Bradley University launches first songwriting course that is open to the public

Many musicians dream of having their own song one day, but knowing how to begin the process can be difficult.

That’s why Bradley University decided to launch a new songwriting course called ” The craft of songwriting. This virtual, certificate-based, self-paced course allows anyone in the community to learn the process of songwriting without being a Bradley University student.

Carl Anderson, Bradley’s director of music industry programs and one of the course’s professors, says the option to open the course to the public is a small experiment aimed at bursting the Bradley bubble and expanding its reach.

“It also allows students, perhaps in a high school setting, to get a taste of what it’s like to take a college course without the initial commitment of being on a college campus,” Anderson said.

dr Lynnsey Lambrecht, assistant professor of music theory and composition and also a professor on the program, adds that many people in pop culture today didn’t have a traditional four-year college education in music.

“This gives people who are interested in doing songwriting, being those performers, a chance to learn more to hone their craft without doing this traditional training,” explains Lambrecht.

This course is divided into four modules, each covering a different topic. The first deals with music theory, which Lambrecht will guide. This includes elements such as chords, progressions, rhythms, meters and scales that serve as the basis for writing a song. The second module covers the songwriting process and introduces touring singers and songwriters Barry Cloydwhom Anderson describes as something of a legend in the Peoria community and has already released 5 albums.

“He was the perfect person to explore the artistic and inspiring part of the songwriting craft outside of academia,” Anderson said.

The third module will cover everything a songwriter needs to know about recording and editing technologies that enable students to create a polished end product and will be led by Dr. directed by Mark De Zwaan. Finally, Carl Anderson will step in and lead the final module, which focuses on how to get the song to market.

“Once you’ve created and recorded the song, how do you make money from it? How do you take it in commercial terms?” Anderson said.

Upon completion of the course, students receive an official certificate from Bradley University. Anderson said this could be useful for a number of reasons.

“That could be something to put on a resume. It could be something that a student applying to a university … could include as part of their transcript information … it shows that this is a university-sponsored program that carries Bradley University’s credibility,” Anderson said .

As the course is self-paced, there are no deadlines to meet, nor does it conform to the traditional academic calendar, meaning anyone can enroll at any time. Lambrecht and Anderson say this format allows students to quickly work through material they may already be familiar with while allowing more time to process things.

“And you certainly don’t have any pressure from a professor grading you and pressure from final exams and all the things that you might associate with college,” Anderson said.

Because the course is open to the general public, the ideal candidate can be very diverse, but ultimately will likely share one common trait.

“I think the ideal candidate is someone who is passionate about songwriting and has a love for music,” Lambrecht said.

In fact, this course is appropriate even for students in the traditional K-12 classroom. A special program and price is available for educators who wish to use this material as part of the curriculum in their own classrooms.

After nearly two years of online learning due to the pandemic, many people may be tired of looking at screens and taking online courses. Anderson and Dr. However, Lambrecht do not see this as a problem for this course.

“I don’t think students will miss anything by doing this virtually. In fact, I think they see us at the top of our game when it comes to virtual learning,” said Dr. Lambrecht.

Anderson adds that by this point, students are used to this type of format and virtual learning is also already ingrained in our daily lives.

“Here we all turn right, we turn to our phones to watch a video explaining how to fix a device or fix your car. It’s no different than watching a video to learn how to write a song,” notes Anderson.

And in terms of measuring success in such a creative course without a formal grading scale:

“We build the toolbox, then it’s up to the creator… and of course exactly how do you measure success? Success depends on the individual and the individual artist,” Anderson said.

Anyone can register for the course and find more information online. The total duration of the course is 8 hours and there are no prerequisites.

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