Chair of Songwriting



Job description

Boston, MA

Berklee College of Music invites applications for the position of Chair of the Songwriting Department. Reporting to the Dean of the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division, the Chair of CWP is part of the academic leadership team with responsibilities and duties that encompass the administration and supervision of department governance, curriculum, instruction, faculty management, budget, facilities management, communication, and implementation and support of College initiatives.

The Songwriting Department comprises a faculty of 22 faculty and an Assistant Chair, and provides a unique, tool-based approach to songwriting and related skills. The department manages curriculum for Songwriting majors as well as students with other majors who take songwriting classes as electives. The curriculum for songwriting supports development in all areas of craft and business, including: production and technology; arranging; performance skills; genre and style; marketing and branding; licensing and copyright; and the study of songs in their social and historical context.

The department promotes an evolving repertoire of elective classes which cover current practices, events for songwriters who wish to perform original songs, screenings with industry professionals, master classes and clinics with influential songwriters, and trips to industry hubs like Nashville and Los Angeles. The department also oversees the Music Theater Writing Minor, and offers several summer programs. The Songwriting department strives to attain and maintain diverse representation of gender, race, ethnicity, as well as genres and styles that are currently under-represented in academic settings.

The Chair of Songwriting will be:

  • An experienced leader with a deep and practical understanding of both the art of songwriting and current industry trends in the business of songwriting.
  • Innovative and forward-thinking, able to guide the department in the development of new curricula that reflect the ever changing nature of songwriting and the role of the songwriter of the music industry.
  • A strong collaborator with excellent interpersonal communication skills demonstrated through a record of inclusive leadership in a variety of situations.

The Chair will demonstrate a deep awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion issues and a dedication to continue to develop that knowledge and lead faculty and students towards the continuous goal of making Berklee a more inclusive institution.


  • Provide leadership in the development and management of songwriting curriculum, particularly as it relates to the current state of the music industry and music technology.
  • Represent the Songwriting Department as an administrative leader on- and off-campus.
  • Manage a diverse faculty, including classroom observations, faculty development, mentoring, consultation, and evaluation.
  • Develop departmental goals and reports.
  • Oversee department concerts and other department activities.
  • Serve on departmental, divisional, and college committees as needed.
  • As time permits, maintain a teaching load of one or two sections of department courses during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Advise both Songwriting majors and students taking songwriting classes as electives.
  • Maintain professional music participation outside of the college.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree in songwriting, technology or music-related field or equivalent professional experience.
  • Professional experience in a music production-related field.
  • A record of professional engagement and ability to establish and maintain relationships with music industry constituencies, organizations, and academic partners.
  • Well-developed technology skills with expertise in current music software and a strong command of technology to support administrative tasks.
  • College or university teaching experience.
  • Administrative experience, either in higher education, the non-profit sector, or the music industry.
  • Experience in curriculum development.
  • An interest in working in a diverse workplace with a multicultural student.

How to apply

Electronic applications only. Please submit the following materials in one PDF/Word document at Address your materials to: Contemporary Writing and Production Department Chair Search, Attn: Matthew Nicholl, Dean, Professional Writing and Music Technology Division.

  • Letter of Application that addresses the applicant’s capabilities, experiences, and interests.
  • A current resume or CV (including industry credits).
  • Names and contact information for at least three (3) references.
  • Links to websites or online resources with representative samples of your professional work.

The start date for the position is September 1, 2022, or earlier depending on availability. This is a twelve-month position. Initial appointment is for three years. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The position will remain open for applications until filled.

Berklee College of Music is committed to increasing the diversity of the college community and the curriculum. Candidates who can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths in this area.

The above information on this position description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by individuals within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.  Requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” employment relationship.

External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents who become disabled as defined under the Americans With Disabilities Act, must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case-by-case basis.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. The position will remain open for applications until filled.

Berklee is committed to increasing the diversity of the college community and the curriculum. Candidates who can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths in this area.

*Currently enrolled Berklee students are not permitted to apply for staff or faculty positions