Songwriting Workshops for children (and others)

Ann says:

About half of what I know, I learned through songs. Language, history, culture, mathematics, sociology, psychology, physics, humor, grief, anger, joy. These things became part of my understanding through the music and lyrics of songs I heard, songs I sang, songs I wrote.

When I sing songs with students I hope to share with them the great gifts that are songs. But songs aren't best learned by listening - they sink deep inside when they are sung.

So I let the students sing. My hope is to get those songs tangled up with their thoughts, their feelings, their bodies and their hearts. They listen, they move, they laugh, they write, they think and they sing.

Their minds, hearts, lives, get bigger because of songs.

Ann presents songwriting workshops to students. Her focus for a one- or two-session workshop is on lyric writing, applying active and descriptive language to a tune to paint a picture for the listener. Workshop participants sing familiar songs together, jointly write new lyrics, discuss rhyme schemes, meter, verbal imagery and why songs are written and sung, and then they write their own songs individually or in pairs. The young composers, together with Ann and her piano, perform their songs for the group, resulting in great applause from their peers. Optimal time is two sessions of at least 45 minutes each. Minimum time is one 65-minute session.

Ann's experience in songwriting workshops has been with upper elementary students and high school students. Small classes work best, since much individual attention is needed during the composing phase. Assistance from teachers or aides is helpful. Maximum workshop size is 26 students. Optimal size is from six to 20 students.

Ann earned a B.S. in elementary education from Kansas State University prior to her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She was at one time a classroom teacher of upper elementary students.

This workshop can be adapted for use with adults.

Cost to bring Ann to your school or group is negotiable. For more information or references, contact Ann.

3904 N. Ohio
Salina, Kansas 67401-9259