Songwriting courses

Looking for some formal instruction? Here’s a round up of songwriting courses – from night school classes to retreats and a foundation degree. Compiled by Kath Burke, and updated in February 2015

Courses in and around Brighton

You can search Hot Courses to see what’s current – in February 2015 I found BIMM and Northbrook College.

Bimm Professional songwriting diploma
Where BIMM, Brighton or Bristol
Length 1 year – counts as year 1 undergraduate degree in professional musicianship. Entry by audition.

In the past these providers did regular songwriting courses – you can ask to see what’s happening

West Sussex Adult And Community Learning
Where Ivy Arch Studio, Worthing
Length 5 weeks  over evenings  /weekends

Evolution Arts, 2 Sillwood Terrace, in Hove, Brighton
Used to run a 10 week course every year with local songwriter Heidi Berry.  Heidi teaches songwriting at BIMM. See


Educated Songwriter – Nashville songwriter Cliff Goldmacher teaches the business and craft of songwriting through webinars, videos and Skype consultations. Highly recommended.

Berklee College of Music offers a FREE songwriting course through Coursera. Highly recommended.

Another practical way to learn from your own materials is by having your songs critiqued. I’ve been doing this online through Cliff Goldmacher at Educated Songwriter, and found it enormously useful. It’s a very streamlined way to learn and you can work at your own pace and don’t have to travel anywhere .

Courses in London

You can search Hot Courses for what’s current. In February 2015, I found courses at City Lit (in Elephant & Castle, famous for its artistic courses), Institute of Contemporary Music. I also saw courses at St Francis Xavier College and Westminster Kingsway but I have never heard of them.

Introduction to songwriting
Where Institute of Contemporary music, North West London
Details General course – you need to be able to play piano or guitar to practise the concepts you learn.

City Academy also runs songwriting courses and workshops

Courses around the UK

Manchester – live music venue Band on the Wall runs occasional songwriting courses at affordable prices. You can subscribe to receive details here

Bath Spa University hosts its UK Songwriting Festival every August. This is 4-5 days of intensive workshops, co-writing and tutorials and 1:1 co-writing sessions with professional songwriters. You get to do snatch recordings of your new songs in a studio. Every night there’s an open mic to share new work. And also a guest act. The year I was there, Eddi Reader, formerly of Fairground Attraction, was the star guest. An amazing if intense experience .

Arvon Foundation – known for its creative writing retreats, also teaches songwriting.  Tutors include Ray Davies from the Kinks, and Boo Hewerdine who writes for Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader. Centres include Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, and Scotland

Have we missed one? Tell us and we’ll add it to this page. Email kath[at]

West Sussex Adult And Community Learning


2 responses to “Songwriting courses

  1. Thanks Kath – very helpful to have all this in one place.

  2. Course update: Short songwriting course at Evolution Arts with Heidi Berry starts in Oct and Jan. Cost: £60 (£50 conc). Visit for details and to book.

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