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Secrets to Better Songwriting Courses Classes by Songwriter Dave Caruso

Songwriting Courses

During the past 8 semesters, I've created and led 15 original, 8- to 12- week songwriting courses, in 4 community education districts in southeastern Michigan.

In this inspiring collection of courses, I'll share the tips, insight and resources you'll need to turn your ideas into songs.  Every week we'll explore, discuss, write and perform music while helping you become a better songwriter.

Ask me about leading a one-hour clinic at your school, based on a single topic from any of these courses.
-- Dave Caruso, Songwriter / Instructor

Songwriting Essentials
(Experience is optional.)  Learn about the components of a song and how they fit together.  We'll focus on writing catchy titles, strong first lines, verses, choruses and much more.  Students will have the opportunity to complete one or more songs during the course.

Creative Songwriting
(Intermediate-Advanced.)  Weekly tips and ideas for better rhyming, writing better music and lyrics, overcoming writer's block, avoiding songwriting ruts and making your songs more memorable.  Includes creative instruction, songwriting assignments and live performance

Collaborative Songwriting
(Intermediate-Advanced.)  Expand your collaborative songwriting skills with creative instruction, live demonstration, writing assignments and in-class performance. Co-write words and music with classmates and the instructor with partners and teams.

Music Theory & Ear Training for Songwriters
(Having a piano keyboard at home is recommended.)  Understand how scales, intervals and chords apply to melody, harmony and chord changes.  The more you know about how music works, the more tools you'll develop to use in your songwriting.

Rewriting to Improve Your Songs
(Intermediate-Advanced.)  Free yourself from the perceived constraints of your early and unfinished drafts.  This course will let you rewrite your songwriting heroes, rewrite your own material and learn the secrets to how I've rewritten mine.  We'll focus on making your songwriting more adaptable, flexible and easy.

Songwriting CSI
Each week we'll investigate the words and music to a variety of killer songs
and apply some of the techniques we uncover to new songs by participating members of the class.

Arranging for Songwriters

This course is all about the presentation of your songs.  As we cover the elements of style, instrumentation, arrangement and music production, we'll apply these techniques to your own songs that you choose to share with the class.

Promoting and Marketing Your Songs
Get your music heard and noticed!  A detailed look at how to promote your songs on web sites & social media, plus how to submit music to reviewers, blogs, radio shows & podcasts. Includes a crash course in graphics.

Write 7 Songs in 8 Weeks

(Intermediate-Advanced.)  Compose a song on a different assigned topic every week.  Brainstorm your premise and develop your song form during class.  Play your song the following week and get immediate, constructive feedback.

Setting Your Lyrics To Music

(Music experience helps, but isn't required.)  For songwriters who may write their lyrics first or who have only written lyrics, but have trouble writing music for them.  Bring your lyrics.  We'll find inherent rhythms within your phrases, then use production models, guitar, keyboard, bass, computer and/or apps to explore possible melodies, chord changes, bass lines, beats and styles for your song.

Songwriting With a Sense of Humor

(A basic understanding of songwriting is encouraged.)  Each week, we'll hear and discuss songs that are witty, nonsensical, slapstick, storytelling, parodies, politically charged, outrageous and more.  Then, using a wide range of comic techniques, we'll pen humorous songs of our own, optionally to share with the class.

Write 7 Songs in 8 Weeks (Session B)

(Intermediate-Advanced.)  New topics!  Compose a song on a different assigned topic every week.  Brainstorm your premise and develop your song form during class.  Play your song the following week and get immediate, constructive feedback.

Writing Lyrics for Your Music

For songwriters who may write their music first, then struggle to write lyrics to go with it, or those who can write some lyrics to their music but get stuck and can't finish.  Bring your music to class and we'll explore different techniques for developing compelling first lines, catchy titles, interesting themes & stories, and how to apply these in your verses, choruses, and bridges.

Songwriting Course Sampler
(Intermediate-Advanced.)  Each week, we'll cover material from different courses in Dave's series "The Secrets to Better Songwriting."  You'll gain valuable insight and practice on a variety of different songwriting topics.  Includes creative instruction, songwriting assignments and live performance.

Write Like Successful Songwriters
Listen to a variety of techniques by notable songwriters, hear more examples, and discover what makes them tick.  Then choose one or more of these techniques to write your own song for the following week's class.


"I'd sign up for it again. That's how much itís improved my writing."

"I feel like I got WAY more than my money's worth."

Each registrant will receive a folder to fill with handouts, examples and assignments from every week of class.  Missed materials can be picked up the following week or received via email.  Courses are offered in a classroom setting at:

Asher School
14101 Leroy St.
Southgate, MI  48195

Southgate Community Education
Register by phone: 734.246.4633
Dearborn High School
19501 W Outer Dr
Dearborn, MI 48124

Dearborn Community Education
Register by phone: 313.827.1959

Monroe Public Schools
Monroe, MI 

Monroe Community Education

Register by phone:


Wayne County Community College
21000 Northline Rd.
Taylor, MI  48180
Taylor Community Education
Register by phone: