Songwriting Music Academy

Songwriting Music Academy | Los Angeles

Learn how to produce and write the commercial songs you find on the Billboard chart, and hear on the radio every day on our Academy Program, supported by Ableton, Native Instruments, and Apple. Students learn the knowledge and skills to stand out from the crowd in their genre, benefiting from study with the world’s best music production instructors, including Grammy Award-winners and certified trainers.

Over the course of our strategically timed mentoring sessions, and work both in-studio and elsewhere on projects outside of class, students will write, produce, engineer, mix, master, and learn how to release and promote their own EP. All Academy learners can book our professional, acoustically treated mixing & mastering facility at no extra cost during, and even after their program, and will benefit from all of Garnish’s software partner discounts, and have access to our worldwide network of alumni.

Garnish was the first music production school in the world to offer the Music Grades System for music production, and all Academy learners, worldwide take a Grade 6, 7, or 8 examination. More on music production grades on our London website here. If UK music production qualifications do not obviously pertain to our students’ goals, they (and perhaps more so their parents) can be rest assured that our music production program meets a national standard of accreditation.

Ableton Live

Many top-level songwriters use Ableton for its responsiveness and flexibility, which can make writing melodies fun, creative, and flexible, where other DAWs can be limiting. This is why we choose Ableton for songwriters for getting ideas together. Garnish is an Ableton Certified Training Center, and all students qualify for a 40% discount.

Music Foundation & Composition

Our instructors, including Grammy Award-winning musicians will convey a wealth of contemporary record production tips, techniques, and knowledge in teaching students to compose original tracks. Students will assemble their own commercial backing track (within the pop, rock, urban, singer/songwriter, or commercial dance genres) fit for A&R meetings and production music houses. This section of the program will emphasize programming bass-lines and strings, synthesis, sculpting organic sounds, arrangement, choosing production-appropriate sounds, and bringing these elements together into a cohesive whole to take the production to the mixing stage.

Hit Top-Line Songwriting

Have you ever wondered why the songs that you write are good but don’t quite sound like hits? Have you read all the songwriting books on Amazon and watched all the tutorials on Youtube without achieving real improvement? Garnish’s top-level songwriting module teaches what other sources either don’t know or don’t want to give away. The concepts shared here are designed to finally bring out the hit songwriter in you!

Logic Pro X

By the end of this module, students will have a thorough command of Logic Pro X, familiarizing themselves with such advanced features and techniques as Flexpitch, MIDI FX, slicing loops for use with EXS24 and learning all about the fabulous built-in sounds and FX now included with this comprehensive digital audio workstation. Many contemporary producers use Logic Pro X for its “sound”, and argue that it is easier to finish tracks in Logic than Ableton, so we offer both. As the only Apple Authorized Training Center in Los Angeles, we put students through official training and an examination to become an Apple Certified Pro in Logic Pro X, so they walk away with another qualification at the end of their program. Learning Logic Pro X and getting certified is an optional extra to be taken outside of the regular curriculum hours, so it doesn’t get in the way of the program for people who wish to opt out of Logic. Students can even take this course long after they graduate if they prefer.

Synthesis & Sound Design

Learners dip their toe into the wonderful world of subtractive synthesis and sound design, built in to your DAW, and on hardware in our generously equipped lab, covering oscillators, ADSR, filters and FX. Students craft the sounds they hear in their head for use in their productions, and learn how sample packs are made.

Sound Engineering & Producing Vocals

Over the course of our Sound Engineering module, students will master the art of recording typical instruments, including guitar, bass, piano, and synths (yes, there is an art to recording synths). We teach vocal production with songwriters and producers in mind rather than singers; even if we, as producers, don’t sing ourselves, we still need to be able to encourage, coach, and produce artists and session vocalists, and the more we know about singing, vocal production, and recording vocals, the better the main part of our song – the lead vocal – is going to sound! Of course even though we cover vocal technique, actual singing in class is not mandatory – it is ok to just listen and produce!

Mixing & Mastering

We begin with content students would learn as professional engineers, by covering acoustics, and how to treat their home studio. Then it’s on to the essentials: in-depth EQ, filling the frequency spectrum, dynamic controllers, mixing vocals, generating a huge sound from a few elements, and making all of a production’s parts sound as one, exploring all the amazing plugins used by our Grammy-winning mix engineer/instructor.

Music Producer

This module explores the music producer role and brings together the component skills and ideas from the previous sections, from pre-production to completion and delivery of the final master. We focus on such concepts as creating emotion through sound and performance, visualizing and defining the direction of the recording, and achieving production goals. By conceptualizing the essentials of music production – the arrangement of both musical material and the “sonic field” – students learn how to make a band or solo artist (this could be you!) both unique and compelling to convey their material and performance in the best possible light.

Field Trips

As part of the SMP program, students will enjoy hands-on training recording a band at Clear Lake Recording Studios. Students may find one of the studio’s many notable clients working in the room next door! We also make use of a pre-production studio, where students can experiment and program in a room full of vintage analog synths and processors to find some real analog sounds for their tracks.

Marketing & Branding

To finish off the program, students will learn how to create an effective electronic press kit (EPK), market and brand themselves, acquire genuine social media followers, and get the most out of digital distribution.

Instructors

Over 400 hours of tuition and uncapped studio time | $7999 + $300 registration fee | Payment plans

Academic year | Three 10-week terms | Monday & Tuesday | 11a – 6p

1st term: 3rd Mon. of September;  2nd term: 2nd Mon. of January; 3rd term: Last Mon. of April

Two Year Weekend | Six 10-week terms | Saturdays | 11a – 6p

1st term: 2nd Sat. of September;  2nd term: 2nd Sat. of January; 3rd term: Last Sat. of April (x2)

Two Year Evenings | Six 10-week terms | Monday & Tuesday | 7p – 10p

1st term: 3rd Mon. of September;  2nd term: 2nd Mon. of January; 3rd term: Last Mon. of April (x2)

18 continuous weeks | Monday to Friday | 10a – 2p or 2.30p – 6.30p or 7p – 11p

Start 1: February 26 | Start 2: July 16

Free this year: optional Sound Design & Synthesis classes from our Electronic Music Academy

If you have any questions, do send us an email or call our Academy admissions specialist on (424) 281 7142. Then when you’re ready, please apply using the button below.

Academy Application Form

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Testimonials

It’s a great school and have great teachers. Some schools care only about fancy gear in the classroom and forget about the essential: the teachers!

João Gama

Being from a songwriting and artist background, I was keen to learn the production side in Logic. The instructor was amazing and I felt he explained things in a language I could understand. Now I am zipping around it almost as comfortably as I am when writing a song!

Natasha Bedingfield

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