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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Arranging for Songwriters by Berklee

75 ratings

About the Course

You’ve created a song. You wrote the lyrics, decided on the melody, and maybe even recorded a simple demo. Now what? If you have a basic knowledge of how to use a digital audio workstation (DAW) and are passionate about being a songwriter, this course will help you take your song from a simple recording on your phone to a fully arranged song ready for the recording studio. You will be learning from two Berklee College of Music songwriting professors, Bonnie Hayes and Sarah Brindell. They will show you how to arrange original songs in a digital audio workstation. You will learn tools to heighten the emotional response of your listeners and you’ll broaden your understanding of instrumentation and how to add sounds to your song without distracting the listener from the most important aspect: the vocalist....

Top reviews


Oct 12, 2020

This is an excellent course, perfectly planned, motivating and inspiring. The teachers are impressive an there is a lot to learn in this course. I highly recommended. Thanks so much for this course!


Jun 26, 2020

This course provides me to learn more about song arrangements and helping to my ongoing projects.

Thanks Coursera and my Mentors Sarah Brindell and Bonnie Hayes.

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1 - 25 of 36 Reviews for Arranging for Songwriters

By Sylvain L

Oct 1, 2022

This course is actually more of a masterclass, structured around conversations with music teachers and musicians.

While this could have been an interesting format, the quality of the content is uneven and remains a bit abstract . For example, it would have been useful to have more concrete case studies like the ed sheeran NYT video.

All in all, I'm not sure it's worth the investment, unless you go through it at the back of studying Pat Pattison's 'Writing the Lyrics' and Scarlet Keys' 'Writing the Music' (both of which I strongly recommend).

Finally, the coursera UX for this course is outdated and cumbersome. And the peer-review system needs a complete overhaul.

4 stars for the course, minus one star for the substandard UX.

By Cecile S

Sep 19, 2020

On the positive note, the course had me tackle writing with the Logic Pro X, but what I really need is a course on LogicPro, not how to add horns or violins to a song. The course seems to address rock musicians. I have much experience playing Blues and Jazz. The sensibility of these genres is very different.

The course took me way longer than a few hours a week, as described in the weekly lessons. But that's due to my lack of knowledge with the software.

I was rather disappointed as I found the videos self evident. I have a master's degree in music and I was expecting the content to be deeper. Now I understand that most songwriters are not theoreticians.

I was mainly disappointed with the lack of support through the forum. Through the duration of the course, I entered many questions and never received answers or feedback. Only the final project was reviewed with "add more instruments". Which I had already done. To satisfy this request, I doubled a cello line with violins an octave higher. That would not be what I call positive feedback. The music has its demands. Too much is the enemy of the good. But musicality and taste are definitely a matter of personal taste . II attempted to find out who had written this comment. Was it from a student or the instructor? Anonymous feedback!

It would seem facil to put out a few videos (that in itself is not easy) and let students grade each other with no input from instructors.

Wish you had a course on Logic Pro X. I search but did not find

I know I am very demanding and critical. Overall it was a rewarding experience. Thanks

By Saeed S

Jan 6, 2020

a good course which gives an overview of the arrangement prequisites.

By An V

Jun 29, 2020

This is a very informative course for songwriters of various skill levels. It is suitable for beginner songwriters as well as for those who are active as a songwriter for a long time. This course will also be useful to composers of the academic direction of music, since many methods and theoretical information intersect with classical courses such as arranging, theory etc.

By Paul S

Feb 21, 2022

This course took my songwriting to a different level and I now better understand how to arrange my songs to sound more professional

By William A B

Jun 21, 2020

The content, the invited artist and the elements are all that you need to start songwriting

By Eduardo M

Jun 27, 2020


By Florian G

Oct 19, 2020

The tutors are good and nice and I like the interviews. Unfortunately, the teaching materials and methods are a bit outdated. I don't know any musician that is working without a DAW. The handwritten arranging charts and absolutely (boring) standard instruments doesn't help to excite the listener anymore. Nowadays you should use way more electronic stuff in your songs and get the right groove and instruments with modern VSTs. Every DAW I know has the same basic functions so that there is no reason to ignore modern music producing and arranging methods. I also missed some extra or insider tips from the tutors experience. There are many YouTube channels that are more interesting and to the point for free.

By Socks W

Feb 14, 2021

Pretty embarrassing for a Berklee course. The captions are full of errors, one video was filmed over Zoom with no professional backgrounds or lighting, and a number of quiz questions were literally impossible to answer because the videos preceding them hadn't provided the necessary information. There are nuggets of good info in here, but most of it feels disorganized and directionless. Would not recommend investing time or money in.

By Richard

Jun 6, 2020

I did not find this course to be beneficial whatsoever. The information presented is solely in a self-learning mechanism where the videos are senseless talk and reading material is left for the learner to cover.

By Yoga A S H

May 14, 2020

It was such a good journey! The material taught are holistic and proven to be very significant for newbie songwriters like me. The teachers are enthusiastic and comprised of exceptionally good musicians from whom I learned a lot. Although the course could be improved by adding musical effects outside the instrumental sections such as ambiences, risers, etc, the course had done a great job at covering the basics and the many popular intrumental part of song arrangement. Keep up the good work!

By Peter M

Oct 2, 2023

Thank you for a great course. This is a great course for adding music to your song. That is how should you add groove using drums and bass, rhythm using strings or keys and so fourth. And what is working together with the vocal. Highly interesting. I give my best recommendation.

By Swedborg C

Nov 23, 2021

Maybe you can add some sort of recommended bibliography, or some charts (PDF) on ranges, techniques and standard uses of music instruments included in videos and readings. However, I enjoyed a lot your material, and it's perfect as a secondary material for my class students.

By Juan C C

Oct 12, 2020

This is an excellent course, perfectly planned, motivating and inspiring. The teachers are impressive an there is a lot to learn in this course. I highly recommended. Thanks so much for this course!

By ashwin m

Jun 27, 2020

This course provides me to learn more about song arrangements and helping to my ongoing projects.

Thanks Coursera and my Mentors Sarah Brindell and Bonnie Hayes.

By Ishan D

Dec 2, 2020

A phenomenal course for every music aspirant. It really helped me to arrange my song in very creative way. Thank you Bonnie and Sarah!!

By Arturo D Á B

Dec 18, 2020

Amazing course! You will understand concepts on a practical way. It pushes you to work with a lot of style and structure.

By George B H

Mar 14, 2021

excellent course, I learned a lot more in this class than I have learned in workshops or reading.

By Luis R G

Jun 16, 2020

Great course, it's short but you can learn lot of things, specially recomended for beginners.

By Wee C Y

Jan 11, 2022

I learnt more than I expect..... Worth all the time for this course!

By Mario A

Sep 5, 2021

Great course, I loved it! Very usefull for songwriters

By Beautiful M

Jul 11, 2022

 That was a great course, especially for beginners.

By Sharmond S

Apr 21, 2021

Great Instructors. I gained a lot from this course.

By Roberta d R B

Feb 29, 2024

Wonderful! Very useful for beginners like me.

By الفنان س ع ا

Feb 26, 2024

very nice course I'm very proud to learn it