Now enrolling: Interlochen Online courses and certificate programs for July 15

Learn to write songs by drawing on your musical influences through the lens of three aspects of songwriting: lyrics, melody, and chords. In this course, you will explore the different parts of a song—the chorus, verse, and bridge—and the role each plays in connecting with listeners. 

You’ll learn how to organize and highlight your lyrical ideas based on how listeners process information, write melodies that use contrast effectively, and choose chord progressions that best match the color or mood of your songs. 

The course is not only a fun journey into your musical tastes, but also a practical method for generating ideas and turning them into tangible creations that express who you are. 

What you will learn:

✔ Organize your lyrical ideas in written form and place them in songs in a way that connects with listeners 
✔ Create compelling melodies with an understanding of the roles that song sections like chorus, verse, and bridge play in expressing your ideas 
✔ Experiment with chord progressions to fit the intent of your songs 
✔ Draw on your own personal taste to create songs

Register Now

What you need to participate:

  • Computer or mobile device with Internet. Internet speed must be at least 1.5Mbps download and 800Kbps upload. For students using a mobile device, download the Canvas mobile app and select “Interlochen Online” as your school.

How the course works:

Interlochen Online courses are designed to be inspiring and flexible with weekly learning units that combine video segments and guided instruction that you can complete on your own schedule during the week. You will interact regularly with your teacher and peers inside the learning environment. 

You can also participate in an optional weekly hour-long video class meeting, where you can learn from the teacher and interact with your classmates in real-time. At the beginning of the course, you will complete a survey indicating your preferred times for the class meeting. The teacher will make every best effort to identify a meeting time that works for everyone. The teacher will also post recordings of the meetings and you can view them when it is convenient. 

The goal is that you walk away not only with practical skills and friendships but that you are inspired and motivated to pursue your art and realize your potential.

Upcoming Course Dates

July 15 - Aug. 9, 2024 | Teen and adult sections

Sept. 16 - Oct. 12, 2024 | Teen and adult sections




Teens: Grades 6-12

Adult Learners: 18+

Future Sessions

Academic Calendar

Meet the Faculty

Shane Adams

Instructor of Singer-Songwriter

Questions? Speak with an Advisor.


Phone: 231.276.5990 

You can also schedule an appointment.

Access Free Resources from Interlochen Online

Experience Interlochen Online with free guides that teach you practical skills in the arts.

An image of the cover and first few pages of the Songwriting Basics guide