Words & Music

Teach Language Arts Through Lyric Writing.

Engage Students in ELA through Lyric Writing

Since 1979, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has helped students tell their stories through its innovative Words & Music program. More than 150,000 students have learned to write song lyrics while developing key skills in language arts. Not only does Words & Music teach core curriculum, but it also connects young people to Nashville’s music community, pairing classes with songwriters who transform student lyrics into finished songs that are performed in an interactive workshop. Words & Music has been featured in the LA Times, on the TODAY Show, and more.

Words & Music: Teach Language Arts Through Lyric Writing helps students explore the art of lyric writing through ten complete lessons. Aligned with Common Core Standards, this interdisciplinary unit also can be tied to math, music, social studies, and visual arts.
The Words & Music unit is composed of ten 45-minute lessons. The lessons are cumulative, each one building on the next. The final project, writing a polished set of lyrics, combines everything students have learned in previous lessons. Final lyrics are sent to the museum to share with a professional songwriter, who will perform a selection of lyrics as finished songs in a 60-minute program.

Prior to teaching Words & Music for the first time, teachers are strongly encouraged to attend a Words & Music professional development workshop or webinar.

Classroom Resources

Songwriting 101

“The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum also offers a precursor to the Words & Music program through Songwriting 101: An Introduction to Words & Music. Songwriting 101 teaches students the basics of songwriting, including song form and vocabulary, and provides an interactive and collaborative writing experience with a professional songwriter. Songwriting 101 begins with two pre-lessons that prepare the class for their co-write session through the creation of a song outline. The pre-lessons encourage thinking about what students already know about songwriting while teaching them about the specific parts of a song. In the songwriter workshop, students learn songwriting basics, express creativity, and co-write a song with a professional writer.

Words & Music for All

A space to learn about songwriting, anytime, anywhere.

Celebrating students and songwriters who participated in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s flagship education program


The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum maintains a partnership with CreatiVets to provide programmatic support to veterans interested in songwriting

2021-2022 Words & Music Funders

Words & Music is made possible by the Country Music Association Endowment for Words & Music and is funded in part by Chet Atkins Music Education Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; CMA; CMA Foundation; Dollar General Literacy Foundation; HCA Foundation; The Memorial Foundation; Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission; Nashville Predators Foundation; PNC Grow Up Great; Tennessee Arts Commission; and Wells Fargo.  

Have Questions or Feedback?

Email us any questions you have while preparing, and don’t forget to fill out the post-teaching feedback survey.

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