Songwriter Teacher Resources

Find Songwriter lesson plans and worksheets
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Songwriting Skills

For Teachers 5th - 10th
Check out these detailed lessons using popular music across genres to explain songwriting concepts such as figurative language, elaboration, and tone. Learners examine lyrics to the songs from different musical genres and practice...
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Project-Based Songwriting

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Project-based learning in a music theory class? Take note. Young songwriters compose, record, copyright, and promote their original songs. They even design their own CD cover.
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Songwriting Skill - Elaboration: Vanessa Hudgens - “Sneakernight”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
The second in a series of nine exercises designed to develop songwriting skills introduces the idea of elaboration. After a close reading and discussion of the elaborations in Vanessa Hudgens' "Sneakernight," young songwriters practice...
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Life Reflections in Songwriting and Poetry

For Teachers 6th - 11th
Young scholars analyze, discuss and compare sources of inspiration, use of words and imagery, and other differences in writing styles between two featured songwriters. This is an introductory lesson to a creative project unit.
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Songwriting Skill - Finding Your Voice: Demi Lovato - “This Is Me (Gotta Find You)”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
Similar to the previous lesson in a series on songwriting, this resource focuses on how to find and develop a personal voice in lyrics. Class members examine Demi Lovato's "This is Me (Gotta Find You)" and note lyrics that sound like the...
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Songwriting Skill - Elaboration: Jesse McCartney - “How Do You Sleep?”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
The practice of developing lyrics by elaborating with sensory details and examples continues in the third lesson on songwriting. This time class members examine Jesse McCartney's "How Do You Sleep?" Using procedures established in the...
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Songwriting Skill - Finding Your Voice: The Academy Is - “About A Girl”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
The seventh in a series of nine exercises focusing on songwriting models for young lyricists on how to find and develop their unique voice. Class members suggest songs that they feel sound authentic and contrast the wording with songs...
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Songwriting Skill - Choosing a Tone: Jordan Pruitt - “One Love”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
"Tone means attitude." Or so says this resource that uses Jordan Pruitt's "One Love" to model for songwriters how to develop an attitude in their lyrics. Class members engage in a number of exercises designed to give them direct and...
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Songwriting Skill - Using Figurative Language: The Jonas Brothers - “Burning Up”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
Catch your breath before slipping into this exercise in songwriting. The focus in this fourth session in the series is using figurative language to bring lyrics to life. Learners use the provided guided practice worksheets to transform...
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Songwriting Skill - Using Figurative Language: Miley Cyrus - “Driveway”

For Teachers 5th - 10th Standards
Miley Cyrus' "Driveway" provides young lyricists with an opportunity to identify figurative language in songs. After a guided practice exercise, individuals use the provided worksheets to find examples in the song and to add images to...
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The Poetry of Bob Dylan

For Teachers 9th - 10th Standards
Bob Dylan's selection as the 2016 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first songwriter ever to receive the honor, has focused the attention of a new generation on the work of the legendary artist. Class members analyze the...
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Songwriting

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Students watch the "The Greatest TV Moments: Sesame Street Music A to Z" video and brainstorm what the songs may be about. They choose a theme for a song, write a short topic-related poem, and compose music for it.
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Be An Incredible Songwriter

For Teachers 3rd - 6th
Students write songs about something incredible they have experienced or know about. They consider topics of events, dreams, ideas, feelings, or animals. They accompany themselves with small musical instruments while performing the songs...
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Songwriting Skill - Finding Your Style: Elisa Victoria - “No Surprise”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
Hip Hop? Country? Punk? R and B? So many styles. Young song writers consider the emotional effects of various style options before selecting the style best suited to the emotions they want to express in their song. The sixth in a...
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Songwriting Skill - Brainstorming Ideas: The Cheetah Girls - “One Love”

For Teachers 5th - 10th
Encourage your class members to sing a song of themselves to celebrate their experiences by composing lyrics only they can write. This initial exercise begins with a brainstorming session based on "One World." Class members suggest...
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Reflection: The Message behind the Music

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Music lyrics offer messages. Some lyrics offer positive messages, some negative, some reflective, some explosive. Class members investigate the powerful messages in the lyrics of popular rap songs by first reading one student's essay on...
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Publishing Writing

For Teachers 2nd - 4th Standards
Scholars become familiar with tagline literature with the help of the story, Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Terrible Day by Judith Viort. After a read-aloud and whole-class discussion, leveled groups complete several...
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Justin Hayward: The Art of Landscape

For Teachers K - 8th Standards
Landscapes by Justin Hayward (not the singer, songwriter, guitarist of the Moody Blues but the Wyoming landscape artist) are featured in a watercolor lesson that models how artists are able to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface.
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100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll - Lesson 4

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Students analyze the genres of folk and country music and the importance of the singer/songwriter. They compose their own lyrics based on an inspiring event.
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Behind the Music Project

For Teachers 6th - 10th
Authors write about what they know, and that does not exclude songwriters. Invite partners to explore the story behind a song. They analyze and discuss the lyrics, conduct research online, create a poster, and put together a two-minute...
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Writing Lyrics

For Teachers 6th - 12th
Students examine the themes and structure of a bluegrass song and identify the common themes in bluegrass music. They practice songwriting by rewriting the lyrics of "Oh! Susanna" as a bluegrass tune.
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Composing Your Own Melody

For Students 5th - 8th
Get the songwriters in your class started early with an engaging music composition activity. After experimenting with an existing melody, class members improvise in a given range of notes and create their own melodies.
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The Amazing Joan Armatrading

For Students 7th - 12th
Joan Armatrading may be an unfamiliar name in your classroom, but after some research, your class will find that she is an amazing musician. Use this worksheet to test their new-found knowledge. There are 10 multiple-choice questions in...
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Hazel Dickens

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Young writers will get a chance to see into the world of a real-life singer/songwriter. Country singer Hazel Dickson discusses her process, writing, inspiration, music, and self expression. A wonderful way to showcase the many avenues...

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