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Sound Dr Alan offers lessons in Basic Instrumental Songwriting and Basic Sound Editing and Mixing for Beginners . Offering both private, individual lessons for those who prefer one-on-one instruction, and group sessions for churches, private school music programs and more. The group classes will be taught at  your location if local. Individual lesson are taught at the KRST Studio. Please contact us for pricing information.

A detailed Syllabus with Course Description is outlined below.

Basic Instrumental Songwriting for Beginners


Basic Sound Mixing And Editing

Course Syllabus

(All Courses Are Subject To Change)

Instructor: Dr. H. Alan Bailey, Sr.


Office Hours: TBA

Course Information:

Course materials, lecture notes, assignments, and a class calendar may be either posted online or distributed in class as handouts.

Course Description:

Songwriters must have the skills to create great emotional and physical feelings of the visions of the story they are presenting to their listening audience. This course will heavily stress the underlying principles of songwriting, while encouraging students to listen critically and to mix artistically. As a musical artist, this course will help you to solidify the relationship between audience and performer. Students will submit listening, research, and recording projects to evaluate their development. Advanced topics will be omitted or only briefly mentioned if needed to allow for complete explanation of key concepts.


Though there are no firm prerequisites, it is recommended that students be enrolled in vocal or instrumental studies, and have a home PC and or Laptop, and a keyboard or other instrument prior to enrollment in this course.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course students should be able to:

Set up a DAW (digital audio workstation) with minimal supervision

Mic musical performers or instruments for optimal sound quality, noise and feedback rejection

Sound check and mix the session

Apply effects, equalization, and other signal processing in order to produce a good mix

Record and edit a two-track recording of your fellow classmates and/or yourself

Have a complete song ready for a world of possibilities 


The overall grading scale will be as follows: A: >90%, B: 80-90%, C: 70-80%, D: 60-70%, F: <60%.

1. Quizzes (20%)

2. Listening project and presentation (20%)

3. Research paper (20%) - Minimum 2-3 pages typed, single-spaced.

4. Recording (20%)

5. Final exam (20%)

This flexible weighting system has been implemented to cater to the diverse strengths of students, and to the lack of prerequisites.

Quizzes and the final:

Quizzes will be given once weekly, starting the 2nd lecture. Quizzes may involve listening or written questions. Each quiz will be given during the first 15 minutes of class. All quizzes will carry equal weight. The final exam will consist of both listening and written questions. There will be eight quizzes in total, but the grade will be for seven quizzes. This will be essentially the same as dropping the lowest quiz, but could potentially allow greater than 100% overall for students who perform well on every quiz.

Bonus assignment:

Students will be given a musical arrangement and a topic in which to write lyrics and produce a finished product. Sign-up for the Bonus Assignment will be during the second class, and it must be completed by the 5th class to be included in your grade. No other assignments will be graded.

Certificate of Completion:

Upon completion of this course, students will be awarded a Certificate of Completion to acknowledge their understanding of Basic Songwriting.

Community Connection:

To be announced.

Textbook: TBA

Reference Book:

The S.M.A.R.T. Guide to Mixing and Mastering Audio Recording by Bill Gibson, (2006), ISBN: 1-59200-698. ~$40.00.

Academic Honesty:

Students are expected to submit their own work, and to cite all references. Any form of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the course.

Course Framework:

Course             Lecture Topics                                                                                                                  Readings                                                                      Due

1                        How to Write Instrumental Songs                                                                       TBA                                                                             No Quiz

2                        Begin with the Chorus/Hook                                                                                               TBA                                                                              Quiz 1: Bonus sign-up

3                         Write the Melody                                                                                                         TBA                                                                              Quiz 2:

4                         Write the Bridge                                                                                                           TBA                                                                              Quiz 3:

5                        Put the Song Together                                                                                                 TBA                                                                             Quiz 4: Bonus due

6                        How to Make an Instr. Music Track                                                                     TBA                                                                              Quiz 5:

7                        Create a Drum Track /Bass Track                                                                         TBA                                                                               Quiz 6:

8                         Treble Instr./Harmony Instr.                                                                                   TBA                                                                               No Quiz

9                         Choosing Your Software                                                                                           Mixing/Mast.                                                           Quiz 7:

10                       Starting Your Mix                                                                                                         Mixing/Mast.                                                           Quiz 8:

11                      Final Exam Review                                                                                                       TBA                                                                                No Quiz 


12                     Final Exam                                                                                                                         Time allotted: 90 min.

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