University of Southern California Sees Success With Songwriting Program

Chris Sampson, director of Popular Music at USC’s Thornton School of Music

University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music began offering a Songwriting major in 2009. The program caters to a wide variety of USC songwriters and encourages students to discover their own unique method to songwriting.

The university cleverly links songwriting students with students of other music majors to allow for collaboration and learning. For example, songwriting majors work with Audio Engineering students to create demo recordings of their original songs. While the students are instructed on specific genres, they are encouraged to find their own style.

As a city, Los Angeles has a lot to offer budding songwriters, with students finding themselves surrounded by film, TV, and music industries.

We recently spoke with Chris Sampson, associate dean and director of Popular Music at USC’s Thornton School of Music, to learn more about the university’s new program.

How long has the Songwriting Program existed at USC.

Students have been able to major in Songwriting (through our Bachelor of Music – Popular Music Performance degree) since 2009. We launched a minor in Songwriting in 2007 (e.g. majoring in Music Industry with a minor in Songwriting is a popular combination at USC Thornton) and we have been offering elective courses in Songwriting since the mid-80’s.

Have you found it to be a successful program so far.

It has exceeded my expectations. We have now established a consistent track record of students having professional success to know that the program gets results. ... Sign In to Keep Reading

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