ArtsBridge Summer Songwriting

Find your voice and take your writing to the next level.

ArtsBridge Summer Songwriting offers specialized guidance for students interested in studying songwriting at the college level. In this 5 day intensive, students will experience courses in lyric-writing, chord progressions, song form, career paths, performance, and audition techniques. Classes are taught by college faculty from top programs. The program will culminate in a 24 hour songwriting challenge and a final concert.

Applications will open in early December 2021 & will be due on February 15, 2022.

Location: Online

Dates: July 11 – 15, 2022

Tuition: $1,700

*Need-based scholarship is available for tuition and application fee. Contact us to learn more.

Songwriting 2022 Faculty

  • Bonnie Hayes, Artistic Director for ArtsBridge Summer Songwriting, Berklee College of Music
  • Chris Sampson, University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music
  • Ariel Strasser, Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Bonnie Hayes, Berklee College of Music

Bonnie Hayes is a songwriter, recording artist, musician and record producer. With her band The Wild Combo, she released her first record Good Clean Fun on SlashRecords to critical acclaim; their single Shelly’s Boyfriend became a national college radio hit, and appeared with other songs from the record in the cult favorite film Valley Girl. After releasing several records as an artist on various labels, she turned to songwriting; her songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Bette Midler, Booker T & the MG’s, Cher, Adam Ant, David Crosby, Huey Lewis and many others.  An early adopter of technology and recording software, Hayes produced indie records for blues and Americana working with artists and musicians such as Tommy Castro, Carlos Santana, Cyndi Blackman, Joe Bonamassa, and Ruth Foster. She also toured as a keyboardist with Billy Idol, Belinda Carlisle, and Huey Lewis, and has shared the stage with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, Tower of Power and countless others. A lifelong educator and mentor, Hayes currently serves as the chair of the songwriting department at the Berklee College of Music.

Chris Sampson, University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music

Chris Sampson has enjoyed a diverse career in music as an educator, songwriter, performer, producer, arts administrator and author. In 2009, Sampson founded the Popular Music degree program at the USC Thornton School of Music which is considered to be the first of its kind at a major university. As an associate professor of songwriting, Chris’s students have penned #1 hit songs, won GRAMMY awards, won national songwriting competitions, signed major recording and publishing contracts, toured nationally and internationally, and have placed numerous songs in television and film. He serves as the songwriting instructor for the GRAMMY Foundation education programs and is a national adjudicator in songwriting for YoungArts. Chris is a Lifetime Voting Member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Chris regularly gives masterclasses and clinics on songwriting and careers in music including at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, UK), Interlochen Arts Academy, Colorado University Denver, and the Make Music Miami Festival, to name a few. He is the author of numerous articles on songwriting and songwriting pedagogy as well as the author of Careers Through Music: Building Employable Skills in Your Music Class published by Alfred Publishing in partnership with the GRAMMY Museum. He has interviewed over 400 music professionals including some of the most iconic names in the industry such as Irving Azoff, John Mayer, Smokey Robinson, Sir Elton John, Sting, Chaka Khan, Linda Perry, Graham Nash, Jody Gerson, and Dan Wilson among many others. Chris was the producer and host of Joy Sounds: Music You Need to Know, a weekly podcast that enjoyed a two and half year run that showcased talented emerging and breaking artists. Chris is the recipient of the 2017 USC Provosts Mentoring Award and the 2019 Ramo Faculty Award at USC Thornton. As an administrator, Chris has served as Vice Dean for the Division of Contemporary Music at USC Thornton and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music among numerous other appointments. Chris is a member of BMI, and serves on the Advisory Board for the Orange County High School and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

Ariel Strasser, Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Ariel Strasser is a singer, songwriter, arts educator, & arts administrator based in Boston, Massachusetts. As a performer, she brings her native Minnesotan charm to all her live performances – telling stories and sharing laughs with her audiences across the country. 2019 brought two New England Music Award nominations including one for “Songwriter of the Year” and one for “Album of the year” for her newest release “Motivation”. She is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Musical Theater program. During her time at the Conservatory, she helped pilot the Songwriting Emphasis program within the Theater Department, helping to develop the conservatory’s songwriting curriculum. Ari has performed in festivals around Greater New England including The Boston Arts Festival and The Town & the City Festival. She has toured with and opened for national artists such as Chris Trapper (of the Push Stars), Lucy Wainwright Roche, Antigone Rising, and Brooke Annibale. She currently serves on the faculty within the theater/songwriting department at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. As the Vice President for Artistic Programs at ArtsBridge, she oversees all artistic training programs throughout the year, including summer programs, workshops, & ArtsBridge GapYear.


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