Course Syllabus

Songwriting Workshop:

Swedish Pop Music

DIS Logo
Semester & Location:

Fall 2021 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Major Discipline:



Maria Carlsson -

Program Director:

Andreas Brøgger - 

Academic Coordinator:

Sanne Rasmussen - 

Academic Support: 

Time & Place:

Tuesdays 10.05 - 13.00 1E-509

Description of Course

In this music course you will be trained in songwriting in a masterclass setting. The course is taught at your individual level and may include voice training, accompaniment, and/or music production. You will learn different writing techniques and lyrics analysis. As part of the course, we will meet with experienced Swedish songwriters who will share their inspirations and methods for songwriting as you develop your own creative ideas. Field studies include visits to the contemporary Stockholm music scene.

Note: Experience in music making or music performance is highly recommended.

As a student in this course, you will come into close contact with the renowned Royal College of Music, Stockholm (KMH), the oldest institution for higher education in music in Sweden. All genres are represented at KMH, where an abundance of new and exciting music is created on a daily basis. You will thus have the unique opportunity to study side by side with the next generation of professional musicians of Sweden, as well as gain access to free concerts that run at KMH every day. Furthermore, through this course, you will experience various music festivals and become intimately familiar with the burgeoning music scene in and around Stockholm.


Maria Carlsson, MA in Music, Royal College of Music, Stockholm, 2017. 2-year Artist/Vocalist education at the Swedish folkhögskola Kulturama. Professional Swedish singer, performing regularly in solo, band, and vocal group concerts. Vocal teacher and teacher in music and ensemble with 10+ years experience.

Learning Objectives 

  • Broaden writing techniques and general creativity
  • Develop music writing skills
  • Learn how to analyze and interpret lyrics
  • Gain experience with digital tools for songwriting
  • Develop voice technique and personal expressions
  • Master the basics in music knowledge, such as music theory, instruments and notation
  • Gain experience performing in front of a group

Required Texts

While this is primarily a hands-on course in technical learning, we will also consult some relevant literature (see Course Calendar).

Field Studies

During field studies, you will get to know some of greatest music scenes of Stockholm city. The purpose of the field studies in this course is to receive inspiration from an abundance of new exciting Swedish music, as well as to meet and network with Swedish music students and professionals. Detailed visits to be announced, as concert programs become available closer to the dates.

Guest Musicians

During two class sessions, experienced Swedish songwriters will be visiting our classroom to share technique and expertise. Detailed visits to be announced.

Expectations of the Students

I expect you to be well prepared when you come to class, meaning that you should have finished your assignments on time. Before each class session, you will have a detailed short assignment to write or to prepare. You are expected to dedicate at least three hours of work per week outside of class time. I expect you to be brave sharing your thoughts and your music with the group, and also willing to work with your material and try new ideas in front of the group. I likewise expect you to show respect for other students by being focused and involved in their processes as we are working in master classes. You are also expected to protect the integrity of the group by keeping confidentiality of what is said and done by students in the classroom. It is also of great importance to keep a positive and supportive attitude towards the work of the others in the class.


Engaged participation will be rewarded in this class, both regarding your own work and while taking part in the processes of others. As a student in this course, you will not be compared to the other students in the group, but rather evaluated based on your individual level and development curve. Your will, engagement and efforts will be highly rewarded in this class.

Concluding Concert

The semester will end with a concert where you get to perform some of the songs that you have worked on during the semester.

Final Project

Throughout the course you are expected to write a log once a week in which you reflect on your work and your development in music and songwriting. At the end of the semester you will write a summary of your log, linking it to the relevant course literature.


In order to receive a passing grade, you must complete all the assignments.



Participation and Engagement


Short Assignments


Final Project 



We all have a collective responsibility to avoid the spread of COVID-19 at DIS. Throughout this semester, please monitor yourself carefully for symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, high temperature, breathing difficulties, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, loss of smell/taste). If you experience any of these symptoms, please stay home and contact the DIS emergency phone. The respondent will coordinate with Academics at DIS Stockholm, who will in turn contact your individual faculty. If you are otherwise well but isolating due to possible exposure or mild symptoms, it is your responsibility to keep up with your coursework - we will organize hybrid classes for you to join via Zoom. If you are unwell due to COVID-19 and unable to attend class or study, your absence will be excused. Your faculty will work with you to ensure you are able to make up missed course content due to illness. You are still responsible for completing any missed work. 

Academic Regulations

Please make sure to read the Academic RegulationsLinks to an external site on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due