The Pop Music Songwriting Workshop


The Pop Music Songwriting Workshop

This practical weekend course, taught by commercial songwriters Penny Foster (Lana Del Ray, Sigala, TS7 ft Taylor Fowlis) and Emma Stakes (Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Craig David, X-Factor), offers a rare and detailed insight into the tools, techniques and best practice of writing commercial pop songs to brief.

The course also includes a group songwriting exercise to a commercial brief with recording tips and A&R feedback on songs written. A must have opportunity for aspiring artists and commercial songwriters.

Day 1

* Introduction to the course, tutor and students
* Examples of pitch-able songs that made the cut
* The building blocks of a song
* What is the Top Line?
* Writing from the “heart of the song”
* Key aspects of being a ‘top liner’
* How to unlock your highest potential
* How to capitalise on opportunities to monetise songs successfully
* Key stakeholders in commercial songs trade: A&R, labels, publishers, managers
* The concept of “writing to a brief”
* Examples of tracks sent from record & publishing companies.
* Examine briefs to work out what the client is looking for.
* Listen to current hit songs and cover different genres and styles
* Discuss the key components within the different genres that are essential to unlocking melody, lyrics, original ideas, standout ideas

Day 2

* Hook writing, phrasing, expression, personality, structure, harmony
* How to keep focused and the importance of finishing an idea to standard
* Improvisation tools
* Sensing / showing how to get inspired (e.g. finding titles etc)
* Writing to a commercial group brief exercise
* Preparing the track to record
* Top-line writing while recording, trying out ideas
* Harmony Vocal tips Recording tips
* A&R feedback on song ideas
* Industry tips to get to the heart of the song under the time pressure
* How to record a song to get a finished demo, guiding the producer
* Playback songs and discuss final thoughts and future plans and goals

About Penny Foster

Penny Foster is a singer-songwriter signed to Notting Hill Music with an album project called Power Dress signed to Newstate/Warner UK. As a songwriter, Penny co-wrote “Say You Do” for Sigala ft Imani Williams and DJ Fresh that recently went Gold. Penny has also developed Imani Williams who was recently signed to RCA. She has worked with Lana Del Rey in the development stages of her first album Born to Die and co-wrote “National Anthem” which sold 8 million copies and she wrote “ Heartlight” for TS7 ft Taylor Fowlis (3 Beat) which was a BBC Radio 1 A-List track, Number 1 on MTV Dance and precluded her getting signed to Atlantic Records. Features as an artist include Pete Tong Essential as well as tracks signed to MOS, Suara, Madtec, Love and Other, Simmer Black and Toolroom.

About Emma Stakes

Emma Stakes is a published songwriter, professional vocalist, vocal coach, A&R and artist development manager currently working on the X-factor. She is an international published songwriter signed to Notting Hill Music / 23rd Precinct.

She is a natural born networker with the ability to make people feel comfortable in her presence. Not only is she a gifted songwriter/singer and performer, her experience and network of contacts have put her in a unique position of being able to develop and advise young talent as recording artists and songwriters.

Emma has an extensive back catalogue penning tracks and involved in projects with the likes of Sigala, Rudimental, The Voice, Wideboys, Micheal Gray, Sarah Connor, Manovski, Nicole Scherzinger, Craig David, Alesha Dixon, James Arthur, X Factor, Gary Barlow, Help for Heroes, Got7, Kumi Koda & Alle Farben.


Oct 20+21

Time: 10am-6pm
Location: Tileyard Studios, London N7

Course fee: £295

Please submit a link to at least one example of an original song you have written and recorded with your application email.