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The Song Arts Academy Contemporary Songwriting Workshop

February 27, 2023 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm EST

From the halls of BerkleeNYC Power Station  and the New School, to Verso Studios at The Westport Library…

The Verso Studios Education Curriculum, in partnership with the Song Arts Academy, offers an eight-week transformative songwriting program for middle and high school students, open to 15 participants. The program begins on Monday, January 30, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, and runs through Monday, March 27. It is offered at no cost, made possible by the generous support of Fred Reynolds and family. There is a refundable $25 registration fee required to reserve a space.

The Song Arts Academy Contemporary Songwriting Workshop will offer songwriters a chance to record songs written in the workshop at the Verso Studios SSL Hybrid Analog Recording Studio at The Westport Library. Miles above home-recording options, the Verso hybrid analog recording studio was designed by leading industry experts and thinkers for first-rate, distinctive, and powerful results.

The program is led by Billy Seidman, a veteran New York songwriter, guitarist, and producer who's logged studio hours with a diverse group of music legends from Jimi Hendrix to top pop producers, including Jimmy "The Senator" Douglass, (Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams) and Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton).

Students will leave the program with eight original songs written by themselves and in collaboration with group members. Each week, students learn new craft and perspective tools, then write an original song using them. After four or five weeks of writing and rewriting with these strategies, students develop new listening skills and a transformative way of being present as a writer. The Song Arts Academy program teaches students powerful communication strategies to express what matters most to them and to their peers.


Songwriting strategies are outlined in The Elements of Song Craft, Seidman’s definitive work on the craft of contemporary songwriting, and noted as the approaches today’s contemporary hit-makers use to win mass audiences for their music.

This might be the course for you if:

  • Your interest in music and writing gives you a dizzying sense of expression and satisfaction.
  • You have a basic musical proficiency in singing or playing a musical instrument, or have a basic knowledge of music software (digital audio workstations [DAWS] such as Garage Band, Logic, Pro-Tools, or Ableton).
  • You have a band or enjoy building/writing your own tracks or collaborating with others.

Learning outcomes:

  • Proficiencies in analyzing song fundamentals: lyrics, song concepts, melody, and song structure.
  • Skill at collaborating with other songwriters.
  • Musical proficiency in creating exciting options for unique chord progressions for songwriting.

Designed for middle and high school students, much of this coursework is taught at the college level. That allows students to be better prepared to apply to music-based colleges, as the learning acquired here develops skills and capabilities looking to exceed admission entrance standards.



February 27, 2023
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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