belt be stocked; you’ll have a plan and a method for finishing your songs - all of them.
Why Take This Course?
Structured to take you deep inside not one, but two, different songwriting processes, in a methodical, comprehensive, and step-by-step way.
Designed and created by two professional songwriters with diverse careers across multiple genres, not just pop and country - we write for major enterprises and organisations, cable TV, international publishing companies, video games, musical theatre, and more.
Your teachers are both professional educators in Higher Education, with over a decade’s experience in world-class course design and delivery.
Your teachers teach at world class contemporary songwriting institutions.
Demonstrates through example, and always extracts the tools, techniques, and methods that can be applied to any songwriting process.
Addresses head-on the most common question people have: lyrics first or melody first?
Gives you a behind-the-scenes breakdown of the songwriting process, from the actual creators of the songs.
Carefully curated playlists of over 50 song examples that demonstrate key concepts.
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).
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.
“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
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.
Kind Words From Students
“Keppie and Ben offer invaluable insights into the construction of melodies, each contributing their own unique observations. I experienced many 'light bulb' moments...I highly recommend this to anyone interested in furthering their songwriting and expanding their musical palette.” —Stephen Varhegyi
“I thought I had song mapping down packed, but Keppie showed me ways to take further steps to get even clearer about the direction the lyrics can go. Keppie really shed light on verse development and I’ll be applying this to my songs in progress to finally finish them!” —Chevy van Dorssen
“Keppie has the ability to seamlessly combine solid musical theory with a practicality that would suit any songwriter. A unique opportunity to work with a highly polished professional.” —Mark L.
“Keppie's teaching style is fantastic - no frills, cuts straight to the point, enough practice time, and loads of fantastic examples.” —Chris
“I have a whole new songwriting toolkit to bring out the emotion in my songs and help with the creative process. Ben and Keppie were both incredibly knowledgeable and really down to earth. Thanks so much :)” —Melissa M.
“I have been able to apply what I have learnt straight away!!” —Jessie Che
Who this course is for:
- People looking for a structured, comprehensive, step-by-step guide, instead of random YouTube videos.
- People who have a song idea but don't know where to start.
- People with lots of half-written (and unfinished!) songs.
- People who want to learn from working songwriters who are also expert teachers.
- Band members and instrumentalists who have always wanted to write songs, but are not quite sure how.
- Songwriters of any level looking for new exercises, techniques, and processes to freshen up their practice.
- Musicians who are keen to develop their songwriting skills.
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.