"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Arts Integration & Songwriting
Why bring songwriting into the classroom?
In March of 2021, Laura had an opportunity to explore this question and others during an extended interview for Buzz Kemper's (audio engineer extraordinaire and co-owner of Audio for the Arts) WVMO radio show. Laura describes her music background and her first forays into songwriting with her high school students. Then, Laura and Buzz explore the connection between musical creativity and professional development, as well as the need to create safe spaces where teachers and artists can feel comfortable taking risks.
What are the benefits of bringing songwriting into your school or classroom?
Simply put, engaging students in songwriting can: support brain development, engage literacy skills, facilitate content learning and address social emotional learning targets. A few resources to get you started: these provide more insights into the complex and multifaceted ways in which music affects us all.
A few personal favorites:
How do you help non-musicians write songs?
I draw upon my coaching and teaching training, asking questions and providing personalized writing prompts that inspire participants to share details that they might want to incorporate into their song. As they share these details, I take note of unique turns of phrase, words or images that might serve as a lyrical hook. I ask them what genres of music they love, pull out my guitar, piano or a djembe, and the song develops from there.