Application deadline: June 15

Moscow Music School, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and the Cultural Section of the British Embassy in Moscow are inviting music professionals to apply for a free three day workshop on songwriting. This is offered as part of a series of events from Selector PRO, a British Council programme that connects music people from around the world with specialist music experts from the UK who deliver training, share their stories and discuss local and global themes affecting the contemporary music industry. Selector PRO takes its name from the British Council’s Selector Radio show – broadcast weekly in over 35 countries to an audience of 4 million listeners.


The Selector Pro workshop will take place at the Moscow Music School and is open to music professionals with previous songwriting experience. It will be delivered by Vidar Norheim, a Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer now based in Liverpool. Vidar works as a lecturer in songwriting and percussion at LIPA and is also a practicing industry professional. The workshop course is based on the LIPA songwriting programme, which has produced many highly successful songwriting and music industry graduates over the years. The programme was developed by LIPA Head of Music and UK Charts songwriter, Martin Isherwood PhD.

This intensive course runs from 22–24 June 2019 and will include presentations, case studies, practical workshops and feedback sessions. The course will cover the fundamental elements and key concepts of songwriting, as well as often overlooked techniques as used by some of the world’s most successful songwriters. These principles underpin the canon of popular songs, songs that can be sung ‘a capella’ or with a simple accompaniment and songs that can be fully produced in any genre.  More specific topics covered will include: a thorough understanding of song forms and structures, how song sections work alone and together, writing a chorus, bridge writing, effective melody writing, communicating specific emotions in lyrics, melody and lyric relationships, word setting or prosody, writing to specific briefs, editing and re-writing, and co-writing. Case studies and analysis will focus on examples chosen from the most successful songs ever written.  

On the final day of the course participants will have the opportunity to participate in one-to-one mentoring sessions with the UK tutors, enabling them to dive deeper into specific areas of interest and  discuss  individual projects.


Applications are collected till 15 June 2019. To apply please fill in the application form here.

Successful applicants will be informed by email on 17 June 2019.

The selection criteria

The selection criteria for candidates are:

  • previous songwriting experience;
  • an understanding of basic music theory: chords, rhythms etc. – an ability to notate simple melody ideas would be an advantage but is not essential;
  • high level of English (upper-intermediate/advanced); no translation is available during the workshop;
  • strong motivation and interest in active participation;
  • aspiration to help develop and contribute to the music industry in Russia.


Vidar Norheim is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer from Norway, now based in Liverpool. He studied BA Music at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) where he is now a visiting lecturer in songwriting and percussion. Vidar has toured worldwide as a member of Liverpool's alt-pop band Wave Machines, with highlights including Glastonbury, SXSW and BBC Electric Proms.

Vidar is a published songwriter and his music has featured in many TV series and adverts including HBO’s Entourage and Top Gear. In 2011 he was named as Norway's most promising songwriting talent, winning a place at Song:Expo in Trondheim alongside many of the world's leading songwriters and producers. 2016 saw the release of his solo debut EP Blind Carbon Copy which was released on labels in Japan, Norway and the UK. He has also worked extensively with Lizzie Nunnery, releasing one album and an EP together as well as collaborating on theatrical pieces.  

Productions as a composer and MD include Narvik (Best New play UK Theatre Awards 2017), The Sum (Liverpool Everyman May 2017) and Horny Handed Tons of Soil (July 2017). Vidar is currently writing his first film score for the feature film A World After. 


The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is a specialist university-level institution for performers and those who make performance possible. Co-founded by former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney and Chief Executive and Principal Mark Featherstone-Witty, LIPA is based on the sites of the old Liverpool Institute and Liverpool Art College who count three Beatles among their alumni: Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon.  

LIPA has an esteemed reputation worldwide with around 25% of students coming from over 40 countries outside of the UK. LIPA offers courses in Music, Songwriting & Performance, Songwriting & Production, Sound Technology, Management: Music, Entertainment, Theatre & Events, Acting, Dance, Applied Theatre & Community Drama, Costume Making, Creative Technologies & Performance, Theatre & Performance Design / Technology.


The Moscow Music School is a school of contemporary music. They inspire and educate young new talents to embark upon successful careers in the music industry as producers, solo artists, sound engineers, managers, sound artists and sound designers.

The Moscow Music School, together with the British Higher School of Art and Design, the Moscow Film School, the Scream School and the Moscow Architecture School MARCH form the ‘Universal University’ – a consortium of independent educational institutions that offer high-quality education in the creative fields. 

Their educational programme includes three courses of continuous professional development in the following specialties: Music Production, Songwriting and Music Performance, and Music Business. These courses are two years long, covering a full range of disciplines required for a contemporary music artist and music industry professional. Each course is developed together with the programme leader – a musician or specialist within the music industry.


Selector PRO connects music people from around the world with specialist music experts from the UK who deliver training, share their stories and discuss local and global themes affecting the contemporary music industry. Participants include musicians, managers, producers and journalists at various stages in their careers but all interested in developing their knowledge and networks. 

Over the years, the programme has been designed to respond to the particular industry needs in a range of countries from India to Armenia. It began in Russia in 2016, originally managed by the British Council in Russia; from 2019 the programme will be delivered by the Cultural and Education section of the British Embassy in Moscow. This latest iteration of the programme will create links between UK and Russian industry and entrepreneurship, provide training and support for developing Russian musicians, managers and journalists and share professional expertise and showcase new talent from the UK.

Selector PRO takes its name from the British Council’s Selector Radio show –broadcast weekly in over 35 countries to an audience of 4 million listeners.