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Songwriting Students Feedback

Mary Haller

Susan is not only an extraordinary artist but a remarkable communicator and teacher. She has a stunning breadth of knowledge about song craft, and is able to communicate that knowledge in an engaging and effective way. Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced writer, you’ll walk out of her class with valuable tools that will improve your writing immediately. Her hands-on techniques and positive, passionate energy somehow summon up the best and freshest material from her students…when I sat in her class, I forget I ever had writer’s block! Berklee is fortunate to have Susan on their faculty. I would jump at the opportunity to take a clinic or workshop with her.
Mary Haller Songwriter

Mary Haller, Boston, MA

Winner of 2011 ole/NSAI “Hitsville” song contest in Nashville

Recipient of Berkleemusic’s 2009 Paul Simon Celebrity Scholarship


George Woods

Susan Cattaneo single handedly helped me take my songwriting from amateur to professional. She opened me up to new concepts while helping me maintain my own artistic vision and has given me tools to continue to challenge myself throughout the rest of my musical career.

George Woods

George Woods – Songwriter

Winner – 2008 Boston Music Festival

Author of Heartbeat – Album &  Choreographed Modern Dance Rock Concert

Peter van Vleuten


Her eyes lit up when she started talking about songwriting. But only after she had excused herself for being a bit hoarse because of the late gig she had had the night before. And if that hadn’t been enough to convince me that Susan actually knew not only what writing songs is all about, but singing them too – she hit off her workshop with a close look at the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road’.

My favorite song.

Peter Van Vleuten

Peter van Vleuten – International Singer Songwriter – The Netherlands

Being in Susan’s class at the Berklee summer course in songwriting was the beginning of a now three years old friendship and I’m still happy that this specific morning session was the first one I had chosen for the course. We worked on several techniques to find really good metaphors and look for ways to overcome the problem of songs getting stuck halfway.

It also turned out we had a lot in common. We both had a background in creative writing and we both had decided to take our songwriting aspirations seriously at a somewhat later stage in our lives.

Susan has not only helped me to better understand how good songwriting should be done, but also how it can be enjoyed. I am thankful for the insights she has shared, even after Berklee, when I was working on my first album. But I’m also grateful for the craftsmanship that she has helped me develop – but most of all: how she has shown me that eyes can light up when the craft of songwriting is really being put into practice. I still profit from the sparks she spread when we discussed the joy that a truly great song can bring. Susan knows how to share that. As a teacher, as a singer and as a writer.

She lets sparks fly.