Berkleemusic Debuts Songwriting for Film, TV on June 29

Jun 25, 2009 2:38 PM


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photo of Brad Hatfield

Brad Hatfield, instructor for Berkleemusic's online course Songwriting for Film and TV.

Berkleemusic, the online continuing education division of Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, is debuting a new course, Songwriting for Film and TV, for its upcoming summer term beginning June 29. Students will explore the techniques of writing music that appeal specifically to music supervisors, editors, directors and producers across a wide variety of different genres.

Songwriting for Film and TV is available as a stand-alone 12-week course, as well as one of eight required courses in the recently launched multi-course certificate program Orchestration For Film and TV.

"The field of songwriting for film and television has grown exponentially over the past few years, providing a promotional launching pad, as well as a lucrative income stream for artist and songwriter careers," says course instructor Brad Hatfield (pictured), an Emmy Award-winning composer and one of Boston's most prolific musicians.

Songwriting for Film and TV begins with an overview of the historical and current uses of songs and how to succeed as a songwriter for film and television. Online students explore the elements of a visual-media-friendly song, including appropriate harmonic colors, rhythmic elements and intros, vamps and endings. Whether the material is intended as background source music or a featured song, the course teaches how to successfully write on demand and how to write for music libraries. Also covered are effective techniques for collaborating, both during the writing and production process. The course also deals with important business considerations, including negotiation, payment and rights.

During the course, students write several short songs, each of which provides an opportunity to master specific techniques needed to succeed as a songwriter for visual media. Students also write and produce a full-length song for a featured use in a movie scene. There are opportunities to improve songs through collaboration with classmates and guided feedback from course instructor Brad Hatfield.

By the end of the course, students will have learned to write or modify their songs to make them "media-friendly"; collaborate effectively with other writers and musicians; find opportunities for their music to be placed into visual media; exchange audio files for flawless collaborations; negotiate effectively when entering into agreements with publishers and producers; write a song to work in sync with onscreen action; and write and orchestrate songs communicating time, location and dramatic tone.

Brad Hatfield's musical compositions have been heard on movies such as Borat, Analyze This, The Break Up, and Cop Land, as well as the TV series The Sopranos, Six feet Under, ER, CSI, Saturday Night Live, Friends, The Young and The Restless, and dozens more. Hatfield is currently the co-composer for the FX Television series Rescue Me, starring Denis Leary. He has served on the faculty of Berklee College of Music and Boston College and currently teaches music supervision, songwriting, and music industry courses at Northeastern University.

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