Presage: What Knowledge and Experience Higher Education Songwriting Students Bring to the Classroom


  • Diana Blom University of Western Sydney
  • Kim Poole Korowal School, Sydney.



songwriting, higher education students, presage, skills acquisition, inspiration, notation


This study analyses the responses of seventy-six students from three Australian higher education institutions in New South Wales entering the songwriting classroom for the first time. While it was assumed that most students had previously composed songs, their views on, and experience with, a range of issues relevant to songwriting itself were unknown. Through a questionnaire seeking responses about student songwriting experience and process, lives in relation to lyrics, inspiration and compulsiveness, notation theory and craft, songwriting order and sense of completion, and notions of “audience” and “market”, findings about the songwriting skills and knowledge students bring to the classroom in the presage stage are discussed. This is then related to a model of previously acquired skills.

Author Biographies

Diana Blom, University of Western Sydney

Associate Professor, Music, University of Western Sydney.

Kim Poole, Korowal School, Sydney.

Music teacher


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