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Emmett Sutherland

Song Writing Workshops | Guitar Lessons, Piano Lessons | Theory Lessons

  • Qualifications: BMus (Musicology) Victoria University of Wellington
  • Pricing: $30 half an hour. $50 one hour.
  • Styles: Pop song writing in the style of the early Beatles
  • Suitability: All ages


Like any Beatles fan I hold a special place for their early songs, classics such as ‘Help’ or ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ I am especially interested in the chord changes they used at this time ex. Am – F – D7 and the greater structure of their songs. A further point of interest for me are their recordings. These expand upon the simple chord/lyric notation in creative and expected ways to form the songs we all know and love.

I love writing songs and also have deep interest in the current environmental, critical animal studies, literary ecology and feminist movements. I also have an interest in Eastern thought, especially Hinduism. I am currently studying a Masters of Music Therapy at the New Zealand School of Music (and my favorite chord progression is F#m – D7  – C#7).

A sample of my song writing can be found under Emmett Sutherland on


Teaching Info

Our Lessons will be focused around your songs. We will talk about things like structure and lyrics etc. You should come to lessons prepared and ready to take notes with your songs (or songs you like) prepared as best as possible so it’s easy for us to workshop your material. I can also help teach you piano, guitar or theory where necessary. We can also add music to lyrics or workshop lyrics to suit a chord progression you like. These lessons will allow you to become more confident at writing songs independently and enable you apply music theory to your compositions.

I would recommend one lesson a week or fortnightly. You would be expected to spend at least 4 – 5 hours for every contact hour.

I am extremely excited about the idea of going out to see gigs and then talking about them in the lesson time. This would be a great opportunity for us to discuss the song writing techniques of others and base the practice of song writing in reality and in performance (if you want to perform your songs).

I am keen on giving out readings if you are interested. In the world at the moment scientists are reaching out to artists to help them communicate the state of the environment and what we as global citizens can do to mitigate climate change and improve ecosystems. It is therefore important that artists are aware of environmental science (and by extension any critical commentary of our times) and look to educate the public though their songs and their art. Have a listen to this lecture by Noam Chomsky on Youtube.