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Bring your music to life in New York City. Prepare for your career in the music industry with acclaimed faculty committed to supporting your professional goals. Songwriting at NYU Steinhardt offers students access to a renowned composition faculty, opportunities for collaboration and recording, unparalleled facilities, and access to a vast network of peers, industry practitioners, and an accomplished alumni network of successful songwriters, performers, and engineers.

Bachelor of Music
Music Theory and Composition: Contemporary Production and Songwriting

Study the craft of writing, producing, and recording songs, and the music industry, through intensive course work and collaboration with professional musicians.

Students working in Dolan Studio

Master of Music
Music Theory and Composition: Songwriting

Improve your compositional talents and have your work performed by talented musicians as you prepare to enter the competitive songwriting field.

Application Extended: Still Accepting Applications

Allison Russell on banjo and student on guitar performing together

Related Music Composition Programs

Concert Composition

Whether writing for orchestra or collaborating with choreographers, video artists and technologists, you can develop and expand your creative practice with dynamic peers, high level performers, and world-class faculty.

Screen Scoring

Learn to write music for today’s media industry through rigorous course work, collaborations with schools throughout NYU, and recording opportunities.

Program in Songwriting Mission Statement

The mission of NYU Steinhardt Songwriting is to help our students develop their own, unique voice, becoming the best songwriters they can be in ways they define. We use four key criteria to evaluate candidates for our program: talent, potential, discipline, and curiosity. We use the same principles to guide and inspire our students.

We do not focus on how to write hits; real-life experience tells us that this is not only limiting, it’s futile. Rather, our diverse, award-winning faculty listen and teach without prejudice, embracing diversity of all kinds — musical, cultural, racial, geographical, gender, sexual orientation — and encouraging students to work in a great variety of genres and styles, practicing and promoting the mantra that songwriting has few rules, but many tools. 

Demonstrating, explaining, and analyzing the skills and techniques employed in great songs and creating ample opportunity for experimentation with them is an essential part of our approach. Learning to react to a wide range of stimuli, remaining open, and utilizing a personal combination of approaches to the ever-changing art and craft of song are principles at the heart of our teaching and our students’ learning.

In our courses, students engage in extensive collaboration, both within their cohort, with students and faculty in other, related disciplines, and across our undergraduate and Master’s degree programs. They learn to participate in peer review and an in-depth exploration of the tools and techniques of production
and performance and significant opportunities to put their work into action. They benefit from frequent up-close-and-personal interactions with an unparalleled roster of guests from the professional world of music. And upon enrollment, they immediately become a member of the community we’ve continued to build since our inception, joining music creators currently studying and our ever-growing network of alumni.

Much of what we teach and how we teach it is a significant departure from the way composition is taught at comparable music schools and at the few colleges and universities that offer songwriting instruction. We firmly believe — and our experience tells us — that our students benefit from this broad, deep, and
meaningful educational and musical experience.


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