Join the Songwriting Workshop:
Music Theory Basics for Beginners
We're so excited to welcome you to our first-ever songwriting workshop! This six-week course will take you through the basics of chords, melody writing and form. By the end of it you'll have composed two full-length (16-bar) pieces in binary form, a couple shorter excerpts AND a little pop ditty in verse/chorus form. Even if you've never composed before, it's foolproof!
Songwriting Workshop Basics: The Details
If you're interested in joining this course, please have a look through this page outlining all of the details.
Most importantly, you'll want to know the dates. This course begins Monday, March 4th and runs until Saturday, April 13th for a total of 6 weeks.
Every Monday we'll release a new lesson, and every Saturday at 11am (Saskatchewan Time) you'll have the chance to participate in a live Q&A session.
6 Weeks of Lessons:
There are two types of lessons in this mini-course:
• 6 main lessons, between 30-40 minutes each
• 6 LIVE Q&A sessions, about 45 minutes each
That means there are 12 videos in this course, totalling 8+ hours of content.
You'll have access to these lessons forever. The videos are recorded and will be available for you to watch and download at any time.
Who Is This Course is For?
This course will be suitable to people at virtually all levels of piano. This is because we're not studying one piece in particular - rather, we'll be picking at a lot of pieces and doing a ton of writing. Instead of one piece to win them all (such as we did with the "6 week mini-course"), we're aiming to master an understanding.
The beauty of using songwriting as a learning tool is that the end result will be a handful of music you wrote yourself, not just a pile of finished theory worksheets (though there will be those too).
I recommend that you have a year or two of piano under your belt before joining this course. You need to be comfortable reading notes all across the staff (though you don't need to be lightning-fast at it), have a decent understanding of rhythm, and a little bit of chord know-how will help (though it's not absolutely necessary).
What you'll be able to do at the end of this course:
• Write a simple melody
• Choose chords to go along with that simple melody
• Come up with a "musical fragment" that you can then turn into a longer composition
• Write a 16-bar piece of music in binary form, with a modulation, fleshed-out melody and chords/harmony. (If that doesn't make sense, it soon will!)
• Write in a specific dance style (minuet, courante, etc.)
• Understand and identify I and V chords, predominants ii and IV, and the vi chord - not only will you be able to find these chords in your pieces, but you'll be able to write music with them too
• Write a pop song in simple verse/chorus form
• Show off to all your friends (wait, what?)
Basically, you'll be sharply boosting your knowledge of chords. Dance pieces in Binary form will make more sense to you, which will boost your enjoyment of learning and playing these pieces.
Accessible Pricing – $49 USD
The pricing for this course is deliberately kept simple and straightforward. It's a one-time fee that grants you access to the content forever. There aren't any subscription fees, tiers or refunds.
The pricing is the same as the 6-week mini-course, which follows a similar format. For $49, you'll get to write some music, learn some theory, and enjoy the process alongside other piano enthusiasts.
Outline of the Course
Here's a brief overview of each of the six lessons:
Lesson 1: Chords, Cadences and the basics of binary form
This lesson will get you up-to-speed with some basic concepts, so nobody gets behind on our music theory adventure.
Lesson 2: Implied Harmony and Q&A-Style Melody Writing
It can be challenging to figure out the harmony in music when there aren't obvious chords, so we address that in this lesson. And we get started with melody writing and our first composition exercises.
Lesson 3: Predominants and Inventing a Melody
This lesson goes deeper into chords and melody, and you'll learn how to take a musical excerpt and complete it. Kind of like finishing someone's sentence, but in music.
Lesson 4: Verse/Chorus Form
We detour from our more Classical-style lessons into pop music territory. Verse/chorus form is like the modern version of binary, so we'll explore some popular pieces and do our own pop writing.
Lesson 5: Full-Blast Binary
This is where we get heavier into binary form, which is more complex than we typically assume. You'll learn how to modulate (change keys) this week and next, and you'll write your first binary form piece.
Lesson 6: The Baroque Dance Suite
Finally, we finish by discussing the Baroque dance suite, using one of Handel's as our example. Baroque dance music is where you'll largely find binary compositions, so it's worth exploring here. You'll learn to compose a piece in a specific dance style (minuet, courante, etc.)
"I want to thank you again for creating such a wonderful and creative course. At the beginning I didn’t think I’d be able to write anything worth sharing, and now I find song writing downright therapeutic, especially when words fail, whether it be out of happiness or sadness. It’s been an amazing experience, and I loved hearing everyone’s compositions, which in turn inspired me even more when it came to the next lesson/composition. I’m looking forward to whatever courses you might offer in the future!" -Jen
"The talent and creativity of the songwriting students stands on the excellent work they have shared both here and in the Q&A sessions. It is a testament to the organization and inspiration of Allysia in putting together this short but most instructive course. I for one have benefited so much in this endeavor. Thank you Allysia for extending this gift of the joy and beauty of music to your students. " -Charles
"I just wanted to say a big thank you to Allysia for this course. It was really well constructed and you explained everything in a way that made it easy to understand. The homework was challenging in a great way and also varied which was nice. I’ve really enjoyed seeing and hearing all the wonderful compositions and everyone in the group has been so supportive, it’s been a pleasure to be involved. " -Coo
Are you ready to join the Songwriting Workshop: Basics group and have more fun with music theory than you ever thought possible? 🙂