Writing Lyrics
From Superkids by Jean Marzollo - Illustrations by Irene Trivas

Many of the activities on these pages may require adult supervision.
Be sure to tell a grown-up about what you're planning and ask for permission before getting started.

Hint: A rhyming dictionary may help.

If you compose your own music, you may be interested in writing lyrics - words - to go with it.
Hum your tune to yourself over and over and think about the feeling it gives you. Is it sad? Happy?
Is it about something? You? Someone you know? An animal? A certain place? A certain experience? Once you get an idea of what you'd like your song to be about and the mood you'd like it to express, start making up a first line or a refrain (chorus) line. Let your mind go, and sing whatever you feel like singing. Keep working on it until you get a line you like.


Child thinking of lyrics

When you get a good line, try to find another line that rhymes with it. A rhyming dictionary will help you. Keep working back and forth on lines in the song until you have a verse and a refrain that makes sense.

A good exercise in learning songwriting is to take a familiar song and rewrite the lyrics. Follow its beat and rhyme scheme. Try "Yankee Doodle" for starters. Then try some of your favorite popular songs. Soon you'll get a sense of the form of songs and how composers and lyricists put them together.



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Based on the book SUPERKIDS: Creative Learning Activities for Children 5-15
Text © Jean Marzollo, Illustrations © Irene Trivas

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