Fall 2020 Course Syllabus
Course: MUSC-1321- Section: 01
Songwriting I
LSCPA Logo Image
Instructor Information
Instructor Carl Richardson
Phone(409) 984-6353
Location:Sam and Linda Monroe Performing Arts Center - Room: 124
Hours:M (10:30-12:30, 1:30-4:30), W (10:30-1:00, 2:00-4:30)
Commercial Music, Visual and Performing Arts
Chair:Richard Vandewalker
Phone:(409) 984-6520

If you have a grievance, complaint, or concern about this course that has not been resolved through discussion with the Instructor, please consult the Department Chair.
COVID 19 Information The Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) Student Code of Conduct COVID 19 Policy requires students who have been exposed to COVID 19 or diagnosed with COVID 19 to report their condition on the COVID 19 Notification Form (available via a link on the Student Code of Conduct COVID19 webpage). This information will be provided to the Dean of Student Services. In addition, this policy requires all students to wear face coverings in compliance with the criteria included in the policy. For more information please refer to the COVID 19 link on the LSCPA website.
Course Information
Description Introduction to the techniques of writing marketable songs including the writing of lyrics and melodies, setting lyrics to music, developing lyrical and musical hooks, analyzing the marketplace, and developing a production plan for a song demo.
Prerequisites Completion of or concurrent enrollment in MUSC 1213 and 1211.
Learning Outcomes Develop skills to compose marketable melodies with commercial music, form, and harmony; (PSLO 1, 3)

Write lyrics and set to song; (PSLO 1, 3)

Create lyrical, melodic, and harmonic hooks; (PSLO 1, 3)

Develop a production plan for a song demo; (PSLO 1, 3)

Demonstrates comprehension of content-area reading material; (PSLO Alpha)
Core Objectives * Communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and visual communication.
* Critical Thinking Skills: Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis, evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.
* Empirical and Quantitative Skills: Students will demonstrate applications of scientific and mathematical concepts.
* Teamwork: Students will demonstrate the ability to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal and consider different points of view.
* Social Responsibility: Students will demonstrate intercultural competency and civic knowledge by engaging effectively in local, regional, national and/or global communities.
* Personal Responsibility: Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Program Student Learning Outcomes PERFORMANCE

1. Applies commercial music performance techniques to professional practice.
2. Applies commercial music sound engineering technology to support performance practices.
3. Applies basic music industry principles to professional practice.
4. Demonstrates professional behavior as characterized by a commitment to the profession.


1. Applies commercial music sound technology to professional practice.
2. Applies commercial music performance skill to support sound engineering practice.
3. Applies basic music industry principles to professional practice.
4. Demonstrates professional behavior as characterized by a commitment to the profession.

PSLO Alpha: Demonstrates comprehension of content-area reading material.
Textbooks Textbook Purchasing Statement: A student attending Lamar State College Port Arthur is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from the college-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

1. The Art of Writing Great Lyrics, Pamela Phillips Oland, Allworth Press
2. Webster's Thesaurus for Students, Merriam-Webster
3. Merriam-Webster's Rhyming Dictionary, Merriam-Webster
Lecture Topics
Major Areas of Study:

Song Form & Arranging
Literary Considerations
The Hook
Harmony (Chord Progressions)
Pre Production Demo

Major Assignment Due Dates:

Song 3 - DUE TUESDAY NOV 24 (WEEK 14)
Major Assignments
Original Song Projects:

- Students will submit 3 original songs throughout the semester. For each song, other specific materials will be required as explained below. The third song will be a collaboration between students.
- You are encouraged to perform/present your song(s) in class. Presenting songs one on one with the instructor must be requested on a song by song basis.
- You may use a chord instrument (guitar or piano) and sing or arrange to have someone else perform the song or accompany you.
- You may also provide a recording of all or part of the songs. If you produce music via technology, feel free to record the full song or use recordings to accompany yourself and/or other performers. This applies to songs presented in class and on the recording project. Instructor may also help out as an accompanist. CHARTS ARE NECESSARY FOR ACCOMPANIMENT.

    Song 1 - Lyric Sheet, Traditional Chord Chart, Melody - DUE THURSDAY SEPT 24 (WEEK 5)
    Song 2 - Lyric Sheet, Nashville Number Chart, Melody - DUE THURSDAY OCT 22 (WEEK 9)
    Song 3 - Lyric Sheet, Traditional Chord Chart, Nashville Number Chart (Collaboration - students will split duties up), Lead Sheet optional for extra credit - DUE TUESDAY NOV 24 (WEEK 14)

Final Project:

- DUE TUES DEC 8 (Last Class Day)
- Students will record a pre-production demo of one of their 3 song projects. At the least, this pre-production demo will have a vocal melody and one chord instrument.
- Instrumentation may range from chord instrument and voice to as much as a full band with ensemble instrumentation. Full band instrumentation, depending on quality, will be considered for extra credit.
- Any additional pre-production demo and/or full production recordings of songs or jingles written in this class will count toward extra credit on a case by case basis.
- You may engineer and produce this recording yourself with your own gear or school facilities if you are a sound engineering major. If you are not a sound engineering major and are not able to produce and engineer this project yourself, please set up time with one of the engineering students to help with your project. You may also call on the instructor to help with this.



All classes are cancelled on the following Holiday dates:
Labor Day: SEPT 7
Thanksgiving: NOV 26 & 27

Week 1: Syllabus & Introduction to Songwriting, Discussion
Week 2: Song Forms, CHARTS Intro (Traditional and Number Style Chord Charts)
Week 3: Lyric Writing, Literary Devices, Rhyme Schemes
Week 4: Melody Study
Week 5: Chord Structure and Harmony, 1st SONG DUE THURSDAY SEPT 24 (WEEK 5)
Week 6: Chord Structure and Harmony cont., 'Nashville Number System' Charts (NNS)
Week 7: NNS Charts cont., Styles Study
Week 8: Lyric Study, work toward 2nd Song
Week 9: Intro to Jingles, 2nd SONG DUE THURSDAY OCT 22 (WEEK 9)
Week 10: Jingles cont., The Art of Collaboration (Groups)
Week 11: Jingles cont., Lyric Study
Week 12: Lead Sheet Production
Week 13: Reharmonization, Group Work
Week 14: 3rd SONG (Collaboration) DUE TUESDAY NOV 24 (WEEK 14) - (NO CLASS THURSDAY)
Week 15: Classes Move Online; Final Exam Review
Week 16: Final Exam & Final Project DUE TUESDAY DEC 8 BY MIDNIGHT

* Study focus dates by week may be adjusted based on class needs and rate of progress. Project due dates may be pushed to a later date, but never earlier.

Final Exam Date December 8, 2020 - 12:00 AM   Through  December 8, 2020 - 11:00 PM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A    80 - 89=B    70 - 79=C     60 - 69=D    Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Attendance 10%
Homework 15%
Quizzes 15%
Original Song 1 10%
Original Song 2 10%
Original Song 3 20%
Final Project 10%
Final Exam 10%
Course Policies
Attendance Policy Research has shown a cause and effect relationship between attendance and college success. Policies for this course are as described below:

You get one 1 free absence before your lates/absences start to count against your grade in the attendance category. After that, EACH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE DEDUCTS 10% OF YOUR ATTENDANCE GRADE. Three lates/early departures = 1 absence.

Excused absences will be considered on a case by case basis. YOU MUST E-MAIL YOUR INSTRUCTOR BEFORE YOU MISS CLASS with an explanation of why you will be absent. The date and time of the e-mail will be considered. Excused absences are conditional upon this. Any deviation will be considered at the discretion of the instructor.
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSC-PA policies (Section IX, subsection A, in the Faculty Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
Facility Policies
  1. No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom.

  2. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission.

  3. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
Important Information
ADA Considerations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the the Office for Disability Services Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.
MyLSCPA Be sure to check your campus E-mail and Course Homepage using MyLSCPA campus web portal (My.LamarPA.edu). When you've logged in, click the email icon in the upper right-hand corner to check email, or click on the "My Courses" tab to get to your Course Homepage. Click the link to your course and review the information presented. It is important that you check your email and Course Homepage regularly. You can also access your grades, transcripts, and determine who your academic advisor is by using MyLSCPA.
Other Any songs or jingles additional to those required will be considered for extra credit at the discretion of the instructor.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.