Bachelor of Music with specialisation in Songwriting

  • 2 Years (6 trimesters)
  • Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
  • Undergraduate

The Bachelor of Music: Songwriting is designed to help you create strong, focused songs that perfectly blend your lyrical ideas with powerful melodies. You will learn key concepts in form, structure, melodic development, harmony, top-lining, and writing for ensembles using acoustic and electronic instrumentation.
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Diploma of Music with specialisation in Songwriting

  • 8 months (2 trimesters)
  • Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
  • Undergraduate

Combining technical principles with pure creative expression, this hands-on course will help you start to find your voice, sharpen your craft and create songs that will be remembered. You will receive - at the core of your songwriting studies - weekly one-on-one private mentoring sessions to work on your songwriting, and develop a folio of original songs.
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Student Showcase

Our Lecturers

Will Day

Senior Lecturer, Music

Will Day

Senior Lecturer, Music

Shannon Brown

Senior Music Lecturer

Former tenor and Musical Director for the internationally acclaimed group The Ten Tenors, Shannon toured full-time for six years, performing an average of 250 shows per year across five continents.

Recorded a Platinum-selling album 'Here's To The Heroes' at Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra and launched the album performing at the Royal Albert Hall.

Shannon has recorded with Sting’s guitarist, Dominic Miller. American drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta. ‘Songwriters Hall of Fame’ lyricist, Don Black OBE, and Academy Award & Golden Globe winner, John Barry OBE.

Shannon has worked with Australia’s Guy Sebastian and Paulini Curuenavuli. John Foreman OAM, Chong Lim AM, James Morrison AM & Producer, Ken Laing AM. He has toured with Country star Jasmine Rae and been the Musical Director for the 2013 winner of The Voice, Harrison Craig.

Shannon continues to work with Australia’s Got Talent Winner, Mark Vincent, as his Musical Director for over 11 years.

Shannon Brown

Senior Music Lecturer

Former tenor and Musical Director for the internationally acclaimed group The Ten Tenors, Shannon toured full-time for six years, performing an average of 250 shows per year across five continents.

Recorded a Platinum-selling album 'Here's To The Heroes' at Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra and launched the album performing at the Royal Albert Hall.

Shannon has recorded with Sting’s guitarist, Dominic Miller. American drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta. ‘Songwriters Hall of Fame’ lyricist, Don Black OBE, and Academy Award & Golden Globe winner, John Barry OBE.

Shannon has worked with Australia’s Guy Sebastian and Paulini Curuenavuli. John Foreman OAM, Chong Lim AM, James Morrison AM & Producer, Ken Laing AM. He has toured with Country star Jasmine Rae and been the Musical Director for the 2013 winner of The Voice, Harrison Craig.

Shannon continues to work with Australia’s Got Talent Winner, Mark Vincent, as his Musical Director for over 11 years.

Matt Walker

Music Lecturer

Matt Walker is one of the most respected musicians on the Australian scene. His work as a songwriter, guitarist, producer and composer is credited on dozens of albums, films and documentary scores, and among his peers he enjoys the status of a true cult legend. He has toured with people such as Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Dirty Three, Nick Cave, Tony Joe White, Cat Power, The Black Keys and Joe Cocker. Matt has also written, recorded and performed with an eclectic bunch of outstanding artists including Brod Smith, Mick Harvey, Rob Hirst and Jim Mogine (both from Midnight Oil), Archie Roach, Tex Perkins, Kim Salmon, Henry Wagons and Ashley Davies...the list goes on. His commitment to other projects has, at times overshadowed his own work, but he has nevertheless won an ARIA award for his music, and it goes without saying that, within the Australian music industry, there is much respect for Matt Walker.

Although Matt may currently be found out front of the band, Lost Ragas, a collective of songwriters, he still ventures out to play in solo mode. Experimenting with guitar improvisation and often taking his songs out into cinematic realms. His latest solo album 'In Echoes of Dawn' is a stunning, uplifting piece of work that moves from swamp-soul through to harmony-rich country blues and lilting piano-driven balladry. Matt's voice is haunting, effortless and pure and his songwriting here is nothing short of a revelation.

Matt Walker

Music Lecturer

Matt Walker is one of the most respected musicians on the Australian scene. His work as a songwriter, guitarist, producer and composer is credited on dozens of albums, films and documentary scores, and among his peers he enjoys the status of a true cult legend. He has toured with people such as Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Dirty Three, Nick Cave, Tony Joe White, Cat Power, The Black Keys and Joe Cocker. Matt has also written, recorded and performed with an eclectic bunch of outstanding artists including Brod Smith, Mick Harvey, Rob Hirst and Jim Mogine (both from Midnight Oil), Archie Roach, Tex Perkins, Kim Salmon, Henry Wagons and Ashley Davies...the list goes on. His commitment to other projects has, at times overshadowed his own work, but he has nevertheless won an ARIA award for his music, and it goes without saying that, within the Australian music industry, there is much respect for Matt Walker.

Although Matt may currently be found out front of the band, Lost Ragas, a collective of songwriters, he still ventures out to play in solo mode. Experimenting with guitar improvisation and often taking his songs out into cinematic realms. His latest solo album 'In Echoes of Dawn' is a stunning, uplifting piece of work that moves from swamp-soul through to harmony-rich country blues and lilting piano-driven balladry. Matt's voice is haunting, effortless and pure and his songwriting here is nothing short of a revelation.

Kemo Bunguric

Head of Music (Sydney)

Kemo’s teaching methods and influence reflect his own passion and extensive skills in composition, arranging and music technology, especially since he is a piano accordion virtuoso and an Australasian Accordion Champion.

By the age of 13, Kemo had learned early on how important it was to market one’s self as a musician, a concept which he aims to instil in his students. Kemo ensures that his students understand how to develop themselves as well-rounded musicians and teaches them the importance of being progressive within the industry.

Kemo Bunguric

Head of Music (Sydney)

Kemo’s teaching methods and influence reflect his own passion and extensive skills in composition, arranging and music technology, especially since he is a piano accordion virtuoso and an Australasian Accordion Champion.

By the age of 13, Kemo had learned early on how important it was to market one’s self as a musician, a concept which he aims to instil in his students. Kemo ensures that his students understand how to develop themselves as well-rounded musicians and teaches them the importance of being progressive within the industry.

James O'Brien

Music Lecturer

James graduated with a Bachelor of Music (performance) from the Queensland Conservatorium in 2001 and immediately began work as a touring musician successfully traversing the jazz and popular music worlds. With modern piano trio Misinterprotato, James toured around Australia, the U.S., Canada and Japan and contributed to the group's first two releases through the Melbourne based Jazzhead label.

As singer and songwriter in Brisbane-Melbourne based indie-pop group The Boat People, James has released three albums, toured the U.S. 8 times (including two trips to SXSW), the U.K. twice and supported many outstanding Australian and International acts including Powderfinger, Crowded House and The Shins. The Boat People have had 8 songs playlisted on national radio station Triple J and in 2007 James signed a publishing deal with Ivy League/Mushroom which has seen his songs used extensively in television and film.

In 2012, James co-wrote and sung the breakout single "Half of It" for producer duo YesYou which received high rotation radio play on Triple J. James currently works as touring bass player with avant-folk group Machine Translations and songstress Kate Miller-Heidke. With his new group Darling James, he produced and music directed the "8 First Dates" event at the 2014 Melbourne Fringe which featured guests Ainslie Wills, Angie Hart (Frente), Jae Laffer (The Panics) and many others. Darling James are about to release their debut single and recently opened for legendary Australian group, The Church.

James O'Brien

Music Lecturer

James graduated with a Bachelor of Music (performance) from the Queensland Conservatorium in 2001 and immediately began work as a touring musician successfully traversing the jazz and popular music worlds. With modern piano trio Misinterprotato, James toured around Australia, the U.S., Canada and Japan and contributed to the group's first two releases through the Melbourne based Jazzhead label.

As singer and songwriter in Brisbane-Melbourne based indie-pop group The Boat People, James has released three albums, toured the U.S. 8 times (including two trips to SXSW), the U.K. twice and supported many outstanding Australian and International acts including Powderfinger, Crowded House and The Shins. The Boat People have had 8 songs playlisted on national radio station Triple J and in 2007 James signed a publishing deal with Ivy League/Mushroom which has seen his songs used extensively in television and film.

In 2012, James co-wrote and sung the breakout single "Half of It" for producer duo YesYou which received high rotation radio play on Triple J. James currently works as touring bass player with avant-folk group Machine Translations and songstress Kate Miller-Heidke. With his new group Darling James, he produced and music directed the "8 First Dates" event at the 2014 Melbourne Fringe which featured guests Ainslie Wills, Angie Hart (Frente), Jae Laffer (The Panics) and many others. Darling James are about to release their debut single and recently opened for legendary Australian group, The Church.

Dr Vincent Perry

Senior Music Lecturer

Dr Vincent Perry

Senior Music Lecturer

Chris Pickering

Head of Music (Melbourne)

Chris Pickering studied Jazz Drums at The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and played drums and guitar in a few well-known Australian groups before embarking on a solo career as a singer-songwriter in 2005. Since that time, he has recorded and released four full-length albums and four EPs of critically acclaimed original material, and in 2009 relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Based there as a professional musician until 2013, he gained solid support and recognition from the Nashville songwriting and performing community, and toured and performed all over the United States and parts of Europe.

He is now based in Melbourne and has been Head of Music at JMC Melbourne Campus since 2014, since which time he has also gained a Masters in Music from Melbourne University. He still performs regularly in Melbourne and around Australia with his band and with other musical projects, when time permits.

Chris Pickering

Head of Music (Melbourne)

Chris Pickering studied Jazz Drums at The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and played drums and guitar in a few well-known Australian groups before embarking on a solo career as a singer-songwriter in 2005. Since that time, he has recorded and released four full-length albums and four EPs of critically acclaimed original material, and in 2009 relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Based there as a professional musician until 2013, he gained solid support and recognition from the Nashville songwriting and performing community, and toured and performed all over the United States and parts of Europe.

He is now based in Melbourne and has been Head of Music at JMC Melbourne Campus since 2014, since which time he has also gained a Masters in Music from Melbourne University. He still performs regularly in Melbourne and around Australia with his band and with other musical projects, when time permits.

Chloe Harrison

Ensemble Coordinator

Previously hailing from Sydney, Chloe Harrison is now a Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, producer, composer, and voice actor.

Chloe started her career young, starting voice acting at 6 years old, working on hundreds of advertising campaigns for TV, radio, and cinema, as well as two seasons of an animated series that was aired internationally. She later moved towards music, starting work as a session singer.


After completing her undergraduate degree in Composition and Production, she started her own production company, in the first year recording 3 albums, 4 EP’s and several singles for independent artists in both Sydney and Rural NSW. She then embarked on her post-graduate studies in composition, while lecturing, performing, and working as a producer.

More recently, she has moved into working as a composer, sound designer, and voice actor for video games, while continuously working on her own original music.

Chloe Harrison

Ensemble Coordinator

Previously hailing from Sydney, Chloe Harrison is now a Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, producer, composer, and voice actor.

Chloe started her career young, starting voice acting at 6 years old, working on hundreds of advertising campaigns for TV, radio, and cinema, as well as two seasons of an animated series that was aired internationally. She later moved towards music, starting work as a session singer.


After completing her undergraduate degree in Composition and Production, she started her own production company, in the first year recording 3 albums, 4 EP’s and several singles for independent artists in both Sydney and Rural NSW. She then embarked on her post-graduate studies in composition, while lecturing, performing, and working as a producer.

More recently, she has moved into working as a composer, sound designer, and voice actor for video games, while continuously working on her own original music.

Charlotte McLean

Music Lecturer

Charlotte Mclean is a two-time graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Jazz Music Institute. Recieving a Bachelor of Jazz Music from JMI and graduating in 2012, she went on to study a Graduate Certificate (Majoring in Performance) and a Master of Music (Majoring in Vocal Pedagogy) at the Conservatorium, graduating in 2017 with a Griffith Award for Academic Excellence. Charlotte has worked over the past ten years as a private vocal teacher, contemporary vocalist and recording artist as well as lecturing in music.

Currently, in addition to her work at JMC, she is teaching private voice at All Hallows' School and sessional private voice and tertiary classes for vocalists at Jazz Music Institute. 

Charlotte performs regularly at Clubs and festivals in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney as well as having performed internationally. In July 2014 she released her debut originals album and in 2019/2020 produced, arranged and released her second originals album 'Magnolia'. Her original songs have garnered critical and popular acclaim. Charlotte is passionate about helping all students to achieve a healthy vocal technique across all musical genres as well as a strong foundation in music theory, performance and business skills.

Charlotte McLean

Music Lecturer

Charlotte Mclean is a two-time graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Jazz Music Institute. Recieving a Bachelor of Jazz Music from JMI and graduating in 2012, she went on to study a Graduate Certificate (Majoring in Performance) and a Master of Music (Majoring in Vocal Pedagogy) at the Conservatorium, graduating in 2017 with a Griffith Award for Academic Excellence. Charlotte has worked over the past ten years as a private vocal teacher, contemporary vocalist and recording artist as well as lecturing in music.

Currently, in addition to her work at JMC, she is teaching private voice at All Hallows' School and sessional private voice and tertiary classes for vocalists at Jazz Music Institute. 

Charlotte performs regularly at Clubs and festivals in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney as well as having performed internationally. In July 2014 she released her debut originals album and in 2019/2020 produced, arranged and released her second originals album 'Magnolia'. Her original songs have garnered critical and popular acclaim. Charlotte is passionate about helping all students to achieve a healthy vocal technique across all musical genres as well as a strong foundation in music theory, performance and business skills.

Charles Jenkins

Music Lecturer

Charles Jenkins is a Melbourne songwriter/musician, producer and performer with more than 30 years experience in the Australian Music Industry.

He has released 17 albums, toured Europe and the USA several times and been nominated for two ARIA awards with the Icecream Hands. In 2014 he won the AGE/Music Victoria award for best folk/roots album. He recently released a solo album When I Was On The Moon to critical acclaim.

Charles Jenkins

Music Lecturer

Charles Jenkins is a Melbourne songwriter/musician, producer and performer with more than 30 years experience in the Australian Music Industry.

He has released 17 albums, toured Europe and the USA several times and been nominated for two ARIA awards with the Icecream Hands. In 2014 he won the AGE/Music Victoria award for best folk/roots album. He recently released a solo album When I Was On The Moon to critical acclaim.

Cassandra Long

Music Lecturer

Cassie is an indie folk singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocal pedagogist based in Sydney. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Music, concentrated in Songwriting and Music Production, from Berklee College of Music, she aims to help her students hone all aspects of their craft and amplify their artistry.

Cassandra Long

Music Lecturer

Cassie is an indie folk singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocal pedagogist based in Sydney. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Music, concentrated in Songwriting and Music Production, from Berklee College of Music, she aims to help her students hone all aspects of their craft and amplify their artistry.

Cameron Bower

Senior Music Lecturer

Cameron Bower is a composer, producer, songwriter and improvising musician from Brisbane. His principle projects include work with Big Dead (2010 -) and Milk Buttons (2015 -) and is the artistic director and principle composer for New Music/Jazz ensemble Cowbird (2016 -).

As a composer he works within a world of improvised and composed forms, electronic and rock music, synthesising his tendency towards jazz and improvised music with the formal structures of contemporary classical idioms and techniques. As a producer he works in electronic/ambient and alternative rock contexts.

Cam teaches composition, piano and guitar as part of the Browning Street Music and Dance Teachers cooperative and works as a Sessional Academic at QUT and JMC lecturing on topics from music theory and composition to history and aural studies.

Cameron Bower

Senior Music Lecturer

Cameron Bower is a composer, producer, songwriter and improvising musician from Brisbane. His principle projects include work with Big Dead (2010 -) and Milk Buttons (2015 -) and is the artistic director and principle composer for New Music/Jazz ensemble Cowbird (2016 -).

As a composer he works within a world of improvised and composed forms, electronic and rock music, synthesising his tendency towards jazz and improvised music with the formal structures of contemporary classical idioms and techniques. As a producer he works in electronic/ambient and alternative rock contexts.

Cam teaches composition, piano and guitar as part of the Browning Street Music and Dance Teachers cooperative and works as a Sessional Academic at QUT and JMC lecturing on topics from music theory and composition to history and aural studies.

Ben Romalis

Music Lecturer

Ben Romalis

Music Lecturer

FAQs

This depends on what outcome you want to work towards, what career you want to ultimately pursue and where your passion lies. If you see yourself performing your music to a live audience and are excited about the thought of doing so then contermporary music performance might be the way to go. Bear in mind that the Bachelor Degree in Contemporary Music Performance does teach two units in Songwriting.

If you love the idea of composing, creating, and telling stories through your music and you're not comfortable with the thought of performing in front of an audience then the song writing course may be a better option for you. 

Of course, if you decide to study the songwriting course, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to perform on your own or within an ensemble.

No, our courses are hands on and practical. Students are required to attend classes to receive ongoing mentorship, learn new skills and work with the equipment provided. We do encourage our students to use online study resources, however our courses would not be as immersive as they are without the practical component.

No. For those with little or no theory background, we'll teach you what you need to know from the ground up. We also offer a program during orientation week which provides a crash course to help you get started if theory isn’t your strong point.  

This depends where your passion lies. Do you love performing and getting on stage in front of an audience, or do you prefer composing, creating, and telling stories through music? If you get stage fright and the thought of performing in front of a live audience makes you feel weak at the knees, then the songwriting course could be a better option for you. As a songwriter, you’ll still have the opportunity to participate in an ensemble, in order to learn how to develop your musical ideas to be performance ready, but you won’t have to have the spotlight on your own performance.

Yes. The JMC Academy is registered and regulated by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) which is Australia’s independent national regulator of the higher education sector, both public and private.

No. For those with little or no theory background, we'll teach you what you need to know from the ground up. We also offer a program during orientation week which provides a crash course to help you get started if theory isn’t your strong point.