Lesson 2: Writing Songs

Lesson 2

Take Action- Writing Songs

Listening to Music as a


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify and analyze how songs are structured
  • Notice and name techniques and devices used in song lyrics

This section will guide students through the process of reading songs to notice and name structures, techniques and devices, annotating song lyrics to name specific structures and techniques.
Guiding Questions:
  • What can I learn about songs by studying lyrics as a writer would?
Recommended Time:
2 or more class periods

Lessons design:
  • Explain to students that writers of all genres study the writing of others to learn more about their craft. When doing so, writers notice and name all that they can, thinking critically about how a piece works. As songwriters, they will be doing this essential work by dissecting songs, considering how they are structured and what techniques and devices they use.

  • After reviewing with students “Things to Consider When Reading Lyrics as a Songwriter,” and emphasizing that they should use these questions to guide their thinking, students should name and consider everything that they notice about the lyrics they read.

  • Referring to “Glory,” or another song previously studied with students, model how you would reread the lyrics as a writer would – annotating the text, trying to figure out how the piece ‘works’. (See “Glory” model for “Things to Consider When Reading Lyrics as a Songwriter” on the handout. The model provides thorough examples to each question. You and your students may notice additional examples for each question.)

  • Working individually, students should revisit a song they selected, using the questions to reread the lyrics as a writer would, annotating the text, trying to figure out how the piece ‘works’.
Rock Your World is a program of Creative Visions
Rock Your World is a Program of Creative Visions, a 501(c) (3) organization that supports creative activists - individuals who use the power of media and arts to create positive change in the world.
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