The MA Songwriting course is a practice-based, industry-led programme placing your development as a songwriter in a critical and contextual setting. Working in a peer community, with teaching support from some of the world’s most esteemed songwriting practitioners and academics, you’ll explore and refine your creative output, considering artist, commercial and intellectual goals and outcomes.
Exploring the art and craft of contemporary songwriting, you’ll create at least one song each week, often using digital resources such as DAWs and writing music to track using a laptop. As you experiment extensively to establish your sonic identity, you’ll delve into the detailed nuances of lyric writing, and discuss melodic shape and structure, and harmonic relationships and language.
As an ICMP Songwriting masters student, you’ll form part of a small but close-knit team, immediately becoming part of the strong, diverse and inclusive ICMP songwriting community. Your fellow ICMP students will become your musical collaborators and you’ll regularly engage in small-group ‘A&R-style’ feedback and critical discussion sessions as you constructively critique each other’s works in progress.
You’ll network within the music industry regularly thanks to our MA-specific extra-curricular programme of guest speakers from the worlds of songwriting and academia, plus monthly performance opportunities at our celebrated London songwriting industry event – Songwriters’ Circle. ICMP is also proud to run the exclusive UK chapter of the legendary Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) – a group with direct links to one of Nashville’s most celebrated songwriting venues: the Bluebird Café – meaning you’ll have the chance to attend events organised by the London chapter.
Across this popular one-year advanced course, you’ll complete modules which focus on creative exploration, technical songwriting exercises, musicology and creative voice. The insight you gain from this rigorous period of creativity and craft will help you successfully tackle the highlight of the MA Songwriting programme – a unique master’s project which sees the creation of a new major songwriting repertoire work (typically a debut album).
The subject matter of your project is directed by you, and you’ll be allocated a hand-picked supervisor from either the ICMP Songwriting faculty or the wider UK songwriting community to offer regular one-to-one support and guide you on your project journey. This inspirational, highly creative and personalised module provides the structure and support you need to produce the career-defining body of work you’ve always envisioned. Not only will you embrace business skills to help you in the future – like completing grant funding applications and business plan development – but your artistic output could potentially be a substantial creative turning point in your career.
As a Masters in Songwriting graduate, you’ll leave ICMP with the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections required to succeed in whichever direction your songwriting takes you. You’ll graduate with a creative statement of intent – knowing what type of songwriter you want to be – as well as an impressive body of creative work to showcase as you progress your lifelong career in songwriting.
Student support for postgraduate music masters courses is available to students studying at ICMP.
Eligible students on designated postgraduate courses at ICMP will be able to access the postgraduate Master's loan in the same way, and at the same value, as they could at a publicly funded provider. Individuals will be able to borrow up to £11,222. If you opt to study part-time, your loan would be split into two instalments over the two years of study.
Successful completion of the MA Songwriting course leads to the award of a Masters Degree by The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.
Following the granting of Degree Awarding Powers, our programmes are going through a rigorous quality approval process to transfer responsibility for the award to ICMP. Applicants registering onto a programme from September 2022, on successful completion, will receive their award from ICMP.
- Enhance your creativity and confidence as a songwriter and academic, and realise your unique sonic identity.
- Focus on creative exploration, technical songwriting exercises, musicology and creative voice – from artist, commercial and intellectual viewpoints.
- Study with support and guidance from groundbreaking songwriters and producers – all active in today’s modern music business.
- Gain the knowledge, understanding and business skills for a successful lifelong songwriting career.
- Graduate with a significant body of creative songwriting work thanks to the Research and Repertoire Project module, which spans artistic, academic and business study areas.
- Connect with the wider London music industry to showcase your songwriting at top events, like ICMP’s Songwriters’ Circle.
- Build an impressive global music scene network and engage in international collaboration opportunities.
- Study as a one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme, with dedicated learning groups for both study options.
- A high level of contact teaching hours, delivered in small groups in world-class facilities.
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