Songwriting & Composition: The Basics with Kevin McHugh

Updated: Apr 23




Do you have a desire to create music? Interested in learning more about the process of musical composition from start to finish? Come join us for a Zoom workshop with jazz musician and composer, Kevin McHugh!

When: Sunday, June 13th and 27th. 1pm-4pm (JST)

Where: Zoom meeting

Materials needed:

  • A device on which you can access Zoom

  • A musical instrument and/or voice

  • Ability to record with hardware (mobile phone or USB microphone or mic/MIDI/cable is preferred to your computer's audio interface)

  • Music software (something like GarageBand, Audacity, Abelton Live, etc)

  • Optional: music notation software or music paper

Payment: 3000 yen. Tickets available through our box office!


In this workshop, we'll discuss:

  • Fundamentals of a composition

  • Compositional techniques

  • Making a system (through developing a song, arranging, and routine)

  • Recording compositions

  • Sharing compositions

You will be contacted by the organizers with more details and your Zoom link once you have signed up and paid. Please note places are limited; a waitlist will be available!


About the Instructor


Kevin McHugh is a pianist and composer from Seattle. He began working in theater professionally from age 15, when he joined Seattle’s Unexpected Productions as their main pianist. He continued music at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where he studied composition and graduated magna cum laude with degrees in piano and German. Since 2009 Kevin has lived in Tokyo, working as a full-time jazz pianist, composer, accompanist and MD for both Broadway musicals and improv theater shows. He leads (and writes for) the improvised collective “nariiki,” post rock quartet “nouon,” and is also a founding member of the Japanese improv groups Improlabo and Trio Impro, as well as the Musical Director of the Tokyo Comedy Store.


Kevin has experience writing and arranging for multiple instruments, groups and styles, from noise rock to jazz to film documentaries. He also wrote his first theater musical, “The Weirdest Kid I Know”, that debuted in November 2019. He has hundreds of hours of experience teaching workshops in numerous countries and situations, and is passionate about understanding the basics of music across many levels.



We look forward to seeing you there!