About Us

About Us

DSA is an organization that has been around for over 32 years, and we’ve been involved in the heart of the Dallas music industry. We provide our members with exceptional education, business and industry information, and exclusive performance opportunities.

The DSA Story

Celebrating 32 Years. The songwriter group originated within the Texas Music Association in the early 1980s. This group of writers met together the first Monday of every month to critique one another’s writing, share information and promote the craft of songwriting. In 1987, the Dallas Songwriters Association was formally established, and in 1990, the Association became a separate entity from the Texas Music Association as a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to providing learning opportunities about the craft and business of songwriting.

Published or unpublished, with cuts or without, no matter what style of music, our membership includes writers of all ages. We strive to learn from one another and encourage each other to stretch our musical and creative boundaries. We also encourage each other to achieve our goals as songwriters, while creating community awareness. We also seek to mentor the young budding talent in the songwriting community. 

We exist to enhance the overall personal growth and professionalism of our members through the following means:
• Provide a practical and realistic orientation for songwriters/artists on common standards and expectations of the music industry.
• Sharpen required competencies for excelling in the songwriting profession.
• Serve as a forum for networking among peers and with industry experts to generate career opportunities.
• Serve as a non-political advocate for songwriters and performers in a liaison with peer organizations throughout the country.

Includes established independent and staff songwriters, performing artists, people actively seeking entry into the industry, entertainment law practitioners; and others who are simply interested in songwriting and/or performing as a hobby.


Monthly Workshops feature guest speakers from all fields of the music industry.
• Critique sessions to give honest, creative, and helpful advice on improving writing style and technique.
• Showcases designed to promote, not only our songwriters as writers but performers as well which feature artists performing original songs from all musical styles and cultural backgrounds. Periodically other various functions are sponsored or cosponsored by DSA.
• Seminars and workshops throughout the year which feature faculty from major educational institutions, respected industry businesses, and award-winning songwriters.
•Songwriters Notes, a newsletter that features local, national, and international information valuable to songwriters.
•Song contests which provide an opportunity to award prizes and scholarships to songwriters. Social interaction and networking with other arts-related organizations and industry professionals. Many of these activities have been sponsored or cosponsored by local and national music industry businesses.
• Community service through our programs Songwriters Connecting to Seniors & Songwriting in the Schools.


Our Founder, Barbara McMillen

Founding President Emeritus, Newsletter Editor, Administration & Song Contest Director Barbe founded the DSA in 1987

After running the group for several years as part of the now defunct Texas Music Association. Currently a working Music Therapist, performer, and Associate Professor of Songwriting and Music Business at Collin College, Barbe is caring for the administration duties and editing a newsletter for DSA. She is a member of the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy. She has produced a number of albums for other artists and her own. 

Her songwriting spans the genres of Rock, Pop, R&B to Americana. Her rock musical, Give Me A Break, has been performed in the metroplex and off Broadway. To get to know more about Barbe or to sign up for an online Songwriting Class, visit her website,http://www.barbaramcmillen.com.