Storytelling Through Songwriting

October 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm Leave a comment

Keppie Coutts

Keppie Coutts

I love teaching songwriting to kids! Most of the time, when I teach songwriting, I am teaching adults. By the time adults get around to taking a course in songwriting, they are full of doubts about their creativity and process. They are not sure if their ideas are original enough, good enough, unique enough… What I love about kids is that, for the most part, they don’t have that baggage! Every idea is fair game! And this is the beauty of songwriting: finding ways to show the world how you perceive something different to everybody else, and why it is exciting to you.

The cool thing is that in the end, the stuff I teach to adults is the same stuff I teach to kids:

  • Decide what the central idea of your song is.
  • Find unique images, word pictures, and sounds to describe your ideas.
  • Structure your song like you would structure a story – with a beginning, middle, and an end, so that the ideas flow in logical order.

What is amazing about songwriting for kids is learning how to focus on one idea, find cool and interesting ways to explain or describe it, using melody, rhythm and rhyme to start understanding the structure of language, and seeing how music can create a powerful emotional backdrop to the lyrical ideas you have.

I am so excited to share my love for songs and songwriting with other budding young songwriters!

-Keppie Coutts, Scribble Press Santa Monica Songwriting teacher

Keppie’s Favorite Artists Whose Songs Tell Great Stories:
The Beatles
Leonard Cohen
Joni Mitchell
The Decembrists
Gillian Welch
Tom Waits
Ani DiFranco

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