Pyramidmind logo on a gray background for a music producer program.

Learn The Art of Song Writing & Arranging

This uniquely designed course is focused on the art of song writing through the lense of producing and arranging. It places a strong emphasis on harmony, melody, modes, and composition, and is a deep dive into the process of writing and creating music. There are as many ways to create music as there are people doing it, but some methods yield more consistently good results than others. This class will show you the best practices in songwriting through various producing and arranging techniques. The course involves lots of in-class, hands-on activities. Students build ideas from day one towards a completed track in the style of their choosing. 

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The course begins with a specialized workflow that students develop in the first six weeks of this course. 

Students then “evolve” that process and integrate deeper explorations of this subject through an in-depth understanding of the 7 Major Modes, extended chords, and other harmonic functions to enable them to “get deep” in the concepts of Storyline and Emotive expression in Music.

The learning begins with developing a workflow to produce “good” music, with the final goal being to have students “make better music faster.”

Producing and Arranging

Course Overview

  • Introduction to the course objectives and structure.
  • Overview of the role of a producer and arranger.
  • Exploring the relationship between production and arrangement as they pertain to songwriting
  • Understanding the basics of harmony and melody.
  • How harmony and melody work together in a song.
  • Techniques for creating harmonically rich and memorable melodies.
  • Connecting composition and production.
  • Introduction to modes in music theory.
  • Understanding the unique characteristics of different modes.
  • Deep dive into the Aeolian, Dorian, and Phrygian modes.
  • Analyzing songs that use these modes effectively.
  • Creative exercises for composing in these modes.
  • Exploring the concept of mode mixing.
  • Using the “Four Corners” approach to mode mixing.
  • Examples of mode mixing in popular music.
  • Hands-on composition assignment applying mode mixing techniques.
  • Peer feedback and discussion on the assignment.
  • Understanding the process of arranging a musical composition.
  • Techniques for layering instruments and voices effectively.
  • Balancing the elements of your arrangement.
  • Studying different song forms (verse-chorus, AABA, etc.).
  • Analyzing how arrangement choices contribute to the song’s structure.
  • Creative exercises in arranging various song forms.
  • Further exploration of advanced arrangement strategies.
  • Adapting arrangements for different genres and styles.
  • Guest speaker session from a professional arranger or producer.
  • Introduction to the basics of mixing audio.
  • Techniques for EQ, compression, and effects.
  • Practical mixing exercises using digital audio workstations.
  • Reviewing and refining students’ compositions, arrangements, and mixes.
  • Providing constructive feedback for improvement.
  • Listening session for final compositions and arrangements.
  • Class-wide presentation of projects.
  • Reflection on the creative journey and lessons learned.

This outline covers a comprehensive range of topics and gives students hands-on experience in composing, arranging, and producing music. It’s well-structured and balances theoretical concepts with practical assignments.

Meet Your Instructor

Evan Langley is a Berklee College of Music alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in music synthesis.  He is a multi-instrumentalist who has been producing and engineering music for 19 years.  Evan has scored two films and has produced music and designed sounds for major advertisements.  He brings a wide range of experience to the table including 15 years of turntablism, performing in pit orchestras, hosting radio shows, doing live sound for events and festivals, mixing and mastering other artists, producing a solo metal album, and teaching a wide range of musical subjects for 19 years.

Evan Langley

Program Topics Include:

  • The Triple Trinity and why it works across every track
  • The “4-Leveled” Approach to Rhythm
  • Idea Farming – how to find inspiration anywhere and grow it into music
  • IABO Format
  • How to “Stay in the Flow” – strategies for separating your work into sections of activity to keep creativity high and productivity fast.
  • Integration of Harmony and Rhythm to create powerful beats
  • Melody writing (basic) and its integration to the BeatIABO as an extension of the “4-leveled Approach”
  • Speed writing exercise – what can YOU do in an hour?
  • Arrangement strategies – tracking the emotional arc of a song to perfection
  • Modality and its impact on story. Why modes are much more than just more Theory.
  • Mode mixing – how to change your story mid-track to provide interest over time and stay relevant in the market longer.
  • Melody writing (advanced) – balancing harmony, note choice and rhythmic patterns to make melodies that “stick.”
  • Emotional complexity through extended chord use.

1-on-1 coaching

24/7 access to our extensive learning management system

group accountability

quincy-jones-quote

"For every hour of recording, have two hours of laughter in the studio. Writing music should first and foremost be enjoyable."

Ready to Enroll?

  • In Studio Training
  • Day & Evening schedules
  • 1 three hour session per week for 12 weeks
  • book Personal studio time each week
  • access to our fully loaded studios with great mics & pre-amps
  • Join our in studio classes from the comfort of your own home or studio
  • Get all your burning questions answered
  • Unlimited access to our extensive online learning management system