Words & Music: Teach Language Arts Through Songwriting

by  Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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Using the grade specific, Common Core-aligned Words & Music Teacher’s Guide, teachers lead students through the lyric writing process over the course of a 10-lesson unit, culminating with students writing a complete set of song lyrics. Once complete, your class will participate in an interactive videoconference with a professional songwriter who adds melodies to a selection of original student lyrics and performs the finished songs. The program allows students to express themselves creatively while learning essential language arts skills, and offers students the opportunity to interact with a professional songwriter. All Words & Music sessions are recorded for classroom use. The songwriter session with students runs approximately 60 minutes. Attendance at a Words & Music Professional Development prior to instruction is highly recommended. To learn more about the Words & Music program or to schedule a Teacher Training (2hrs) or Songwriter Workshop (1hr), please contact Aaron Helvig at ahelvig@countrymusichalloffame.org or 615-760-6540.

Teachers can also visit the following page on the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's website to learn more and view the Words & Music lesson guides: https://www.countrymusichalloffame.org/learn/teacher-resource-portal/language-arts/words-and-music

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $150.00
By Request Premium: $125.00

Qualifying schools may receive a full or partial fee waiver. Please fill out an Arts Access Subsidy Request Form here:
A member of our education staff will inform you if your request has been approved and the subsidy amount.
The one-time Words & Music Teacher Training PD is included in the program fee.


45-60mins for Words & Music Songwriter workshop with students:

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learners Summer programs

Minimum participants:

10-15 Students

Maximum participants:

up to 60 students from the same school

Primary Disciplines

Fine Arts, Language Arts/English, Literacy, Performing Arts, Reading, Social Studies/History, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

Words & Music is available upon request. Teachers should reserve their Words & Music songwriter workshop a minimum of six weeks in advance, allowing at least 2 weeks between the end of the in-class, 10-lesson unit instruction and the date of the program to ensure timely delivery of student lyrics. To schedule a Words & Music songwriter workshop, please contact Aaron Helvig at ahelvig@countrymusichalloffame.org or 615-760-6540.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Program will be confirmed by education staff one week in advance and again 24 hours before the start of the program.

About This Provider

Content Provider logo


Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Nashville, TN
United States

As an educational institution, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum offers programs designed to actively engage students, teachers, families, and the general public. Programs expand on the story told in our exhibitions and include interactions with songwriters, musicians, and artists.

Whitley Kluesner

Program Details


Words & Music Songwriter Workshop:
1. Opening comments and introduction by CMHOFM Staff.
2. Songwriter performs songs created from students' lyrics.
3 Songwriter comments on additional student lyrics.
4. Songwriter fields students' questions in between songs or after all songs have been performed.
5. If requested and if time allows, songwriter will close with an original song.
6. A recording of the songs is sent to teacher.


Students will...
1. Interact with a professional songwriter.
2. Listen to songs created from their original lyrics.
3. Receive feedback on their lyrics and have an opportunity to discuss their writing experience with a professional songwriter.
4. Compare & contrast the melody they imagined for their song to the one performed by the songwriter.
5. Engage in discussion with songwriter.
6. explain their word-choice, intent, inspiration, and process used in composing their lyric.
7. Comment on the musical adaptation of their song lyric.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

ELA Common Core Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely, make logical inferences, cite textual evidence to support claims - 1,2,4,6,7,9

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text, analyze their development, summarize key points - 1,2,4,9

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as used in a text, analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone - 5,6,7

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts including how portions relate to each other and the whole - 2,3,6

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words - 7, 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics, compare authors approach - 4

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.3 Apply knowledge of language to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening - 4

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meaning - 8

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience - 8

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Strengthen writing by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach - 2,9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions - 1,6

The following standards are organizing principles of the unit:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Words & Music addresses the following National Music Association of Music Educators Standards:

Standard 6: Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.

Standard 7: Evaluating music and music performances.

Standard 8: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.

Standard 9: Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

State Standards

Words & Music addresses the following Tennessee Music Standards:

Standard 6.0 Listening and Analyzing - Students will listen to, analyze, and describe music.

Standard 7.0 Evaluating - Students will evaluate music and music performances.

Standard 8.0 Interdisciplinary Connections - Students will understand relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.

Standard 9.0 Historical and Cultural Relationships - Students will understand music in relation to history and culture.

For ELA Common Core Standards and National Music Standards - Please see National/Common Core Section.