Songwriting @ SJW

Due to unforseen circumstances, we must cancel this year's Songwriting @ SJW program. We hope to present it again in 2015.


Whether you’re an established songwriter looking  for production techniques and marketing ideas, or an emerging artist trying to find the right chord  for your songs, Songwriting @ SJW is the place  to take your music to a whole new level!

Designed for vocalists  and  instrumentalists of all levels, Songwriting @ SJW covers the creative and  practical sides  of songwriting in all styles of music. This week-long intensive workshop runs concurrently with the Stanford Jazz Institute  for Adults, held August  3 – 8, 2014, on the beautiful campus of Stanford University. Directed by highly-acclaimed songwriting expert Bonnie Hayes, who heads the songwriting program at the Berklee College of Music, the Songwriting @ SJW program features:

Daily songwriting master classes

  • The whole brain creative process for songwriters: strategies for creativity, originality, overcoming blocks, and writing great lyrics
  • The Organized Songwriter: Staying on top of all the creative and business elements of songwriting
  • Collaborating with other writers
  • Recording and production techniques and how to establish a groove
  • Career paths for songwriters: Where the money comes from and how to get it

Daily music theory for songwriters class

  • Exploring different approaches to the songwriting process
  • Exploring song forms
  • The mechanics of chords and  melody
  • How to write lyrics that communicate your ideas clearly and accurately
  • Songwriting tricks of the trade

Songwriter special presentations

  • Special guest appearances from well-known performing and touring artists,
  • A Day in the Life of a Demo
  • How to market your music: self-promotion, getting heard, shopping your songs, and other music business topics
  • Performance and touring tips and tricks

Workshopping and performance sessions

  • Workshop new songs and get feedback and instruction from top songwriting professionals
  • Collaborate and perform your originals, backed up by great players from the jazz and songwriting worlds
  • Live solo or band performance of your original music at the Stanford CoHo

And more!

  • Complementary admission to the nightly concerts at the Stanford Jazz Festival
  • Access to Stanford Jazz Workshop instrumental master classes as well as courses in improvisation, special presentations, and more!


Songwriting is open to all adults (18 and up) with an interest in writing their own songs and at least eighteen months of musical training or some performance experience if self-taught. 

Songwriters under 18 years of age may apply by sending recordings and lyric sheets for two original songs. Recordings should feature voice and at least one instrument. Homemade or rough recordings are acceptable. Click here for more information about how to prepare and submit your audition.