at NOLA School of Music

Songwriting is the art of putting together your own song — the lyrics, the groove, the melody, the chords, and the accompaniment.

»  Songwriting and composition are similar, but songwriting typically refers to songs with lyrics and chord-based accompaniment and composition refers to instrumental music composed as sheet music.

»  Most songwriters play a chord-based instrument like piano, guitar, or ukulele. If you don't already play one, the basics of playing chords are actually really easy to learn in your songwriting lessons!

»  You don't need to be a great singer to be a songwriter! Many songwriters write song for other artists or singers.



Nick Bierman is an upbeat teacher whose passion for music is absolutely contagious. Nick spent most of his life picking up one instrument after another because he just couldn’t decide which was his favorite. After high school it seemed like the obvious choice for Nick to pursue a degree in music composition and continue his musical journey. During college he discovered a new passion for teaching music that he never knew he had. Now it’s Nick’s goal to spend all day teaching music and all night making music. If you’re looking for a die-hard music fan who will love music as much as you do, then Nick Bierman is your guy!


Katie Lott is a pianist, violinist, and singer-songwriter with over 6 years of experience teaching private lessons. She teaches beginning through advanced students and has worked with all ages, from 3 to adult. She has been playing music for almost 20 years in orchestras, ensembles, solo recitals, churches, and more. As an artist herself, Katie has recorded and released albums and EPs as a singer-songwriter, been featured on blogs, radio stations, and went on a 6-state tour promoting her last album. She graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition currently works in the New Orleans area as a teacher and performer.


Or Shovaly has over twenty years of experience playing guitar. Grounded in blues, rock, funk and pop, but today playing mostly jazz and ethnic music (middle eastern and African). He is a a member of two main groups: a Jazz quartet and the Afro-Beat Band Kumasi, winner of a 2017 Big Easy Awards. Or holds a BA in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans Jazz program where he concentrated in jazz guitar performance and studied with Steve Masakowsi, Brian Seeger, Davy Mooney and Hank Mackie. He has over 5 years of experience teaching

private guitar lessons with students of various ages, levels and interests; he also has over ten years experience in educational work with children, including as a music instructor at the JCC Summer Camp. His teaching method focuses on playing by ear and learning about technical and theoretical concepts through the experience of learning a song of the student’s choice, and for the interested he teaches improvisation (soloing), reading, composing, harmonizing, and songwriting.


 about songwriting lessons at NOLA School of Music


We'll go over all the basics of songwriting:

  • writing a hook
  • writing the lyrics
  • forming the different sections of the song (chorus, verse, bridge)
  • writing the melody
  • coming up with a chord progression
  • arranging your song

We find that many students naturally excel at certain parts of songwriting, but are lacking in other areas. We'll spend most of our time on the areas that you're struggling with most!


In order to write chord progressions for your song, you'll need to know how to play chords on an instrument like piano or guitar.

If you can already play piano or guitar, you'll have an advantage, but don't worry if you don't know how to play piano or guitar yet! We'll teach you how to play basic chords during your songwriting lessons.



30-minute lessons are our most popular option at NOLA School of Music. They are ideal for beginners and children who don't have enough material (or the attention span) for a longer lesson.


60-minute weekly lessons are great for adults or intermediate/advanced students. An hour lesson gives your teacher plenty of time to focus on technique, sight-reading, improvisation, and other aspects of music without being rushed.


For many students, 45-minute weekly lessons are the perfect sweet spot. Since 45-minute lessons are difficult to schedule, they may only be available during early afternoon hours or late evening.

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