Successful Music Production and Songwriting summer course at The Digital Hub
This August, The Digital Hub began a trial run “Music Production and Songwriting” summer course – an introduction to both songwriting methods and using computers to make and record music. The course was open to 14-18-year olds from the Dublin 8 area. On the 13th August, 20 young people took up the places on the free five-day course. The students had previously been involved in successful Digital Hub courses such as the Future Creators program, and the collaboration with BIMM Dublin, the Liber8 Music Project.
The teaching was split into two classes – Introduction to Music Production in the morning, and Introduction to Songwriting in the afternoon. In the Introduction to Music Production class – taught by BIMM Dublin graduate Cian Finlay – the students learned how to create and record songs and loops using the Ableton software, each using a dedicated Macbook and keyboard. The students began with building loops of music, then manipulating the loops into songs and structured parts, adding instruments and sounds to build up the layers of the music. The development through the week was noticeable, with the tracks beginning as simple drum beats, evolving to full songs, with choruses, builds and even some with vocals and lyrics!
In the afternoon the classes turned to an Introduction to Songwriting – taught by BIMM Dublin Tutor and Musician Kieran McGuiness, who is also Course Director for our Liber8 Music Project – took the students through the foundations of songwriting, from breaking down the structures of a song, to actually getting stuck into writing their own music! The classes began with outlining melody, rhythm, and keys, and moved on to lyrics and writing songs. To watch the students begin to write their first songs, through various games and projects, was very inspiring and exciting.
At all points, the two classes crossed over and worked together, bringing a songwriting element into the music production, and bring the production and electronic element into the songwriting.
By the end of the course, each student had a recording of a song they had written, both alone and in a group, and a new appreciation for the craft of Songwriting and the skill of Music Production!