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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics by Berklee College of Music

767 ratings
258 reviews

About the Course

There’s a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it’s safe to come out. Now it is. This course is an invitation to let your inner songwriter step into the sunlight. All it takes is a simple “yes” and you’ll be climbing that windy hill, marveling at the view. If you haven’t written any or many songs, this course will show you an efficient, effective process for tailoring songs to express your ideas and emotions. If you have, you’ll look at your process differently, taking control of aspects of the process you may have not noticed. The course will start by examining the tools available to you, all revolving around the essential concept of prosody. You’ll learn to use your tools to enhance your message—to work compositionally at the same time you’re developing your ideas. You’ll be working both lyrically and musically, though musically it’s not necessary that you either read music or play an instrument. If you play, great, and you’ll be encouraged to play and record your musical responses to the assignments. If you don’t play, the course offers you a number of musical loops to work with. All you’ll have to do is sing your melodies over the loops. Assignments will ask you to post something for peer review—sometimes lyric lines or sections, sometimes melodies, sometimes both. None of it has to be polished. The course is about writing, not performing. Most important, you’ll have a lot of fun....

Top reviews


Feb 12, 2021

This course helped me get over the hump of not being able to write songs. I want to thank Sir Pat for helping me organize my ideas and refine them so that I can tell good stories. Thank you sir!!


Jan 15, 2021

I have been to dozens of workshops and have read dozens of books and have written hundreds of songs. I learned more in this course than in any of the workshops or books. This it top rated stuff!

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1 - 25 of 260 Reviews for Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics

By Naiya C

Nov 24, 2017

Good course, but got to the end of the first test (thinking this was a peer-graded / checked course) and was only given the option to upgrade (pay) to complete. So I filled out ALL those answers... and realized only at the end of the test that if I couldn't afford the $49 per month or $49 per certificate, that I'd just have to scrap my work. I did buy a book from the professor (on Amazon). It's an okay course, but mostly it seems like a plug for books written by the person teaching the course. I'd gladly donate a few bucks to complete this course, but I don't want to pay a monthly fee. This is still a pretty good deal as far as online courses go, but I think they would get more buyers if they charged $15 or $20 per course, rather than $49 per month / per certificate.


Dec 24, 2019

I enjoy this course a lot !

At first I thought that I would learn some basic things (so I took my time at first and didn't enjoy it a lot) but I really learned things and I improved my writing.

But I think that the submission system should be reviewed because if there's no one to review you, you can't progress.

The instructor was excellent !

And it is a little too expensive for a French college student but I know that It's not like that in others countries.

But I can't afford all the courses.

Thanks for everything !

By Tze-Ern C

Aug 7, 2019

This was my first exposure to songwriting and I learnt a lot, especially about rhyme types and melodic rhythm. Pat Pattison is a very dynamic, engaging and effective teacher. I particularly appreciated the detailed step-by-step examples in writing a song and singing it with effective phrasing.

I can't give the course five stars, though, because of the peer review system. Students are to grade one another's assignments, quite often on subjective aspects. Sometimes I had difficulty knowing how to grade someone else and sometimes I didn't agree with how I was graded, but there is no recourse to discuss or adjust the grading. I often wished I had opted for the free version of the course and saved myself the aggro. I think I would have preferred it if we were required to upload our work to a forum and exchange comments instead - there might be more exposure and interaction with a lot less frustration that way.

As reflected in the course title, this course was primarily about writing lyrics. I hope that there will be a follow-up course about composing melodies.

By Dexray R

May 21, 2020

Great course. It not only taught me new techniques, but it also put a name to the things I was already doing in my day to day songwriting. I would definitely recommend it!

By Jacqueline H

Oct 20, 2019

Enjoyed this course! It gives me a starting point on where to start with songwriting. Particularly enjoyed learning about song form, prosody, rhyme schemes and phrasing. Thank you Pat Pattison, Berklee and Coursera for making this course available!

Only feedback I would have would be with the peer review scheme - It looks like all the students who were on the same class as me had finished their course, so there was no one left to review my final assignment (even after I had reached out in the discussions area, and even in the Facebook group). Hopefully there's a better way of getting graded for the final assignment rather than fully relying on peer reviews for your final grade.

By Leanne H

May 24, 2020

This course really got into the details of language and covered lots of tools and techniques that could be used to enhance your lyric writing! Pat has a lot of knowledge and conveys it well. I would recommend this course.

By Shunyo J

Aug 31, 2016

If i could give this course more than 5 stars I would. It has revolutionized my approach to writing lyrics and given me tools and techniques that really blow my mind. Definitely recommend!

By Christine C

Sep 28, 2020

I can honestly tell you this- before taking this course I had never written any kind of song. During the course I learned so many techniques to use, such as: how poetry and songwriting differ, the actual harmonics used in language (especially in English), how to create and maintain prosody in my work, how to construct a song, and all the linguistic knowledge needed to do some excellent writings about anything under the sun. But, most impressive by far, is the fact that I have penned three songs since starting this course. Not just a limerick style poem, but viable actual song lyrics which I am setting to music as we speak (or, technically, as I write this). It matters not if you plan to be a pro songwriter, or just want to expand you creative horizons- I can absolutely say with the utmost certainty that if you take this course with Pat Pattison, Author and Lyricist Extraordinaire, you will be better for it! Enjoy the process!-C

By Ed R

Sep 20, 2020

This course was an excellent exploration of lyric writing. I learned how to organize the songwriting process by thinking in terms of "the 3 boxes" a song moves through in the course of the song. The course's teaching of the various types of rhyme--and how to effectively them use to serve the song--was a highlight. Good use of video and auto-graded tests. The readings were complemented well by the videos. I came to this course looking to develop a more focused approach to my songwriting. I'm happy to say it provided that. I highly recommend this course for those who want to begin--or continue--their songwriting journey.

By Jesse T

Feb 14, 2018

This class really opened my eyes and ears to powerful concepts and techniques related to songwriting and finding my unique voice in the music I create. From the first week to the last, Pat Pattison's teaching exceeded my expectations and has gone above and beyond to deliver a quality educational experience. I can't say enough to recommend this course to anyone interested in the fundamentals of songwriting, practical, creative tools that will help you unlock your potential as a songwriter.

By Thomas B

Oct 11, 2019

If you want to be a lyricist, you have just found the instructor who literally wrote the book. I studied with Pat Pattison at Berklee over the course of four full years and earned my B.M. in songwriting. To refresh skills and stimulate myself as an active writer, I took this online course. 100% satisfaction and a deeper knowledge of the art. This course really does not have a downside. wishing you the best of success and a learning experience that is without equal. Thomas Busk

By Ashley G

Oct 10, 2016

Was completely surprised by this course. There is so much information presented in a clear, understandable, and intriguing way. I was engaged the whole time. This class has been the catalyst I've needed for awhile to inspire me to pick up my guitar daily and make progress on ideas. Its so great to have a dependable structure to work with as opposed to hoping inspiration is enough to get me something good. I am so thankful this course exists and it so accessible. Highly recommend!

By Mitch R

Feb 15, 2020

I took this course once before, either in 2013 or 2014. It ws great then. It's even better now.It seems like there were a few new things added since the last time I took this course. Whatever it is, this resonated with me on a whole new level this time around. Thank you Pat Pattison, Berklee and Coursera for providing this high quality, interesting and thought process changing course.

By John B

May 10, 2021

This is a great course to help people get started in songwriting. It really introduces you to some great concepts to get you started and moving towards a finished product. Loved it.

By Mark J

Mar 28, 2018

Lots of good tools, but no rules! Week 5 nearly killed me. Get on top of that one early as it easily takes 4-5 times longer than the other weeks to complete.

By Cheryl C

Feb 12, 2020

The best way for me to express my appreciation for this fabulous course would be to start sending stronger songs out into the world. Thank you so much, Pat!

By Forte

Dec 24, 2016

Amazing and powerful tools to craft my songs. Immediate implementation to solidify my learning. Peer reviews gave me a sense of community during the course.

By Max K

Mar 28, 2020

It was really interesting and useful! The structure is understandable and with a lot of good practical things that I can use in my next works.

By Mahesh M

May 13, 2020

A simple and easy yet quite insightful compilation of lessons by a resourceful and expressive instructor. Professor Pattison is awesome.

By Shannon V

May 6, 2020

There was a lot of good information contained in the course, even though a lot of it seems subjective. Some of the course content examples are inappropriate though which was off putting.

By Ella S

Apr 13, 2020

uncomfortable topics discussed that weren't necessary/related to songwriting

By Ashwin D M

May 31, 2020

Great course and Mr. Pat Pattison instructions was an excellent. This course is helpful for me. Before joining the course I have never writing any song in my life but in my mind various thoughts and ideas always coming. After the first week, I know how to represent your ideas into a song.

Last three week is tough for me because I m beginner. But I never give up. Finally, after the completion I have wrote two songs.

Thanks for coursera team and my course instructor Mr Pat Pattison.

I highly recommend this course. It's so helpful for those who wants to know about the songwriting skills.

Again, thanks for everything.

By Shawn F

Nov 4, 2016

This course was so much better than I thought it would be. Pat Pattison illuminated a level of craftsmanship within songwriting that I didn't realize existed, and I loved every new technique and discovery. He takes you through the process step-by-step, and you practice in bits and pieces along the way, so that by the time you are called on to write a complete song at the end, you feel prepared and excited. I learned a lot about writing, but I also learned a lot about the art of teaching writing. I highly recommend this course. It's so, so good. So good.

By Stian E

Jun 16, 2020

This course is a six week program, produced and tutored by the one and only Pat Pattison. He teaches by studying words at a microscopic level; the syllables, how it correlates to rhyming, to understanding the identity behind the song before phrasing each sections to support the feelings of the story. Once done, you'll have tools to assist in writing your songs and how chord structure works in a melody in order to add more depth. This leaves me to wishing there was follow up course. Absolutely to recommend!

By Madonna D T

Mar 22, 2021

I am so glad I took this course. I learned all the things that contribute to a verse or chorus being stable and unstable, the role of line lengths, number, and rhyme types. I got to peer review others' work, meet some new people all around the world during the weekly meetings, write my own song at the very end, which I very much enjoyed the process of doing. It's a very good course if you've always wanted to write songs, and just wasn't sure how to go about it. Thank you for offering this course!