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TEACHERS

RESOURCES

Version 1.0 Nov 2014

THE SONGMAKERS PROJECT


Welcome to the SongMakers Project Teaching Resources. This package is designed to assist you
with presenting the project in your own classroom. The package has been divided into sections
to make it easier to implement into your current teaching programs. Each section contains a list
of teaching activities complete with outcomes and links to The Australian Curriculum, student
handouts, internet links and group composition activities.
The different sections included in this package are:
SongMakers and the Australian Curriculum: The Arts
Advice from successful songwriters and their collaborators
The Blank Canvas An Ideas Think Tank
The Recording Process
Your Digital Footprint
During this process, you and your students will have the opportunity to listen to advice from the presenters of the
SongMakers Project as well as some industry legends.

I dont even want to imagine


a life without music.


Rai Thistlethwayte, SongMakers mentor

SONGMAKERS AND THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM: THE ARTS.


The main aim of Songwriters is to offer every music
student in Australia the opportunity to experience
collaborative songwriting, and produce a final product
using whatever technology is available to them whether that be a music writing program, iPad app,
phone app or the good old live recorder. SongMakers
has a secondary aim of giving Music Educators the
chance to develop their own skills, and keeping them
up to date with current trends in the market place so
that they are able to guide the young entertainers to
set and meet high goals.
The great news is that this is exactly the sort
of experience that is reflected in The Australian
Curriculum: The Arts.
The Rationale from The Australian Curriculum: The
Arts states:
The Arts have the capacity to engage, inspire
and enrich all students, exciting the imagination
and encouraging them to reach their creative
and expressive potential. The five Arts subjects
in the Australian Curriculum are Dance, Drama,
Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts. Together they
provide opportunities for students to learn how to
create, design, represent, communicate and share
their imagined and conceptual ideas, emotions,
observations and experiences.
In the Arts, students learn as artists and audience
through the intellectual, emotional and sensory
experience. They acquire knowledge, skills and
understanding specific to the Arts subjects and
develop critical understanding that informs decision
making and aesthetic choices. Through the Arts,
students learn to express their ideas, thoughts and
opinions as they discover and interpret the world.
They learn that designing, producing and resolving
their work is as essential to learning in the Arts as is
creating a finished work. Students develop their Arts
knowledge and aesthetic understanding through a
growing comprehension of the distinct and related
languages, symbols, techniques, processes and skills of
the Arts subjects. Arts learning provide students with
opportunities to engage with creative industries and
arts professionals.
The core outcomes and processes used in SongMakers
successfully represent not only The Arts, but also
many of the requirements in the specific Music
stream. The Music Aims clearly state, As independent
learners, students integrate listening, performing
and composing activities. These activities, developed

sequentially, enhance their capacity to perceive and


understand music. As students progress through
studying Music, they learn to value and appreciate the
power of music to transform the heart, soul, mind and
spirit of the individual. In this way students develop
an aesthetic appreciation and enjoyment of music.
In addition to the overarching aims of the Australian
Curriculum: The Arts, Music knowledge, understanding
and skills ensure that, individually and collaboratively,
students develop:
the confidence to be creative, innovative,
thoughtful, skilful and informed musicians
skills to compose, perform, improvise, respond
and listen with intent and purpose
aesthetic knowledge and respect for music and
music practices across global communities,
cultures and musical traditions
an understanding of music as an aural art form as
they acquire skills to become independent music
learners.
SongMakers will focus on three main areas:
The collaborative process of songwriting
The technology and process involved in recording
The intellectual property/ownership of the work
and the methods of delivery to the market place
It is easy to make connections between the four
areas of study and the Band and content descriptors.
The Band descriptions provide information about the
learning contexts and also emphasise the interrelated
nature of the two strands, Making and Responding.
Content descriptions at each band in each subject
describe the knowledge, understanding and skills
that teachers are expected to teach and students are
expected to learn.
The content descriptions reflect the interrelated strands
of Making and Responding. Making in Music involves
active listening, imitating, improvising, composing,
arranging, conducting, singing, playing, comparing
and contrasting, refining, interpreting, recording
and notating, practising, rehearsing, presenting and
performing. Responding in Music involves students
being audience members listening to, enjoying,
reflecting, analysing, appreciating and evaluating
their own and others musical works. It is making and
responding in a collaborative approach, that is he centre
for this project. It is through the exploration of the
collaborative songwriting process that the students have

the opportunity to debate and discuss the viewpoints


of all involved, which is another main outcome from
The Arts curriculum. This will be evident in the activities
outlined in the final stage Your Digital Footprint:
Intellectual Property and Ownership.
Learning in Music requires the students to listen,
perform and compose. It also requires them to gather
vast amounts of musical knowledge, terminology,
and skills, whether they are kinetic, auditory, verbal
or visual. The students are required to learn about
increasingly complex forms of music which may
include different songs, instrumental genres, film and
media, contemporary and new music trends as well as
folk, cultural and traditional music.
When making and responding, students musical skills
are best developed through activities which integrate
the techniques and processes of music: listening,
composing and performing. SongMakers aims to use
the collaborative process to expand the students
listening skills as the technique for discriminating,
identifying, interpreting and applying musical
concepts is essential for all listening, composition
and performing activities. During the compositional
process, the students will improvise, organise musical
ideas, create accompaniment patterns and arrange
original works collaboratively. They will support this
by learning to record the collaborative process, and
develop skills and techniques to discuss their music
and the music of others.
This experience is best suited to Years 9 - 12 because
they are able to work with more abstract concepts and
consider complex ideas. They are keen to explore the
broad questions like What meaning is intended in the
lyric? What does the audience understand from this
song? What is the cultural context of the song and of
the audience engaging with it?
Within the National Curriculum: The Arts, there
are seven general capabilities that also need to
be considered Literacy
Numeracy
Information and communication technology (ICT)
capability
Critical and creative thinking
Personal and social capability
Ethical understanding
Intercultural understanding.
SongMakers covers all seven capabilities quite easily.

Here is an explanation of the linkages to these


seven capabilities L
 iteracy - share and explain ideas, discuss
concepts, work collaboratively, participate in class
discussions, write/talk about their work and the
work of others, and present or introduce work.
N
 umeracy - compose, produce and record music
as well as identifying lengths of sections.
Information and communication technology
(ICT) - solving issues with the computer
programs selected and the application of
social and ethical protocols and practices in a
digital environment. Students will use digital
technologies to locate, access, select and
evaluate information, work collaboratively, share
and exchange information, and communicate
with a variety of audiences.
C
 ritical and creative thinking - Through the
collaborative process, the students learn to
express their understanding of an idea, ask what
if questions, explore the ideas of others and piece
together the jigsaw puzzle that is composing.
Personal and social capability - They learn
to empathise with the emotions, needs and
situations of others, to appreciate diverse
perspectives, and to understand and negotiate
different types of relationships. When working
with others, students develop and practice social
skills that assist them to communicate effectively,
work collaboratively, make considered group
decisions and show leadership.
Ethical understanding - Students develop their
understanding of values and ethical principles as
they use an increasing range of critical thinking
skills to explore ideas, concepts, beliefs and
practices. When interpreting and evaluating
works and their meaning, students consider their
global impact.
Intercultural understanding - Intercultural
understanding enables students to explore the
influence and impact of cultural identities and
traditions on the practices and thinking of artists
and audiences. Students might explore forms
and structures, use of materials, technologies,
techniques and processes, or treatment of
concepts, ideas, themes and characters.

SCOPE AND SEQUENCE FOR SONGMAKERS


The SongMakers Project Package is a series of activities that attempt to guide students through the songmaking
process. As all schools will be expected to realign their programming to reflect the Australian Curriculum, here is
a scope and sequence of the teaching activities in this package, as well as a document linking the activities to the
Australian Level Descriptors for Years 7 10.
List of Activities

Australian Curriculum
Descriptors including General
Capabilities and Cross
Curriculum Priorities Year 7
and 8

Australian Curriculum
Descriptors including General
Capabilities and Cross
Curriculum Priorities Year 9
and 10

SESSION 1: WHAT DO THE GREAT


SONGWRITERS SAY ABOUT THE CRAFT?

Identify and connect specific


features and purposes of music
from different eras to explore
viewpoints and enrich their music
making, starting with Australian
music including music of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
(ACAMUR098)

Analyse a range of music from


contemporary and past times to
explore differing viewpoints and
enrich their music making, starting
with Australian music,including
music of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples, and consider
music in international contexts
(ACAMUR105)

Watch Robin Gibb discussing songwriting


List the main points
Watch Bruce Springsteen discussing
songwriting
List the main points
Watch Gotye discussing the making of
Somebody I Used to Know.

General capabilities: Lit, PSC, CCT,


EU, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

List main points.


SESSION 2: THE BLANK CANVAS
AN IDEAS THINK TANK
Brainstorm a series of statements about
song structure
Watch Sting discussing integrity in song
writing. Discuss
Watch Gotye discussing referencing in
songs. Discuss
Watch Lionel Richie demonstrating writing a
hook or top line. Identify key points
Watch SongMakers Project Video 3 and
identify key points
Watch How Pop Songs Work and discuss
the key and structure of Knowing Me
Knowing You

Develop musical ideas, such as


mood, by improvising, combining
and manipulating the elements of
music (ACAMUM093)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,
ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Analyse composers use of the
elements of music and stylistic
features when listening to and
interpreting music (ACAMUR097)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, , ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,


ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities:
ATSIHC, AAEA, SUST
Improvise and arrange music,
using aural recognition of texture,
dynamics and expression to
manipulate the elements of
music to explore personal style
in composition and performance
(ACAMUM099)
General capabilities: Lit, Num,
CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA
Evaluate a range of music and
compositions to inform and refine
their own compositions and
performances (ACAMUR104)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST

Group discussion about bar length


for songs
Whole class or group practical activity
based around chord progressions
SESSION 3: WHAT DOES CO-WRITING
ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE?
Read article about Guy Chamber and Rufus
Wainwright collaborating. Complete the
structure overview.
Watch evidence of this taking place. Discuss
questions
Listen to the full version of the song and
discuss key questions.
Watch Eskimo Joe discussing the
collaborative process

Analyse composers use of the


elements of music and stylistic
features when listening to and
interpreting music (ACAMUR097)

Evaluate a range of music and


compositions to inform and refine
their own compositions and
performances (ACAMUR104)

General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU


Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU


Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST

SESSION 4: HOW TO WRITE


POP SONGS
Watch Carla Marie Williams explanation of
how to write and discuss questions
Top Line Activity writing lyrics from
magazine stimulus
Catch Phrase Activity writing lyrics from a
catchphrase
Listen to various recordings of specific
styles and identify the elements
Watch SongMakers Video No 4 and make
observations about looping strategies
Improvisation over a loop practical activity
SESSION 5: YOUR FINAL TIP BEFORE YOU
BEGIN IS
Watch SongMakers Video No 2.
Discuss questions
CROSSROADS if you are starting at this
point the students will now go and write a
pop song but only the lyrics, melody, chords
and the feel.
Perform the pop song in its raw form here
or in Session 6.

Practise and rehearse a variety of


music, including Australian music
to develop technical and expressive
skills (ACAMUM094)

Practise and rehearse to refine a


variety of performance repertoire
with increasing technical and
interpretative skill (ACAMUM101)

General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,


ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities:
ATSIHC, AAEA, SUST

General capabilities: Lit, ICT, PSC,


CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

Analyse composers use of the


elements of music and stylistic
features when listening to and
interpreting music (ACAMUR097)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST
Experiment with texture and timbre
in sound sources using aural skills
(ACAMUM092)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, ICT,
CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST
Develop musical ideas, such as
mood, by improvising, combining
and manipulating the elements of
music (ACAMUM093)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,
ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Practise and rehearse a variety of
music, including Australian music
to develop technical and expressive
skills (ACAMUM094)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,
ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities:
ATSIHC, AAEA, SUST
Structure compositions by combining
and manipulating the elements of
music using notation (ACAMUM095)
General capabilities: Lit, PSC, CCT,
ICT
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Perform and present a range
of music, using techniques and
expression appropriate to style
(ACAMUM096)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, PSC,
CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST

Evaluate a range of music and


compositions to inform and refine
their own compositions and
performances (ACAMUR104)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Improvise and arrange music,
using aural recognition of texture,
dynamics and expression to
manipulate the elements of music to
explore personal style in composition
and performance (ACAMUM099)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, ,
CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA
Manipulate combinations of the
elements of music in a range
of styles, using technology and
notation (ACAMUM100)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: NA
Practise and rehearse to refine a
variety of performance repertoire
with increasing technical and
interpretative skill (ACAMUM101)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, PSC,
CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST
Plan and organise compositions
with an understanding of style
and convention, including
drawing upon Australian music by
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
artists(ACAMUM102)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, ICT,
CCT,PSC, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: ATSIHC
Perform music applying techniques
and expression to interpret the
composers use of elements of music
(ACAMUM103)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

Analyse composers use of the


elements of music and stylistic
features when listening to and
interpreting music (ACAMUR097)

Evaluate a range of music and


compositions to inform and refine
their own compositions and
performances (ACAMUR104)

General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU


Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU


Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST

SESSION 6: THE ARRANGING AND


RECORDING PROCESS
Watch SongMakers Video No 5 and discuss
questions
Watch SongMakers Video No 6 and discuss
questions
Listening activity on digital effects
Perform the pop song in its raw form before
the recording process begins if it was not
done in Session 5.
CROSSROADS recording process begins.
Students using software specific to their
school to realize their compositions. Process
Diary Entries.

Experiment with texture and timbre


in sound sources using aural skills
(ACAMUM092)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, ICT,
CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST
Develop musical ideas, such as
mood, by improvising, combining and
manipulating the elements of music
(ACAMUM093)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,
ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Structure compositions by combining
and manipulating the elements of
music using notation (ACAMUM095)
General capabilities: Lit, PSC, CCT,
ICT
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Perform and present a range
of music, using techniques and
expression appropriate to style
(ACAMUM096)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, PSC,
CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Analyse composers use of the
elements of music and stylistic
features when listening to and
interpreting music (ACAMUR097)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, , ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

SESSION 7: YOU HAVE A GREAT SONG


SO NOW WHERE?
Brainstorm questions
Watch SongMakers Video No 7 and
discuss observations
Internet research on Ownership and
Copyright
Discuss questions about Your Digital
Footprint
Watch the Introductory Video from
Common Sense Media
Discuss Questions related to searching
Google different artists to analyse
common sites

Identify and connect specific features


and purposes of music from different
eras to explore viewpoints and enrich
their music making, starting with
Australian music including music of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples (ACAMUR098)
General capabilities: Lit, PSC, CCT,
EU, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST

Improvise and arrange music,


using aural recognition of texture,
dynamics and expression to
manipulate the elements of music to
explore personal style in composition
and performance (ACAMUM099)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, ,
CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA
Manipulate combinations of the
elements of music in a range of
styles, using technology and notation
(ACAMUM100)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT
Cross-curriculum priorities: NA
Plan and organise compositions
with an understanding of style
and convention, including
drawing upon Australian music by
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
artists(ACAMUM102)
General capabilities: Lit, Num, ICT,
CCT,PSC, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities:
ATSIHC
Perform music applying techniques
and expression to interpret the
composers use of elements of music
(ACAMUM103)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST
Evaluate a range of music and
compositions to inform and refine
their own compositions and
performances (ACAMUR104)
General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
SUST
Analyse a range of music from
contemporary and past times to
explore differing viewpoints and
enrich their music making, starting
with Australian music,including
music of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples, and consider
music in international contexts
(ACAMUR105)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,
ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities:
ATSIHC, AAEA, SUST

SESSION 8: THE SKY IS THE LIMIT IN THE


TECHNOLOGY AGE
Watch Gotye discuss influences as a
songwriter as an introduction
Watch Gotye demonstrating his sampling
style. Discuss observations
Watch Imogen Heap discussing the audio
process from Song Summit. Discuss
observations
Watch Gotye test drive some technology.
Discuss questions
Watch the Documentary about Eyes Wide
Open. Discuss questions
Watch Gotye discussing singing as a tool
Watch Elton John demonstrating setting
text to melody
Student Plenary

Analyse composers use of the


elements of music and stylistic
features when listening to and
interpreting music (ACAMUR097)

Evaluate a range of music and


compositions to inform and refine
their own compositions and
performances (ACAMUR104)

General capabilities: Lit, CCT, , ICU

General capabilities: Lit, CCT, ICU


Cross-curriculum priorities: AAEA,
Identify and connect specific features
SUST
and purposes of music from different
eras to explore viewpoints and enrich Analyse a range of music from
their music making, starting with
contemporary and past times to
Australian music including music of
explore differing viewpoints and
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
enrich their music making, starting
Peoples (ACAMUR098)
with Australian music,including
music of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
General capabilities: Lit, PSC, CCT,
Islander Peoples, and consider
EU, ICU
music in international contexts
Cross-curriculum priorities: SUST
(ACAMUR105)
General capabilities: Lit, ICT, CCT,
ICU
Cross-curriculum priorities:
ATSIHC, AAEA, SUST

Cross-curriculum
priorities: ATSIHC,
AAEA, SUST

General
capabilities: Lit, ICT,
CCT, ICU

Practise and
rehearse a variety
of music, including
Australian music to
develop technical
and expressive skills
(ACAMUM094)

Cross-curriculum
priorities: AAEA,
SUST

General
capabilities: Lit, ICT,
CCT, ICU

Improvisation
over a loop
practical activity

Session 4

Session 5

Perform the pop


song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will
now go an write
a pop song but
only the lyrics,
melody, chords
and the feel.

Cross-curriculum
priorities: SUST

General
capabilities: Lit,
Num, ICT, CCT

Whole class or
group practical
activity based
around chord
progressions

Session 3

Develop musical
ideas, such
as mood, by
improvising,
combining and
manipulating the
elements of music
(ACAMUM093)

Session 2
CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will
now go an write
a pop song but
only the lyrics,
melody, chords
and the feel.

Session 1

Experiment with
texture and timbre
in sound sources
using aural skills
(ACAMUM092)

Content Descriptor

YEARS 7 AND 8 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done
in Session 5.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Cross-curriculum
priorities: AAEA,
SUST

General
capabilities: Lit,
Num, PSC, CCT

Perform and
present a range
of music, using
techniques
and expression
appropriate to style
(ACAMUM096)

Cross-curriculum
priorities: AAEA,
SUST

General
capabilities: Lit,
PSC, CCT, ICT

Structure
compositions by
combining and
manipulating the
elements of music
using notation
(ACAMUM095)

Content Descriptor

Session 1

YEARS 7 AND 8 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Perform the pop


song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will
now go an write
a pop song but
only the lyrics,
melody, chords
and the feel.

Session 5

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done
in Session 5.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Cross-curriculum
priorities: SUST

General
capabilities: Lit,
CCT, , ICU

Analyse composers
use of the elements
of music and
stylistic features
when listening to
and interpreting
music (ACAMUR097)

Content Descriptor

Session 1

YEARS 7 AND 8 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

Group discussion
about bar length
for songs

Watch How Pop


Songs Work and
discuss the key
and structure
of Knowing Me
Knowing You

Watch
SongMakers
Project Video 3
and identify key
points

Watch
Lionel Richie
demonstrating
writing a hook
or top line.
Identify key
points

Watch Sting
discussing
integrity in song
writing. Discuss

Brainstorm
a series of
statements
about song
structure

Session 2

Watch Eskimo
Joe discussing
the collaborative
process

Listen to the full


version of the
song and discuss
key questions.

Watch evidence
of this taking
place. Discuss
questions

Read article
about Guy
Chamber
and Rufus
Wainwright
collaborating.
Complete
the structure
overview.

Session 3
Listen to various
recordings of
specific styles
and identify the
elements

Session 4
Watch
SongMakers
Video No
2. Discuss
questions

Session 5

Listening activity
on digital effects

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 6
and discuss
questions

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 5
and discuss
questions

Session 6

Session 7

Watch
Elton John
demonstrating
setting text to
melody

Watch Gotye
discussing
singing as a tool

Watch the
Documentary
about Eyes Wide
Open. Discuss
questions

Watch Gotye
test drive some
technology.
Discuss
questions

Watch Gotye
demonstrating
his sampling
style. Discuss
observations

Session 8

Watch Videos
from Robin
Gibb and Bruce
Springsteen.
Identify the
main points.

Identify and
connect specific
features and
purposes of music
from different
eras to explore
viewpoints and
enrich their music
making, starting
with Australian
music including
music of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples
(ACAMUR098)

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Google different
artists to analyse
common sites

Discuss
Questions
related to
searching

Watch the
Introductory
Video from
Common Sense
Media

Discuss
questions about
Your Digital
Footprint

Internet research
on Ownership
and Copyright

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 7
and discuss
observations

Brainstorm
questions

Session 7

Watch Imogen
Heap discussing
the audio
process from
Song Summit.
Discuss
observations

Watch Gotye
discuss
influences as a
songwriter as an
introduction

Session 8

By the end of Year 8, students identify and analyse how the elements of music are used in different styles and apply this knowledge in their performances and
compositions. They evaluate musical choices they and others from different cultures, times and places make to communicate meaning as performers and composers.
Students manipulate the elements of music and stylistic conventions to compose music. They interpret, rehearse and perform songs and instrumental pieces in unison
and in parts, demonstrating technical and expressive skills. They use aural skills, music terminology and symbols to recognise, memorise and notate features, such as
melodic patterns in music they perform and compose.

YEARS 7 AND 8 ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD

Cross-curriculum
priorities: SUST

General
capabilities: Lit,
PSC, CCT, EU, ICU

Session 1

Content Descriptor

YEARS 7 AND 8 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

General capabilities:
Lit, ICT, PSC, CCT
Cross-curriculum
priorities: SUST

Practise and
rehearse to
refine a variety
of performance
repertoire with
increasing technical
and interpretative
skill (ACAMUM101)

General capabilities:
Lit, ICT, CCT
Cross-curriculum
priorities: NA

Manipulate
combinations of the
elements of music
in a range of styles,
using technology
and notation
(ACAMUM100)

General capabilities:
Lit, Num, , CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum
priorities: AAEA

Improvise and
arrange music, using
aural recognition of
texture, dynamics
and expression to
manipulate the
elements of music
to explore personal
style in composition
and performance
(ACAMUM099)

Content Descriptor

Session 1

YEARS 9 AND 10 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

Whole class or
group practical
activity based
around chord
progressions

Session 2

Session 3

Improvisation
over a loop
practical activity

Session 4

Perform the pop


song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 5

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done in
Session 5.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

General capabilities:
Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum
priorities: SUST

Perform music
applying techniques
and expression
to interpret the
composers use of
elements of music
(ACAMUM103)

General capabilities:
Lit, Num, ICT,
CCT,PSC, ICU
Cross-curriculum
priorities: ATSIHC

Plan and organise


compositions with
an understanding
of style and
convention,
including drawing
upon Australian
music by Aboriginal
and Torres
Strait Islander
artists(ACAMUM102)

Content Descriptor

Session 1

YEARS 9 AND 10 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Perform the pop


song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 5

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done in
Session 5.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

General capabilities:
Lit, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum
priorities: AAEA,
SUST

Evaluate a range
of music and
compositions
to inform and
refine their own
compositions and
performances
(ACAMUR104)

Content Descriptor

Session 1

YEARS 9 AND 10 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

Group discussion
about bar length
for songs

Watch How Pop


Songs Work and
discuss the key
and structure
of Knowing Me
Knowing You

Watch
SongMakers
Project Video 3
and identify key
points

Watch
Lionel Richie
demonstrating
writing a hook or
top line. Identify
key points

Watch Sting
discussing
integrity in song
writing. Discuss

Brainstorm
a series of
statements about
song structure

Session 2
Watch Eskimo
Joe discussing
the collaborative
process

Session 3
Listen to various
recordings of
specific styles
and identify the
elements

Session 4
Watch
SongMakers
Video No 2.
Discuss questions

Session 5

Listening activity
on digital effects

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 6 and
discuss questions

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 5 and
discuss questions

Session 6

Session 7

Watch Elton John


demonstrating
setting text to
melody

Watch Gotye
discussing singing
as a tool

Watch the
Documentary
about Eyes Wide
Open. Discuss
questions

Watch Gotye
test drive some
technology.
Discuss questions

Watch Gotye
demonstrating
his sampling
style. Discuss
observations

Session 8

Watch Videos
from Robin
Gibb and Bruce
Springsteen.
Identify the main
points.

Analyse a range
of music from
contemporary
and past times to
explore differing
viewpoints and
enrich their music
making, starting
with Australian
music,including
music of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples,
and consider music
in international
contexts
(ACAMUR105)

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Google different
artists to analyse
common sites

Discuss Questions
related to
searching

Watch the
Introductory
Video from
Common Sense
Media

Discuss questions
about Your Digital
Footprint

Internet research
on Ownership
and Copyright

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 7
and discuss
observations

Brainstorm
questions

Session 7

Watch Imogen
Heap discussing
the audio process
from Song
Summit. Discuss
observations

Watch Gotye
discuss influences
as a songwriter as
an introduction

Session 8

By the end of Year 10, students analyse different scores and performances aurally and visually. They evaluate the use of elements of music and defining characteristics
from different musical styles. They use their understanding of music making in different cultures, times and places to inform and shape their interpretations,
performances and compositions. Students interpret, rehearse and perform solo and ensemble repertoire in a range of forms and styles. They interpret and perform
music with technical control, expression and stylistic understanding. They use aural skills to recognise elements of music and memorise aspects of music such as pitch
and rhythm sequences. They use knowledge of the elements of music, style and notation to compose, document and share their music.

YEARS 9 AND 10 ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD

General capabilities:
Lit, ICT, CCT, ICU
Cross-curriculum
priorities: ATSIHC,
AAEA, SUST

Session 1

Content Descriptor

YEARS 9 AND 10 LEVEL DESCRIPTORS

HOW THE SONGMAKERS PROJECT ALIGNS WITH THE NSW H.S.C.


The NSW HSC Syllabus states:
The purpose of the Higher School Certificate program
of study is to:
provide a curriculum structure which encourages
students to complete secondary education
foster the intellectual, social and moral
development of students, in particular developing
their:
knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes
in the fields of study they choose
capacity to manage their own learning
desire to continue learning in formal or
informal settings after school
capacity to work together with others
respect for the cultural diversity of Australian
society
provide a flexible structure within which students
can prepare for:
further education and training
employment
full and active participation as citizens
provide formal assessment and certification of
students achievements
provide a context within which schools also have
the opportunity to foster students physical and
spiritual development.
Students will gain understanding of the musical
concepts through the integration of experiences in
performance, composition, musicology and aural.
The objectives of Music 2 Stage 6 are:
to continue to develop musical knowledge and
skills, an understanding of music in social, cultural
and historical contexts, and music as an art form
through performance, composition, musicology
and aural activities
to develop the ability to synthesise ideas and
evaluate music critically
to develop an awareness and understanding of
the impact of technology on music
to develop personal values about music.
The objectives of Music 1 Stage 6 are:
to develop knowledge and skills about the

concepts of music and of music as an art form


through performance, composition, musicology
and aural activities in a variety of cultural and
historical contexts
to develop the skills to evaluate music critically
to develop an understanding of the impact of
technology on music
to develop personal values about music.
Whilst the project can be taught to Years 11 and 12,
it is more suited to Year 11 Music 2 and Year 11 and
12 in Music 1. The follow table demonstrates how
the activities in the SongMakers Project align with the
outcomes for the Preliminary Courses for Music 1 and
Music 2.

P4: creates,
improvises and
notates music which
is representative of
the mandatory and
additional topics
and demonstrates
different social,
cultural and
historical contexts

Whole class or
group practical
activity based
around chord
progressions

Improvisation
over a loop
practical activity

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 5

P3: composes,
improvises
and analyses
melodies and
accompaniments
for familiar sound
sources in solo and/
or small ensembles

Session 4

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 3

P2: demonstrates an
understanding of the
concepts of music,
by interpreting,
analysing, discussing,
creating and
notating a variety
of musical symbols
characteristically
used in the
mandatory and
additional topics

Session 2
Perform the pop
song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

Session 1

P1: confidently
performs repertoire,
that reflects the
mandatory and
additional topics,
both as a soloist and
as a member of an
ensemble

PRELIMINARY
OUTCOMES

MUSIC 2 OUTCOMES

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done in
Session 5.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Watch Videos
from Robin
Gibb and Bruce
Springsteen.
Identify the main
points.

P5: analyses
and discusses
compositional
processes with
stylistic, historical,
cultural and musical
considerations

P6: discusses and


evaluates music
making constructive
suggestions about
performances and
compositions

Session 1

PRELIMINARY
OUTCOMES

MUSIC 2 OUTCOMES

Group discussion
about bar length
for songs

Watch How Pop


Songs Work and
discuss the key
and structure
of Knowing Me
Knowing You

Watch
SongMakers
Project Video 3
and identify key
points

Watch
Lionel Richie
demonstrating
writing a hook or
top line. Identify
key points

Watch Sting
discussing
integrity in song
writing. Discuss

Brainstorm
a series of
statements about
song structure

Session 2

Listen to various
recordings of
specific styles
and identify the
elements

Session 3

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 2.
Discuss questions

Session 4

Listening activity
on digital effects

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 6 and
discuss questions

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 5 and
discuss questions

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7

Watch Elton John


demonstrating
setting text to
melody

Watch Gotye
discussing singing
as a tool

Watch the
Documentary
about Eyes Wide
Open. Discuss
questions

Watch Gotye
test drive some
technology.
Discuss questions

Watch Gotye
demonstrating
his sampling
style. Discuss
observations

Session 8

P8: understands
the capabilities of
performing media,
explores and uses
current technologies
as uses current
technologies as
studied

P7: observes and


discusses in detail
the concepts of
music in works
representative of
the mandatory and
additional topics

PRELIMINARY
OUTCOMES

MUSIC 2 OUTCOMES

Session 1

Group discussion
about bar length
for songs

Session 2

Session 3
Watch
SongMakers
Video No 2.
Discuss questions

Session 4

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Listening activity
on digital effects

Session 5

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 6

Google different
artists to analyse
common sites

Discuss Questions
related to
searching

Watch the
Introductory
Video from
Common Sense
Media

Discuss questions
about Your Digital
Footprint

Internet research
on Ownership
and Copyright

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 7
and discuss
observations

Brainstorm
questions

Session 7

Watch Imogen
Heap discussing
the audio process
from Song
Summit. Discuss
observations

Watch Gotye
discuss
influences as a
songwriter as an
introduction

Session 8

P12: demonstrates a
willingness to accept
and use constructive
criticism

P11: demonstrates
a willingness to
participate in
performance,
composition,
musicology and
aural activities

Willing
participation
in group
discussions and
brainstorming
sessions.

Session 4

Session 5

Willingly accepts
constructive
feedback
regarding the
songwriting
process.

Perform the pop


song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

Session 3

P10: performs as
a means of self
expression and
communication

Session 2
CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 1

P9: identifies,
recognises,
experiments with,
and discusses the
use of technology in
music

PRELIMINARY
OUTCOMES

MUSIC 2 OUTCOMES

Willingly accepts
constructive
feedback
regarding the
songwriting
process.

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done in
Session 5.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

P5: comments on
and constructively
discusses
performances and
compositions

Watch Videos
from Robin
Gibb and Bruce
Springsteen.
Identify the main
points.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Improvisation
over a loop
practical activity

P4:recognises
and identifies the
concepts of music
and discusses their
use in a variety of
musical styles

Whole class or
group practical
activity based
around chord
progressions

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 5

P3: improvises and


creates melodies,
harmonies
and rhythmic
accompaniments
for familiar sound
sources reflecting
the cultural and
historical contexts
studied

Session 4

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 3

P2: observes, reads,


interprets and
discusses simple
musical scores
characteristic of
topics studied

Session 2
Perform the pop
song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

Session 1

P1: performs music


that is characteristic
of the topics studied

PRELIMINARY
OUTCOMES

MUSIC 1 OUTCOMES

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

CROSSROADS
recording
process begins.
Students using
software specific
to their school
to realize their
compositions.
Process Diary
Entries.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done in
Session 5.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

P7: understands
the capabilities of
performing media,
explores and uses
current technologies
as uses current
technologies as
studied

P6: observes and


discusses concepts
of music in works
representative of the
topics studied

PRELIMINARY
OUTCOMES

MUSIC 1 OUTCOMES

Session 1

Group discussion
about bar length
for songs

Watch How Pop


Songs Work and
discuss the key
and structure
of Knowing Me
Knowing You

Watch
SongMakers
Project Video 3
and identify key
points

Watch
Lionel Richie
demonstrating
writing a hook or
top line. Identify
key points

Watch Sting
discussing
integrity in song
writing. Discuss

Brainstorm
a series of
statements about
song structure

Session 2
Listen to various
recordings of
specific styles
and identify the
elements

Session 3
Watch
SongMakers
Video No 2.
Discuss questions

Session 4

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Listening activity
on digital effects

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 6 and
discuss questions

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 5 and
discuss questions

Session 5

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 6

Watch Gotye
discussing singing
as a tool

Watch the
Documentary
about Eyes Wide
Open. Discuss
questions

Watch Gotye
test drive some
technology.
Discuss questions

Watch Gotye
demonstrating
his sampling
style. Discuss
observations

Session 8

Google different
artists to analyse
common sites

Watch Elton John


demonstrating
Discuss Questions
setting text to
related to
melody
searching

Watch the
Introductory
Video from
Common Sense
Media

Discuss questions
about Your Digital
Footprint

Internet research
on Ownership
and Copyright

Watch
SongMakers
Video No 7
and discuss
observations

Brainstorm
questions

Session 7

P11: demonstrates a
willingness to accept
and use constructive
criticism

P10: demonstrates
a willingness to
participate in
performance,
composition,
musicology and
aural activities

Willing
participation
in group
discussions and
brainstorming
sessions.

Session 4

Session 5

Willingly accepts
constructive
feedback
regarding the
songwriting
process.

Perform the pop


song in its raw
form here or in
Session 6.

Session 3

P9: performs as
a means of self
expression and
communication

Session 2
CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 1

P8: identifies,
recognises,
experiments with,
and discusses the
use of technology in
music

PRELIMINARY
OUTCOMES

MUSIC 1 OUTCOMES

Willingly accepts
constructive
feedback
regarding the
songwriting
process.

Perform the
pop song in its
raw form before
the recording
process begins if
it was not done in
Session 5.

CROSSROADS if
you are starting
at this point the
students will now
go an write a pop
song but only the
lyrics, melody,
chords and the
feel.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

TEACHING ACTIVITIES

There are many program options when it comes to


recording. It would be great if the students were able
to follow standard practices in the recording music
world and have the opportunity to work with software
that is frequently used. This project endeavours to
give the students the opportunity to experience a
variety of recording techniques like looping, demoing,
panning, dropping in, and over dubbing. This can only
be achieved using music audio software as opposed to
live recording via a track recorder or video camera.
It is recommended that the students have availability
to at least one of the suggested resources listed below:
Mac or PC based music software like Garage Band,
Acid, Mixcraft, or Cubase on at least one computer
in the school that has the capabilities to record
lines through a midi keyboard controller and live
inputs like microphones or jack plugs for guitar.

As this project is a songwriting/recording


project, it is expected that all students will
have availability to record their final song.
As each school has a variety of different
technologies and platforms, it is advised
that these resources be organized before the
project begins.

Apps available on tablets and smart phones like


Garage Band, Walk Band, etc, with record facility
for vocals.
If these resources are not available at your school,
do not fear. Your students can still complete most of
the project. If you only have live recording options
like a video camera, then you will need to read
through the instructions on how to execute using
only a video camera.
This project is divided into Sessions and is best
executed in order. If possible, the students learning
would be benefited by at least a full two day workshop
where they can just focus on these activities. However,
the project is able to be taught in a standard music
lesson environment.
The student booklet contains session notes and
worksheets. It is recommended that each student be
given the booklet at the start of the project.

SESSION 1: WHAT DO THE GREAT SONGWRITERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE CRAFT?
ACTIVITIES:
1. Read through the opening script with the students and complete the sentence A song has the ability to. Discuss
the answers provided by the students.
2. Watch Robin Gibb discussing songwriting. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeqGCUoVAsE )
a. Talks about the writing environment
b. Talks about their exposure to American black music time in Australia being invaluable
c. Talks about how they are writers first, artists second, performers third
d. Talks about the blank page
e. Talks about writing for others how they prefer to write a song for someone who wants one rather than just
write a song and hope that someone picks it up and records it.
f. Talks about how producers try to replicate the sound of the group
g. Talks about what makes a good song, not trying too hard, passion and inspiration
h. Ends with how songs about human relationships and the human condition last forever
3. Make a list of the main points of this video and reflect on what notes the students took during its playing.
4. Watch Bruce Springsteen discussing songwriting. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11657215)
a. Talks about writing about what matters
b. Talks about working in a safe environment
c. Talks about reasons to not release the songs recorded or written at the time
d. Talks about shaping the band and its purpose
e. Talks about the influence of country music 30 years ago
f. Talks about using songwriting to sort through the mysteries of life.
5. Make a list of the main points of this video and reflect on what notes the students took during its playing.
6. Watch the video Sting on Songwriting (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5C7d8DM9Pc). At the conclusion of
the presentation, discuss these questions and add notes to the General Advice section.
a. Why are rules and structure important to Sting?
b. What does a song have to begin with according to Sting?
c. Why does a song need to have integrity?
7. Watch Gotye talking about the process behind Somebody I Used to Know and discuss the questions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3qd_lnzc-0
a. Why is the barn an important place for Gotye to work?
b. How has Kimbra influenced this particular song?
c. How does Gotye deal with live performances of this song?
8. What is the Songwriting Process? Read through the next block of text and explain to the students that this is the
process they are going to experience during this project.

SESSION 2: THE BLANK CANVAS AN IDEAS THINK TANK


ACTIVITIES:
1. Divide the class into groups. Each group spends 10 minutes brainstorming the statements:
What is the best song structure to use for a pop song?
What is a hook or top line in pop songs?
What do you think is meant by Dont bore us, get to the chorus!
What is the one thing that is important in a song?
2. Discuss the students responses to these questions.
3. Ask the students to turn to the Ideas Think Tank page in their booklets. This is where they are going to gather
notes about the videos that they are watching.
4. Watch SongMakers Clip No 1. Identify the key points and put them under General Advice.
a. Be an open book
b. Be unique
c. Try to get the overall picture
5. Watch Gotye talking about References in Songs, discuss the questions and make notes in General Advice- https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcmF52PO8lI
a. How important are the lyrics in the song?
b. What is Gotyes explanation about his song lyrics?
6. Watch video Starting with the hook and then the mood with Lionel Richie (https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=Mt-kxW59KwM ). At the end, ask the students to make a dot point in their ideas think tank under Ways to
Get Started begin with the song title and work backwards.
7. Watch SongMakers Clip No 3. Discuss the question - What are the main points to remember?
8. Watch video How Pop Songs Work Part 2 from 0.00 3.30. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQbaDCFbSL0)
This is a segment analyzing Knowing Me Knowing You by Abba. It talks about tonality and chord structures.
Important facts include:
a. Simple verse structure
b. Verse is in B minor / chorus in D major
c. Instrumental bridge uses last part of the chorus augments the chord progression
d. A then B chord syncopation which drives or lead into the next section.
9. In the groups discuss:
a. What is a good bar length for a verse, chorus, pre chorus, middle 8 or bridge?

WHOLE CLASS OR GROUP PRACTICAL ACTIVITY


As a whole class or in their songwriting groups, spend 10 minutes or so starting with the chord
progression 1 5 6m 4 in whatever key you think suitable for your students. Ask the students
to recommend different orders for the chords to be used in the chorus. Move to the relative
minor or major for the bridge and use four chords again. Play the progressions for the students
as they offer suggestions so that they can recommend and refine. As you go through this
process, discuss the reasons why something is suitable and why something is not. Perform the
final chord progression.

SESSION 3: THE CO-WRITING PROCESS


ACTIVITIES:
What does co-writing actually look like?
1. Read through this article and complete the structured overview. Guy Chambers and Rufus Wainwright write a ballad
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13975164
2. Watch the video of Guy Chambers and Rufus Wainwright actually starting to write the ballad. http://www.bbc.co.uk/
news/entertainment-arts-13967945. At the conclusion, in groups, discuss these questions then report back to the class.
a. What were your thoughts about the title or concept of the song?
b. What did you find interesting about the three piano riffs that Guy suggested?
c. Why do you think Rufus went with the second riff? What was it about that riff that caught his attention?
Remember to keep in mind the concept.
d. What part did Rufus start with do you think? (answer should be the title of World War Three).
e. How many people were involved and do you think that this impacted on the process?
f. What style of song do you think they are going to write here?
g. What type of accompaniment do you think will be used for this song?
3. Listen to the full version of the song World War III sung by Rufus Wainwright - https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=ZbQ_tamu46Y. Lyrics are in the students session notes. Ask the students to pay attention to the relationship
between the melody and the lyrics. In their songwriting groups, discuss these questions. Open the floor to feedback.
a. How has the melody reflected the lyric content?
b. How did the accompaniment support the concept?
c. What style did it end up becoming?
d. Did you think the accompaniment choice was effective?
4. Watch Australian Breakthrough artists Eskimo Joe discussing the collaborative songwriting process on their album
Ghosts of the Past. Discuss the students observations and make notes in the General Advice section. (WARNING:
Part 1 does talk about the collaborative process really well however it has swearing in it at about 1.32. It does only
have one word used but your should avoid the temptation of watching it )
Part 2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v15MRbRDwx4
Part 3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjfcmIzMkbc

SESSION 4: HOW TO WRITE POP SONGS?


ACTIVITIES:
1. Watch the video How to write songs with Carla Marie Williams _ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4dPIpX9JNY.
At the conclusion, discuss these question:
a. Make a list of the ideas from the video on the Ideas Think Tank page in Session 2.
i. the need for strong lyrical content and musical flow
ii. basic strong melody anyone can sing
iii. she explains a top line
iv. she talks about song concept
v. she discusses the use of beats and tracks with looping
vi. she discusses structural ideas - verse sets scene, second verse goes into more detail
vii. mentions lyrics are a short movie, and gives suggestions or where to get lyrical ideas
b. What was the one point about songwriting that really resonated with you? Why?

FOR YOUNGER STUDENTS: Here are two activities that you could do at this time to help give
the students a starting point. This may also benefit younger students who may struggle with the
blank page.
Top Line Activity Ask the students to turn back to the Session 4 section. Handout
magazines and papers to each of the student groups. Ask each group to find a top line. Take
one idea and brainstorm a title or top line. Continue to brainstorm the story line with the
idea that first verse sets the scene, second verse goes into more detail and the bridge is the
antithesis of what is going on. Ask the question What style do you think will suit this concept
and why?
Catch phrases Activity Use the catchphrase if not now, when. Use this catchphrase as a
stimulus to write a lyric or poem. Ask the question: What style do you think will suit the concept?

2. Discuss the importance of the right type of layers needed for each style. Complete the listening activity about styles.
The recordings for these songs can be purchased on iTunes if you dont already have them in your collection. You
can change the songs in this activity as these ones become obsolete.
a. Bruno Mars When I Was Your Man
b. Taylor Swift Love Story
c. Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling
d. Katy Perry Unconditionally
e. Guy Sebastien Whos That Girl
f. Ed Sheeran The A Team
g. Train Hey Soul Sister

3. Watch SongMakers Video No. 4 with Rai Thistlewayte and Robert Conley discussing looping ideas.

FOR YOUNGER STUDENTS: Here is an improvisation activity you could do with the students
who you feel need a little more support with the process. Make sure their improvisations are
recorded as they may find these useful when they get started.
Improvise a melody over a simple beat. Use the four chords from Session 2 and ask the
students to start to improvise melodies over the top. If they are not vocalists, then they could try
improvising using an instrument of their choice. If they improvise using an instrument, perhaps
ask the vocalists to see if they can sing these improvisations.
To do this, you will need to set up a looping pattern this can be done a couple of ways:
a. On an Electronic keyboard it must have a record feature and internal accompaniment if
possible. Record the chord progression and press start to begin the track.
b. Create your own beats using computer software of your choice like Mixcraft, Acid, Sibelius etc.

SESSION 5: YOUR FINAL TIP BEFORE YOU BEGIN IS...


As a final word, watch the SongMakers Video No 2. This video is about the use of demoing in two places in the
songwriting process when you have the basic song and once you have recorded the song. Discuss the questions
below with the students before they move on.
a. What is demoing and why is it important?
b. This video talked about two ways to demo. What were they?
c. Where would you introduce this technique in your song writing process?

At this point, you can choose to go two ways depending on how enthusiastic the students are.
You could ask the students to start writing their song. If you take this option, make sure they
stay away from instrument choices and arrangements of the song. Try to get them to focus on
lyrics, melody and chords rather than the arrangement. Once they have completed creating
their song and all its sections, it is time to move onto the arrangement and recording process.
If you choose to continue through Session 6, then the students will start after that.

SESSION 6: THE ARRANGING AND RECORDING PROCESS.


ACTIVITIES:
1. Watch SongMakers Video No 5 and discuss these questions:
a. What were the main points of this video?
b. How does it relate to where you are now with your songwriting process?
c. What ways can you lift up the chorus and make it soar?
d. Which of these techniques are related to the arrangement and which ones are related to the recording
process? BVs, Harmonies, instrument choices, reverb, delay, doubling lines
2. Watch SongMakers Video No 6 and discuss these questions
a. In what order are you going to record your song?
b. Are you recording to a click track (metronome on some programs) or free? What are the advantages?
c. What is a mix plan? Why do you need to use it?
d. Why is Listening the key to learning how to mix?

If you are doing this in sections, you might like to do a listening activity at this point. The only
thing is you will need to have a stereo system that has the facility to play in stereo so that the
students can hear how the sound moves from one speaker to another. Some suggested songs
for this activity would be:
The harmonic at the end of the guitar solo in The Beatles Nowhere Man that pans the
guitar from the right channel to the left. Vintage mix only
Stereo mix of We Can Work It Out by Stevie Wonder. If youre sat in the stereo sweet
spot, the backing vocals (all by Stevie) appear to come from behind the listener. Theyre
also rather short on bass because bass is audibly cancelled out when the two stereo
channels are placed out of phase. If the stereo mix is folded down into mono, the
LH and RH channels almost cancel out with respect to the backing vocals, and these
become barely audible.
Where Did Our Love Go The Supremes the standard mix plan is obvious with this one.

At this point, the recording process needs to begin. During this process, if each group is using their own computer,
you will need to oversee the students use. If you are controlling the process at one computer station, as was the
method used in the SongMakers Project, then you will need to consider how long it will take to record each group.
With the SongMakers Project, the students that were ready to go were the first recorded. The remaining groups were
left to continue to work on the songs. As each group completed their song, they remained in the room to watch the
recording process.
With this in mind, the Recording section includes a series of Process Diary entries and some trouble shooting tips.

SESSION 7: YOU HAVE A GREAT SONG. SO NOW WHERE?


(NOTE: This is a wrap up session to only be completed once the songs have all been written and recorded.)
ACTIVITIES:
1. In groups, brainstorm the question: So you have a great songso now where?. The students should begin to
mention online promotion and marketing like facebook etc.
2. Watch the video SongMakers No 7. It will cover:
a. What to do with the Demo?
b. How do you know you have a hit song?
c. The Business of Songwriting
d. You need a good digital footprint.
3. Ownership and Copyright with APRA/AMCOS. Internet research. If there is no availability to individual computers,
then perhaps this could be done as a whole class with a projector set up or maybe as a homework activity.
4. The Importance of Your Digital Footprint.
a. Discuss the questions:
i. Have you ever Googled yourself?
ii. Have you ever checked your virtual identity?
iii. Did you know that every time you go online, you leave a digital footprint?
iv. Did you know that whatever you do online is pooled together in a dossier which is traceable by others?
b. What is a digital footprint? If you have not done anything like this with the students before, then this is a
great introductory video from Common Sense Media: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9udrvJNTEww
c. Discuss the questions in the following section. If you googled an artist:
i. What is the first thing you want to see?
ii. What social media sites are you hoping to find them on?
iii. Which sites are the market leaders in music?
d. Google the different artists to come up with a list of sites that are common.
i. a group or artist that are new to the music market place (5 Seconds of Summer)
ii. an artist or band that have been around for the last 5 years (Bruno Mars/Train)
iii. a current music reality TV show contestant like X-Factor and The Voice

SESSION 8: THE SKY IS THE LIMIT IN THE TECHNOLOGY AGE


ACTIVITIES:
Sampling as an option.
1. Watch Gotye talking about his influences in songwriting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4g4mMvd07E
2. Watch Gotye talking about his style of music sampling - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpGCqtNBKBI&list=P
L03vmVO_lQa15rfbOIQmGHdjyN
a. What technique does Gotye use with his songs?
b. What is your definition of sampling?
c. What is Ableton Live?
d. What did you notice about the song when you listened to it? How would you describe its style?
e. How did Gotye put together the samples from Harry Belefontes Banana Boat Song? How long was the sample?
f. What quality did the sample end up taking on?
3. Watch Imogen Heap talking about the audio process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvVIlnJClzk
a. What did you find interesting about what she had to say?
4. Watch Gotye talking about sampling equipment - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTKcab7-mII
a. How does he apply the use of electronics in composing and live performance?
b. What does this gadget do?
c. How do you think it could be useful?
5. Watch Gotyes Documentary about the writing of Eyes Wide Open How he incorporates the Winton Musical Fence
and his move away from sampling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_iuE_L2wys
6. Watch Gotye talking about singing and how it helps him to write. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4ny8iKqT7I
7. Read through the start of session 8 about I want to be a songwriter.
8. How to practice creating melodies. Watch Elton John Starting with Chords https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=OB3MwB2F-wU - Here Elton John is challenged to write a song on the spot using just the text that is
available to him.
9. Complete the Survey/Plenary.