Trusted teacher: This is a hands-on surgical exploration into what great songs are and how to create them - from lyrics to music. Great songs are not merely popular songs, or catchy songs, or best-selling songs - great songs are enduring creations that stand the test of time, and which cross all boundaries of genre and style. In order to create them, we need a unique combination of skills and sensitivities - the ability to execute our ideas effectively on an accompaniment instrument of our choice, whether piano, guitar, organ, harp or other almost always polyphonic (multiple sounding) instruments - but equally the ability to craft poetic and compelling lyrics that are neither cliche nor predictable, and not least, the ability to create effective rhyme patterns without compromising either the original intent or flow of the song. In truth, creating a great song is as or more difficult than creating a great story, because it requires the meeting and melding of word and music in a mutually resonant way. In this quest, the class will enlighten beginning as well as seasoned songwriters on harmonic vocabularies available to them, basic musical resources such as rhythmic figures and variation techniques, basic and advanced song structures, from Bach to the Beatles to Bernstein, and perfecting the art of lyric-writing. Students will learn both fundamental notations so they may present their songs in a true musical format, as well as short cuts enabling them to sketch ideas in a simple form when in the heat of creation. Vocal ranges, transposing, vocal and instrumental ranges will be addressed so that students create songs capable of being sung by either professionals or amateurs.