COURSE OVERVIEW

The Masters in 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 and support from current industry songwriting practitioners and academics, you’ll explore and refine your creative output and goals, considering artist, commercial and intellectual outcomes.

Students complete a series of modules which focus on creative exploration, technical songwriting exercises, musicology and creative voice, before undertaking a final Masters project, choosing either the creation of a new major repertoire work (typically a debut album) or a dissertation in the area of songwriting.

ICMP's Songwriting masters classes explore the art and craft of contemporary songwriting, with students writing at least one song every week. You’ll collaborate with other ICMP students and will engage in small group ‘A&R-style’ feedback and critical discussion with your professional songwriting tutors and talented peers, regularly critiquing each other’s works-in-progress across the course of the year.

The highlight of the Masters in Songwriting course is the final module. Students get to choose between Major Repertoire or Dissertation projects, which allow students to progress specific songwriting interests in a distinctly personalised manner. The Major Repertoire Project allows you to develop a large-scale piece of repertoire work, which is typically a debut album. You’ll be allocated an expert, individual supervisor/A&R to help guide your project with regular one-to-one support. This mentor will be hand-picked to suit your project from either within the ICMP Songwriting faculty or outside in the wider UK songwriting industry.

Songwriting masters students form a small but close-knit team, and you’ll immediately become part of the strong, diverse and inclusive community around the whole ICMP Songwriting department. As a special exclusive benefit, every ICMP MA Songwriting student receives a free yearly membership to the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) which includes regular industry news and advice, attendance at songwriting networking events throughout the year, legal advice, insurance and more.

As an MA Songwriting student, you’ll regularly network within the music industry thanks to monthly performance opportunities at our London songwriting industry event – Songwriters’ Circle and MA-specific guest speakers from the worlds of songwriting and academia. You’ll also get the chance to attend occasions organised by the London chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), which is run out of ICMP – a group with exclusive links to one of Nashville’s most celebrated songwriting venues: the Bluebird Café.

Our masters degree in music students also undertake a large proportion of their classes on location at London’s Tileyard Studios (semesters A & B) – ICMP’s exclusive industry partner and home to the UK’s largest professional music community – with special use of the writing rooms at the complex and invitations to all their collaborative and networking events. 

As a graduate of the Masters in Songwriting course, you’ll leave ICMP London school of music with the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections required to succeed in whichever direction your songwriting path takes you, whether that’s within the worlds of the music business, the songwriting industry, education, academia or beyond.

Financial Support

Student support for postgraduate music masters courses is available to students studying at ICMP from the academic year 2018-19.

Eligible students on designated masters courses at ICMP will be able to access the postgraduate Masters 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 £10,000. Courses at ICMP are designated each year by the Department for Education. Click here for more information.

EU Students, applying to start their course in either 2018 or 2019, will continue to be eligible for both home fee status and have access to student finance. This entitlement will remain in place for the duration of the course. Read more

Full Fees Information | Full Programme Specification 

 

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Successful completion of the programme Masters in Songwriting at ICMP  Music College leads to the award of MA by the University of East London.

Key facts

  • A personalised learning experience which equips you with the knowledge, understanding and skills for successful employment in the music industry.
  • Enhances your creativity and confidence as a songwriter and academic.
  • High-quality teaching by groundbreaking songwriters and producers who are all still active and successful in today’s modern music business.
  • Major Repertoire Project and Dissertation optional modules allow for choice between advanced songwriting and rigorous scholarship routes.
  • Focuses on realising your unique identity as a songwriter.
  • Offered as one year full-time or two years part-time study.
  • The London location provides opportunities to showcase your songwriting at top London events, such as Songwriters’ Circle, while immersing yourself in the global music scene.
  • A high level of contact teaching hours, delivered in small groups in world-class facilities.
  • Connection with Tileyard Studios and wider music industry enables you to build impressive songwriting network.
  • Opportunities for international collaboration and engagement make for a truly international postgraduate course.

COURSE DETAILS

Creative Process (30 credits)

Songwriting Musicology (30 credits)

Musical Language in Songwriting (30 credits)

The Writer’s Voice (30 credits)

Optional 60 Credit Modules:

For a songwriter, identifying the conditions that encourage your best work is crucial. In this module, you’ll learn how to examine and evaluate your creative process and will determine ways in which to further develop your songwriting. Through research, discussion and self-directed writing exercises, you’ll explore subjects such as idea generation and organisation, song drafting and development, and explorative writing techniques.
This module will provide context for your own songwriting practice with analysis of popular musicology perspectives, reflecting upon the societal role and cultural identity of the songwriter. Your viewpoints will be broadened through the study of songwriting ideology and criticism, and with guidance you’ll develop skills in forming and expressing critical arguments, particularly through essay writing and debate.
To be a successful songwriter, you need a versatile toolbox of musical techniques and the confidence to fittingly apply them in a wide range of contexts. This module will equip you with those skills, helping you to develop a deeper musical proficiency, greater understanding of approaches and a clearer standpoint when selecting appropriate methodologies. You’ll cover subjects including song analysis, alternative approaches to fulfilling ideas, and musical meaning and ideology.
Your writer’s voice is key to defining your identity as a songwriter. This module is designed to help you develop and refine this unique voice, through a detailed exploration of the discipline of lyric writing. With support, you’ll partake in discussion seminars and practical workshops, evaluate a variety of creative approaches for their influence upon lyrical content and apply your learning to your own lyric writing. This empirical approach will support you in achieving professional expertise in your writing.
*Students will choose one of the optional 60 credit modules:

Major Repertoire Project* (60 credits)

This module provides an opportunity to create a major new songwriting project, during which you’ll receive individual supervision by a dedicated tutor. Your project will typically take the shape of an artist album, song cycle, comprehensive collaboration or a similar body of work. You’ll apply your skills in planning, creating and evaluating material for your project, while also developing a delivery strategy for the particular context of your project. The Major Repertoire Project is designed for those wishing to pursue a career as a professional songwriter and/or performing songwriter.

Dissertation* (60 credits)

The Dissertation is a perfect option for the songwriter who wishes to develop an extended research project. This investigatory module may lead you towards consideration of one or more of the complex contexts, histories, themes or technical aspects of songwriting. You’ll produce a research proposal, detailed research plan and a final extended written work, supervised by a dedicated tutor with specialist knowledge of your area of research. The Dissertation is designed for those wishing to pursue further study at Doctoral level and/or a career in academia or as a songwriter.

TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT

You will be taught utilising our live rooms, tech suites and in-house music studio facilities as well as classrooms and lecture rooms. You will have access to use these facilities outside of class time while you are a student at ICMP in order to rehearse and record your music.

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group tutorials, performance workshops, music technology workshops tutorials and one to one instrumental tuition.

You will have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice concerning welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding etc. You'll also have access to our Professional Development team ‘The Hub, who provide bespoke music industry careers advice and access to unique industry opportunities.

As a student of UEL you will also enjoy access to a range of UEL facilities, including the 24/7 multimedia libraries, with over 300,000 books, journals, audio-visual resources and archives, 500 electronic books and 25,000 electronic journals and databases.

Teaching and Learning

On the MA Songwriting programme you will be taught by lecture, seminar discussion, and practical workshops as appropriate.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, concert venues, rehearsal facilities and preparing coursework assignments.Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including our Learning Resource Centre, our many performance and practice rooms, and well-equipped tech suites.
Throughout the duration of your course your time will be split as follows:

Teaching, Learning and Assessment hours per year: 336 hours

Self-study hours per year: 1464 hours

Assessment

All modules are individually assessed through a variety of means, including: performances, recording portfolios, practical exams, paper exams, presentations, essays, reflective commentaries, workbooks and projects.
The assessment breakdown of this programme is:

50% Coursework

50% Practical

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Applicants will normally have a good Honours degree (upper second or first) or equivalent, or comparable professional or research experience.

ICMP London school of music also welcomes applications from established practitioners who are keen to undertake study at the postgraduate level but may not possess the required qualifications. These students may be given credit for their prior study or experience.

International: English language requirement – minimum level B2 of the CEFR – for more information visit this website.

When completing an application for the Masters in Songwriting course, please use the upload function to provide copies of the following:

  • A personal reference (ideally from an undergraduate institution where appropriate)
  • A personal statement

Additionally, you’ll be asked to complete an audition/interview. Further documentation or evidence in support of your application may be required in certain cases.

HOW TO APPLY

 Please apply via  the "APPLY NOW" link  below.

At any time during the application process if you need help or further advice just contact our Admissions team who will be happy to assist you. 



By phone:
020 7328 0222

By email:
enquiries@icmp.ac.uk

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