If it is true that good writers are good readers, it is also true that good songwriters and composers are good listeners.
Musicians tend to approach songwriting and composition after they’ve performed music and this is an essential part of the process because these experiences offer valuable insight into the possibilities of musical performance. Songwriting and Composition students listen and then analyze well written music to learn what makes it work so well, and what are the effects to the ear.
Songwriting students will work toward a basic knowledge of melody, harmony, and rhythm as well as the larger topic of form ie. Phrases, intro/endings, verse/chorus and arrangements. These are necessary tools to get your ideas from your imagination into a performance with other musicians. All of the above ideas will be practiced through writing assignments on your existing ideas, or else simple directions will be offered.
Composition students should be able to read music before they can fully experiment with melody, harmony, and rhythm. An in-depth study would include music theory and musicianship, harmony, counterpoint, and analysis. Graduated writing assignments are given to encourage the student to develop their voice in their own compositions.