Bandier Program provides curriculum for inaugural Songwriting Academy

June 24, 2020

Sponsored by After-School All-Stars and TikTok, the academy gives students from underrepresented communities an opportunity to explore the music industry and create original lyrics

The Newhouse School’s Bandier Program for Recording and Entertainment Industries has been chosen to partner with After-School All-Stars and TikTok on the inaugural Songwriting Academy, which launched today.

The Bandier Program provides curriculum for the academy, which gives students from underrepresented communities the opportunity to explore the creative, technical and business aspects of the music industry.

The four-week Songwriting Academy will feature weekly TikTok livestreams with artists and songwriters sharing their stories and discussing the creative processes around some of their biggest songs. Guests will include Timbaland, Jozzy, Tiagz, Jack Harlow, JetsonMade, DJ Dahi, Ilsey Juber, Tainy, Anitta, Melanie Martinez and Mikey Keenan. Bill Werde, Bandier program director, will host the series. Viewers can watch Werde's artist interviews by visiting the After-School All-Stars Facebook page or TikTok account (@AfterSchoolAllStars). 

Featured artists will provide mentorship and coaching to the students as they work through the curriculum and write lyrics. A culmination event will allow the students to share their work in a public forum.

“It is the mission of the Bandier program to prepare the next generation of music industry leaders,” says Werde. “And it is a personal passion to bring the creativity and opportunity of the music business to students in under-resourced communities. I hope some of the After-School All-Stars students decide to study with me at Syracuse University one day, or choose other paths available to them for making it in the music business. I know that these students have the energy and the answers that tomorrow’s music industry needs.”

Sony/ATV Music Publishing is contributing to the curriculum and recruiting top talent from the songwriter and producer community to participate in the program.

For more information about the Songwriting Academy and participating students, visit