Songwriting by Kids. Songwriting for Kids.
Every single year, the community at Brooklyn Music Factory comes together to write and record hundreds of original songs. (Yes, you read that correctly. Hundreds of songs.)
Our curriculum includes tons of songwriting for kids, because we love songwriting and we love creating.
But why songwriting? Why not just learn to express ourselves through cover songs?
We believe songwriting is an essential part of every music student’s journey for five reasons:
1.) Songwriting encourages self expression & strengthens the creative muscle.
There are two keys to understand here: 1) Music is a language, just like any other language. And just as people use English (or French or Mandarin) to express their thoughts and feelings, people can–and should–use music to express themselves. Using any language for self-expression encourages a deeper understanding and mastery of that language. We all want to be heard! And many of us feel more comfortable expressing ourselves through alternate forms of communication, like music, visual art, dance, etc. 2) Creativity lives inside of us all. It is a given that every last one of us can and should create. We do, however, need to pay attention and tend to our creativity to maintain and (better yet) strengthen it. Think of your creativity as a muscle that needs a regular workout. Songwriting is a great way to flex your creative muscle.
2.) Songwriting builds teamwork.
We take a teamwork approach to songwriting. In band classes, the groups decide together on everything from chords to rhyming scheme to form to song topic…and lots more. They go through the difficult process of listening to everybody’s ideas and ultimately coming to a consensus on which ones to use. Working together is not easy, but it’s an essential life skill, and the resulting performance and recording of the song re-enforces how amazing it feels to co-create.
3.) Songwriting puts the “story first” in music
Oftentimes musicians get caught in the grind of learning an instrument & focusing only on the instrument. As if the mastering of an instrument is the end goal of music. MASTERING AN INSTRUMENT IS NOT THE REASON TO PLAY MUSIC. Sorry I had to yell that, but it’s one of the greatest myths around music & music education.Our curriculum includes lots of songwriting for kids. Musicians play music to be able to tell a story. The instrument is the vehicle–the tool–they use to speak the language of music…to share or communicate the pieces and details of a story. In the case of a song, the instrument supports the lyrics of the story. Songwriting with all of our students is one way we ensure that we keep a story-first approach (even when it’s just learning the fingering for a G chord on the guitar!).
4.) Songwriting is a great way to learn music theory.
Song form. The anatomy of melody. Chord construction. Harmonic rhythm. Lyrical scansion. All these music concepts and many more fall under the umbrella of music theory. Eventually all musicians will be forced to crack open a theory text book and unlock these puzzles, but at Brooklyn Music Factory we believe that experiential learning is the most effective way to master music theory. And we start students songwriting at age 4 so that they begin internalizing the building blocks from the beginning. Writing songs helps them start learning theory right from the beginning.
5.) Songwriting builds community…the larger community.
At our band parties, more than 30 groups, ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old, perform original songs. It’s songwriting BY kids and songwriting FOR kids. These band parties are more than a massive celebration of creativity, team accomplishment & inspiration (which they are as well). They are a beautiful opportunity to discover every BMF student’s story. We are privileged to get to hear a little of what each and every one of these students is thinking or feeling inside. Imagine a stage surrounded by kids all listening intently to each other. One band doing a new wave song about aliens, and another doing a heavy metal hit on animal rights. Original songs help us discover each other’s stories in a truly unique way. New friendships are born. New bands even get formed.
Can anyone write a song? Yes!
Is it absolutely essential to how we teach at Brooklyn Music Factory? Yes!
BMF students performing their original song for parents, family & friends
BMF student recording her original song
Take 5 minutes and have a listen to a few of the recordings from the past three years. HERE Happy Listening!