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Institute of Contemporary Music Performance: Songwriting

Institution Institute of Contemporary Music Performance
Department Music
Telephone 020 7328 0222
Study type Taught


The Masters in Songwriting course is a practice-based, industry-led programme, placing your development as a songwriter in a critical and contextual setting. Working in a peer community, with teaching and support from current industry songwriting practitioners and academics, you’ll explore and refine your creative output and goals, considering artist, commercial and intellectual outcomes.

Students complete a series of modules which focus on creative exploration, technical songwriting exercises, musicology and creative voice, before undertaking a final Masters project, choosing either the creation of a new major repertoire work (typically a debut album) or a dissertation in the area of songwriting.

ICMP's Songwriting masters classes explore the art and craft of contemporary songwriting, with students writing at least one song every week. You’ll collaborate with other ICMP students and will engage in small group ‘A&R-style’ feedback and critical discussion with your professional songwriting tutors and talented peers, regularly critiquing each other’s works-in-progress across the course of the year.

The highlight of the Masters in Songwriting course is the final module. Students get to choose between Major Repertoire or Dissertation projects, which allow students to progress specific songwriting interests in a distinctly personalised manner. The Major Repertoire Project allows you to develop a large-scale piece of repertoire work, which is typically a debut album. You’ll be allocated an expert, individual supervisor/A&R to help guide your project with regular one-to-one support. This mentor will be hand-picked to suit your project from either within the ICMP Songwriting faculty or outside in the wider UK songwriting industry.

Songwriting masters students form a small but close-knit team, and you’ll immediately become part of the strong, diverse and inclusive community around the whole ICMP Songwriting department.

As an MA Songwriting student, you’ll regularly network within the music industry thanks to monthly performance opportunities at our London songwriting industry event – Songwriters’ Circle and MA-specific guest speakers from the worlds of songwriting and academia. You’ll also get the chance to attend occasions organised by the London chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), which is run out of ICMP – a group with exclusive links to one of Nashville’s most celebrated songwriting venues: the Bluebird Café.

As a graduate of the Masters in Songwriting course, you’ll leave ICMP London school of music with the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections required to succeed in whichever direction your songwriting path takes you, whether that’s within the worlds of the music business, the songwriting industry, education, academia or beyond.


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