Day in the Life of a Songwriting Student | Freya Everest

We learn about  a typical day for students on our MA in Songwriting...


Student life for those on our MA in Songwriting course can be a busy one with different tasks, lectures and deadlines to prioritise. 

That doesn't take into account the time spent outside of lessons studying, learning and practising - or the equally valuable time spent socialising, forging connections and watching/listening to music too. 

To give you some insight into life as an ICMP student, we'll be running a series of blogs exploring typical days for students on an array of courses.

For our first, we caught up with MA Songwriting alumna Freya Everest to hear how she approached the programme, the various modules she explored and what a day at ICMP was like...

Could you talk about your typical day on the Songwriting MA? At least when you're on the campus?

A typical day on the Songwriting MA usually involved a class in the morning with a break around lunch and then another class in the afternoon.

This varied between terms, but one would usually be a seminar with a focus on theory and the other would be a workshop where we shared what song we have been working on for that week's brief. 

How much time would you spend in classes? How much time at ICMP itself? 

So it was usually between four and six hours of contact time, split over two classes, either on a Tuesday or Thursday.

The timetable would change a little each terms and some modules had less contact hours.

Mostly, you will spend your time responding to songwriting briefs independently at home - however, there is always the option to utilise ICMP's rehearsal and recording spaces throughout the week too."

How would you get to ICMP itself?

Getting to ICMP has always been a bit tricky for me because I live in an area with poor transport links.

I take a National Rail train to Highbury and Islington and then catch the Overground to Brondesbury. 

What modules did you take as part of the course? 

So on the MA Songwriting I had five set modules (you can read the Programme Specification here):

  • Creative Purpose and Process in Songwriting - focused on the songwriting process
  • Songcraft: Musical & Sonic Imagination - focused on theory and production
  • Songcraft: Lyric & Architecture - looked at lyric technique and song structures
  • Established & Progressive Songwriting Industries (EAPSI) - looked at professional applications of a songwriting practice
  • Research and Repertoire Project (RRP) - for the final module we were open to explore a chosen area of research

I found the Musical and Sonic Imagination module the most enjoyable and picked up some really useful production hacks that I now use all the time. The lyrics module was the most challenging for me, since lyric writing has been a weaker area of my practice.

The difficulties I faced during this really pushed me to develop my writing and a lot of what I learned has eventually seeped it's way into my practice, which has been exciting to watch unfold."

The final module (RRP) provided fruitful academic and songwriting exploration. Here I could collect everything I had discovered across the other modules and direct my learnings towards an area of research I am passionate about. With a background in fine art, I chose to study a relationship between visual arts and song - particularly, how the two disciplines interact and compliment each other, as well as using art to stimulate song material. 

Overall, witnessing my growth as a writer on the MA course has been a very satisfying and motivating experience. 

How do you balance time between study and social life while onsite? And what would you do in any down time?

Often a group of course mates would get lunch together if we had time between classes. Our favourite spots were Chao Chao and Meaty Buns on Kilburn High Road. In the afternoon a group of us would usually head to the North London Tavern and catch up over a pint (or two) of Guiness. Brondes Age was also a great place to go and unwind after a day of studying. 

Effective time management must come into your day - how did you approach this? Any apps/tools? 

I made sure to sync my Celcat timetable with my Apple calendar so my classes automatically updated on my phone.

I did the same with my student email, which meant I could access communication from my tutors easily and stay on top of important messages. Sometimes I used reminders on my phone to keep track of any tasks I had to do. Getting familiar with Canva early on really helped too. This was the platform my tutors used to assign work and upload important resources - keeping an eye on that meant I could stay up to date with coursework. Bookmarking important links on my Google account also helped and meant I could find things quickly. 

Connect with Freya below:

Instagram | Soundcloud 

Write songs that last for generations

A great song can become truly timeless, remembered for generations as part of the world’s cultural legacy. Whether you want to craft a killer melody or pen poetic lyrics, our tutors will teach you everything you want to know, including all the production, performance, professional and entrepreneurial skills needed to ensure that your unique creations get the recognition they deserve. You’ll also benefit from A&R-style critique sessions, collaborative opportunities, access to fully equipped live rooms, recording studios and tech suites, and a community of inspiring contacts and friends.

To catapult your songwriting and music career to a whole new level, email our friendly Admissions Team at or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Songwriting courses
by ICMP staff writer
September 13, 2023
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