Spring 2019 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 (10-11, 1:30-2, 3:30-5), T (12-12:30, 4-5), W (1:30-2, 3:30-4), Th (11-12:30, 4-5), F (10-11, 3-4)
Chair:Dr. Michelle Davis
Phone:(409) 984-6341
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 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 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 may perform your own song using a chord instrument (guitar or piano) while singing or arrange to have someone else perform your 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.

    Song 1 - Lyric Sheet, Traditional Chord Chart, Melody - DUE THURS FEB 21
    Song 2 - Lyric Sheet, Nashville Number Chart, Melody - DUE THURS MAR 28
    Song 3 - Lyric Sheet, Traditional Chord Chart, Nashville Number Chart,
Lead Sheet (Collaboration, students will split duties up) - DUE THURS MAY 2

Final Project:
- DUE TUES MAY 7 (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. ** Keep in mind - you must procure performers for your project within a reasonable time frame leading up to the due date.

All classes are cancelled on the following Holiday dates:
MLK Day: January 21
Spring Break: March 11th - March 15th

Week 1: Syllabus & Introduction to Songwriting, Pre-Test, 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 Complete Song DUE THURS FEB 21
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

SPRING BREAK (March 11th - 15th)

Week 9: Intro to Jingles, 2nd Complete Song DUE THURS MAR 28
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: Group Work, 3rd Complete Song (Collaboration) DUE THURS MAY 2
Week 15: Final Exam Review, Final Project DUE TUES MAY 7 (Last Class Day)

* 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 May 14, 2019 - 11:00 AM   Through  May 14, 2019 - 1:00 PM
Grading Scale  90 - 100=A    80 - 89=B    70 - 79=C     60 - 69=D    Below 59 = F
Determination of
Final Grade
Attendance 20%
Homework/Quizzes 20%
Original Song 1 10%
Original Song 2 10%
Original Song 3 20%
Final Project 10%
Final Exam 10%
Course Policies
Instructor Policies
Attendance Policy Research has shown a cause and effect relationship between attendance and college success. Policies for this course are 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 absence deducts 5% of your attendance grade. Three lates = one absence.
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.
MyLamarPA Be sure to check your campus E-mail and Course Homepage using MyLamarPA 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 MyLamarPA.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSC-PA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.