Teaching Language Arts through Lyric Writing

Words & Music for Schools

"I was 12 when I learned my first three chords on guitar and wrote my first song. My life changed forever... Music became the way I told my stories." – Taylor Swift


Teach Language Arts Through Lyric Writing

Since 1979, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has helped students tell their stories through its innovative Words & Music program. More than 100,000 students have learned to write song lyrics while developing key skills in language arts. Not only does Words & Music teach core curriculum, but it also connects young people to Nashville’s music community, pairing classes with songwriters who transform student lyrics into finished songs that are performed in an interactive workshop. Words & Music has been featured in the LA Times, on the TODAY Show, and more.

Words & Music: Teach Language Arts Through Lyric Writing helps students explore the art of lyric writing through ten complete lessons. Aligned with Common Core Standards, this interdisciplinary unit also can be tied to math, music, social studies, and visual arts.
The Words & Music unit is composed of ten 45-minute lessons. The lessons are cumulative, each one building on the next. The final project, writing a polished set of lyrics, combines everything students have learned in previous lessons. Final lyrics are sent to the museum to share with a professional songwriter, who will perform a selection of lyrics as finished songs in a 60-minute program.

Prior to teaching Words & Music for the first time, teachers are strongly encouraged to attend a Words & Music professional development workshop or webinar.

Upcoming Professional Development

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Teacher Resources

  • Words & Music: Teach Language Arts through Songwriting

Words and Music from Country Music Hall of Fame on Vimeo.

Songwriting 101

An Introduction to Words & Music

"The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum also offers a precursor to the Words & Music program through Songwriting 101: An Introduction to Words & Music. Songwriting 101 teaches students the basics of songwriting, including song form and vocabulary, and provides an interactive and collaborative writing experience with a professional songwriter. Songwriting 101 begins with two pre-lessons that prepare the class for their co-write session through the creation of a song outline. The pre-lessons encourage thinking about what students already know about songwriting while teaching them about the specific parts of a song. In the songwriter workshop, students learn songwriting basics, express creativity, and co-write a song with a professional writer.

Woman playing a guitar to a group of kids

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