Songwriting Instructors


Chris Cortez

Multi-instumentalist and songwriter Chris Cortez has been writing and dissecting songs for as long as he can remember. Fascinated by the analytical and creative aspects of songwriting, he has spent years tinkering with progressions, sounds, tones, lyrics, moods and rhythms to create a large and diverse catalogue of original tunes. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelors in Computer Science, Chris participated in the Contemporary Urban and Popular Music program at Columbia College Chicago. He has also spent the past 15 years collaborating with other members as an active member in various rock bands throughout Chicago. Chris currently writes for and fronts the alternative rock band Broken Cycles.

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Singer/songwriter and Michigan native Jay Filson released his debut EP in 2016. He has honed his sound over the last few years, performing at colleges and local venues throughout the midwest. Somewhere between Ed Sheeran and Jon McLaughlin, Filson puts on a one-of-a-kind show by looping beatboxing, vocals, piano, and guitar all live on the spot. He currently serves as the artist-in-residence at a new high-rise in downtown Nashville.



As a professional recording artist I frequently take trips to Nashville for co-writing, recording, and meeting with record labels. I have written with well-known writers like Mia Fieldes from Hillsong, Tony Wood from Provident Label Group, Stu G from Delirious?, and Jon Steingard from Hawk Nelson. I love to mentor students who want to become effective, dynamic songwriters.