EDPO 541: Music Creation & Songwriting in the K-12 Classroom

April 8, 2024 - June 16, 2024

Instructor: Jake Sturtevant

Course Description:

This course is constructed for all teachers K-12 regardless of experience in music.  The focus will be on building skills in music creation and songwriting that can be integrated into units and lessons in all classrooms.  When students engage with music in an integrated way, they will begin to realize connections between disciplines and learning in authentic ways. Composers and songwriters use music to express experiences, ideas, and reflect the world around them.  If we as teachers can develop meaningful learning environments which allow our students to express their perspectives through music and lyrics, it will allow for much richer and deeper learning.  

Participants will engage through learning experiences including: reading, watching, online discussion, writing, reflection, exploration of music creation tools, lyric/song analysis, lesson/unit design and implementation, and most importantly through project based learning where participants will compose and write their own songs/compositions. 

Participants will meet online for 10 weeks. A personal project to be shared with our class community and also participants’ own educational community, along with a summative paper documenting the learning in the course is required. 

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, educators will be able to: 

  • *  Use a variety of music creation tools accessible by all students and teachers 
  • *  Analyze and discuss meaning in lyrics and music 
  • *  Write and analyze a set of lyrics 
  • *  Write 1-2 pieces of music/song and describe characteristics pertaining to composer/songwriters voice 
  • *  Give constructive comments to fellow composers/songwriters 
  • *  Develop an integrated lesson or unit with authentic music creation experiences for students

Materials Required:
Computers are required for the course. Internet will be required for the course. All resources will be accessible to participants on a Google Classroom site. Additional handouts will be provided.

Required Reading: 

Choose one of these books (depending on your teaching level to focus on) 

Experiencing Music Composition in Grades K-2

Experiencing Music Composition in Grades 3-5

Experiencing Music Composition in Middle School General Music (used for for Grades 6-12)


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