LYRICS & LITERATURE
Making the Text Come Alive through Songwriting
An Artist in Residence program for 3rd - 12th graders
In these artist residencies, I collaborate with 3rd through 12th grade classroom teachers to design an arts-integrated program in which the students will write and perform songs.
This work is designed to help students discover new facets of themselves, to develop collaborative skills and have fun while learning!
- Meets and implements Common Core and Tennessee state standards: Music, ELA, Writing, Critical Thinking
- Provides tactile and differentiated learning for kinesthetic learners
- Connects students to the text in a new way, creating understanding on a deeper level
- Integrates into existing curriculum; residency is designed in collaboration with classroom teacher
- Introduces the fundamentals of songwriting structure: melody, rhyme, and rhythm
- Explores and applies figurative language
- Creates an opportunity for self expression
- Generates a safe space where students can take risks and build confidence
- Stretches students beyond their comfort zone in a rewarding and fun way
- Inspires students through group participation which increases accountability and builds community
- 1 to 5 sessions
- 45 - 60 minutes/class
- ELA or Social Studies/History classrooms
- 3rd - 12th grade
- First we analyze songs and write as a whole group to learn some fundamentals of songwriting structure.
- Students then work in small groups with a text from the Language Arts curriculum to integrate the writer's voice with their own to create original lyrics.
- Last, students will put their lyrics to songs they know or to original melodies we write together.
“When we do interesting and enjoyable things like this, we actually want to learn and pay attention.”
— Senior, King Kekaulike High School, Maui, HI after writing a rap to Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew
“We were like a family working together. We would improve nothing because today we came together as one.”
— Junior, King Kekaulike High School, Maui, HI after writing a rap to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
“Ms. Sanders delights her students with a novel approach to literature. Students follow their creative impulses while addressing the standards of a Language Arts curriculum. ”
— Phil Swatek, former Shakespearean actor and educator, Yale BA ‘74
“I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so excited to go to Ms. Sanders’ Language Arts class! ”
— Jackee, 3rd grader, Lincoln Elementary, Honolulu, Hawaii
“Thank you for loving my kids and making them excited about learning. You have done so many wonderful, exciting lessons. ”
— Wendy Gibson, 3rd grade Teacher, Una Elementary, Nashville, TN
“You were the best student teacher. You helped me with my work…and all kinds of things. You were respectful to me. We had so much fun with you. ”
— Zozan, 3rd grader, Una Elementary, Nashville, TN
For questions or to book a LYRICS & LITERATURE Artist Residency
Priscilla Sanders, M.Ed. is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and singer. She studied classical piano from age 7, lyric writing with a Berklee College of Music professor, songwriting and music theory in Los Angeles, and also released a CD, Ride a Wave with Me. Currently, she is studying guitar and writing songs for her next CD.
Priscilla has a Masters in Education from Peabody at Vanderbilt University and has worked as a lead, assistant, substitute teacher and Teaching Artist in public and private schools. She has taught songwriting at Maui Academy of Performing Arts as well as music and acting both privately and in small groups.