Elevate your songwriting with moving harmonies, memorable melodies, and lush orchestration that will make your music truly stand out among the rest.
- Brett Epstein (ESPN, CBS, TNT, FOX SPORTS, CAPITOL RECORDS)
The best, most memorable songs take you on a journey.
I realized that these songs always tell a story, whether through a memorable melody, unique chord progressions, or lush arrangements that always enhance the action on screen.
I asked myself: "Why does pop music today sound repetitive, while so much animated film music is beautiful, emotional, and dynamic? What resources out there explore this?"
I realized that no one was really talking about it.
So I listened critically to my childhood favourites, took detailed notes, and figured out the keys behind the hits: simple and singable themes, diatonic harmony interspersed with additional non-diatonic chords, and string-based orchestrations using the other sections for colour and texture.
But how does it all fit together? What are the keys to a memorable melody, interesting chord progressions, and lush orchestrations, and how can we break out of the 4-chord rut and the dreaded writer's block?
If you're stuck writing the same 4-chord progressions over and over, can't seem to write catchy melodies that stick in people's minds, and aren't able to realize the orchestrations you hear in your head, I've got the perfect solution for you.
"If you ever wanted to write songs in the style of Disney animated films, this class is for you. Chris does a through job of giving historic, melodic, harmonic, orchestration and structural perspectives that build the classic Disney framework.
Using some of the most popular Disney songs, Chris gives concrete examples on how these songs create the emotional underpinning that enhances the animation. Additionally, he applies these principles as he walks you through his own Disney influenced composition.
Highly recommended for composers at all levels!"
- Wayne (student)
Songwriting for Animation will help you:
Write Memorable Melodies
Every songwriter has beautiful melodies within them. You'll learn the exact steps to produce catchy melodies, every time.
Compose Moving Chord Progressions
Expand past typical pop harmony and move your listeners with non-diatonic and extended chords.
Understand Lush Orchestration
Melody and harmony are fundamental, but the arrangement plays a large role in the emotional effect of the music.
Explore Classic Hits
Discover what the our favourites do to evoke a timeless sound, and a repeatable quality.
Songwriting for Animation is organized into 3 core modules:
Module 1 – The Essentials
- How to craft memorable melodies that will keep your listeners humming for days
- Specific chord progressions & chord types that elevate emotion and increase harmonic motion
- Common orchestration techniques for a full, lush, and detailed sound
- How to write music in a particular style but still remain true to yourself
Module 2 – Detailed Case Studies
- How to blend chord tones and non-chord tones to create smooth and natural melodies that people will remember
- An exploration into various genres across multiple songs, from Broadway to pop to jazz
- Why using non-diatonic chords in your progressions cause butterflies in the stomach
- Specific orchestration techniques, ranging from doubled strings/woodwinds to a solo trumpet w/ mute for specific colours
Module 3 – Writing Our Own Song!
- My step-by-step process for writing a memorable song with strong melodies and emotional chord progressions
- The power of 7th chords to create additional colour, compared to close/open position chords
- How I use key modulation to achieve emotional contrast and introduce a fresh tone to the song
- Key elements of a simple, singable, and effective melody that will keep your listeners invested
Homework and next steps included!
All of the content is presented through video format for the best learning experience. In addition, you'll also be provided with a written summary of each topic below the corresponding video.
Throughout the course, I've laid out 'next steps', so you can follow along with me, step-by-step, and ensure that you're progressing without any hiccups!
- Chris L. (composer)
Songwriting for Animation is for you if:
- You’re tired of writing the same chord progressions all the time, and want to add interest to your harmonies
- Your melodies are lifeless, lack direction, and don’t seem to fit your lyrics properly
- You want to understand how to use the orchestra to achieve emotional effect in your music
- You want an inside look at how the greatest songs in film are written
This is NOT for you if:
- You're an absolute beginner in music theory and notation. While I do go over some basic theory concepts in the course, an intermediate level of understanding is recommended to get the most out of this course. A minimum of 1-2 years of experience in writing music is also recommended.
- You expect to improve your songwriting skills without putting in the work. I can’t promise you any results unless you practice write music using the musical devices discussed in the course.
So how much does Songwriting for Animation cost?
Just click the button below to get started!
Don't forget...it's 100% risk free.
I’ve packed a lot into Songwriting for Animation because not only do I want you to create the music that I know you can make, but I want to guarantee that you don’t fail.
And to make it a no-brainer deal for you I’m giving you a 30 day 100% money-back guarantee with your purchase of Songwriting for Animation today.
That’s right: Go through the course, check out the bonuses, follow the steps, put in the work, and if you don’t love it in the first 30 days of your purchase, send me an email and I’ll refund you immediately. No questions asked, no hard feelings.
If Songwriting for Animation doesn’t work for you, I’d much prefer for you to take your money and invest it where you will be happier and get results. I just want you to unlock your composing and arranging potential!
Also, if you join today, you'll receive some incredible bonuses:
Bonus 1 - Producing 'Empty Holes' (mini course)
- My thought process when it comes to mapping out an arrangement from start to finish
- How to lay down the foundational elements first (melody, harmony, rhythmic section)
- How to build a lush arrangement around your musical ideas, bringing your song to life
- Why less is more, and why overcrowding your arrangement can actually hurt your song
Bonus 2 - Mixing & Mastering 'Empty Holes' (mini course)
- How to achieve a quality static mix only using your volume faders
- The benefits of top-down mixing, and how it will speed up your workflow
- The importance of automation, and why this is the final polish that your mix needs before mastering
- My quick n’ easy mastering process that only requires one plugin and a few simple moves
Bonus 3 - Interview with William Hoshal
- What really encapsulates the timeless sound of our childhood favourites
- Specific chord types and progressions that evoke an emotional response
- The importance of the string section as the foundation of the orchestra
- Recommend listening and study materials for personal development
- Tips for working in the industry
Bonus 4 - 'Empty Holes' Stems + MIDI
Whether you want to see how I arranged the song in your own DAW using the MIDI file, or listen to individual instruments within the arrangement, this is an invaluable resource if you want to dive deeper.
Some common questions:
Will I have lifetime access to the course?
Do I need to be able to read music?
The ability to read sheet music to fully grasp the concepts is recommended (although not required), as we'll be going over lead sheets I've created for each case study within the course. I'll be working in Logic for the production of my song Empty Holes, so I'll be using MIDI entirely in that section.
“Chris applies his in-depth, engaging approach from Cinematic Music Creation to Disney-style music with fantastic results.
He walks you through examples of actual Disney songs and shows where and how specific techniques produce that 'Disney sound'. But my favourite part is where he takes you step-by-step through creating an original Disney-style song from scratch, applying all the techniques he taught from chord progression sketch to final mix.
His energetic, positive, and encouraging delivery made it easy to stay engaged. At the end, you will not only have all the tools you need to create music with that distinctive magical flavor, but also a stronger foundation in musical theory.
If you want to unlock the Disney/Pixar sound, this is the best and most comprehensive course yet at an unbeatable price.
I still have a lot of content to go through, having just scratched the surface, but I look forward to every minute!”
- Mathew Kong (composer, songwriter)
See what some of our students had to say:
Prefer to skip the bonuses?
If you're not interested in the bonuses, no worries! You'll still receive the core modules going over how to make your music sound great, but the modules on how I orchestrate and produce 'Empty Holes', mix and master the song, the MIDI and stems, and the bonus interview with Disney composer William Hoshal won't be included.
- All 3 core modules of the Songwriting for Animation program with nearly 20 hours of step-by-step training
- Illustrated guides and PDF worksheets to study from and reinforce what you learn
- BONUS: Producing & Arranging 'Empty Holes'
- BONUS: Mixing & Mastering 'Empty Holes'
- BONUS: Interview with William Hoshal (composer, orchestrator)
- BONUS: 'Empty Holes' Stems + MIDI
You can get access to the Silver version of Songwriting for Animation for $197.
"Chris Siu's "Songwriting For Animation" and "Behind The Album Freedom" are two very well structured courses, showing Chris's craft in the Disney/Menken styles, with lot of case studies and behind-the-scenes of his own songs about composition, arranging, mixing & producing.
Very candid and refreshing, highly recommended!"
There are 2 types of people.
Some songwriters write the same chord progressions over and over, lack new melodic ideas, and struggle to format their songs in a way that connect with their audience.
Others have the ability to write thematic, memorable, and catchy songs that stay with their audiences for years, because they understand exactly how to craft melodies, harmonies, lyrics, and lush orchestrations that move the listener and tell a story.
Which is more appealing to you?
It can really start to weigh on us when we can't put our finger on what we actually want to do. We hear beautiful ideas in our head, or we imagine something sounding a certain way, but we're unable to lay or write it down because we simply lack the knowledge or workflow.
But it absolutely doesn’t have to be this way!
If you truly understand what makes these songs great, apply the techniques, and have a solid grasp on why these decisions are made, you will begin improve your songwriting with every song you write. Guaranteed.