by Jay Sandwich
Song writing іѕ а probably the best way to express your thoughts and feelings in a creative and musical manner. It’s good for your soul, and it can be a fun process as well. Still, there are certain songwriting rules. You need tо consider the tune, lyrics and the overall feel оf the song as you write it.
One group of people who love to hear songs is, of course, kids! Your kids, your friend’s kids – all kids love music! Specifically, children love stories, songs, music, and dance, all оf which саn bе used аѕ effective mediums tо communicate with them.
When it comes to writing songs for kids, you need to consider some important things regarding the lyrics and tune. You may have to write songs for children in Sunday schools, at school gatherings, or simply for entertainment. You just never know when your skills as a songwriter will be needed! Here are some tips:
You might have noticed that all children’s songs have a simple tune with not too many singing or chord variations. This is because children grasp simple tunes faster than complicated ones. A kid’s song should only have two or three chords. This will be helpful, if the song is to be performed by the children themselves either by singing it back or playing it on a musical instrument. Starting the song in a major key will provide the song with a happy tone which kids will enjoy. Keep the combination simple such as G-C-D. A good idea is the Baa Baa Black Sheep song which has this very chord combination.
Including easy to remember and pronounce words in the lyrics is absolutely required when you are writing songs for kids. The reason for this is that words may be new to children, and it is important for them to understand the words to develop language skills. Moreever, the words should also be easy to pronounce and memorize. Children would certainly enjoy memorizing the song if the words are easy to pronounce and learn. For example, the words of the very famous London Bridge Is Falling Down rhyme.
A rhyme scheme in the verse and chorus is also as important as including simple words. A rhyme gives the song an interesting touch and helps connect the lines in a verse. You can choose the very simple ‘AAAA’ rhyme scheme on a four-line verse. Another good one would be ‘AABB’, which can easily be applied to a children’s song. Children will find the song more enjoyable and easy to follow if the lines are connected logically and in rhyme. The Ding Dong Bell rhyme has a good AABB kind of rhyme scheme.
To create an interest for children to sing a song and learn it by heart, the main topic should be compelling. Of course, ideas that are compelling to us adults aren’t always interesting to children. We want to relate to kids on their level. You can write the song lyrics using ideas such as a day at school, the school bus, mom and dad, homework, things they like to eat like ice cream, and things like this. You can even think of short stories, which will make them happy. Nothing too long or complicated. Whatever the theme is, it’s handy if it teaches them something – a morality tale. One song I can think of that kids like is the Slippery Fish song. It’s cute, it’s playful, and it’s a bit weird to be honest. Remember that just because you’re writing a kids’ song, doesn’t mean you have to write a boring kids’ song.
Most children love to dance and to perform actions with music. After you have written a song, you set up appropriate steps to the lyrics. Actions and gestures in songs would greatly appeal to kids, hence encouraging them to participate. These steps can be used to arrange a dance to that song. Just like the words and lyrics should be made simple, so should the actions in dance songs for kids. If not for the whole song, the chorus can surely consist of fun-to-do actions. Along with the tune and lyrics, it’s a good idea to add rhythmic beats to the song. An example of this type of song would be Going On A Lion Hunt. This song has plenty of fun gestures you can do with your kids!
Kids being kids, there are many chances for the song to get mixed up when children sing them. To make the song perfect, you should thoroughly practice it and the actions as well with your kids. With some practice, you will come to know the song inside and out and you will be able to help your kids learn the song better, until they know it off by heart too. If there are gestures that go along with the song, practice will help them learn those as well. If you are the one personally teaching the kids the song, you can do different things to make the song more fun, like adding your own special humour to different gestures, or sound effects, etc. The more fun your kids are having, the better they’ll learn the song, and if they have to present the song at a recital or for a school assembly, they’ll do a better job!
Children will certainly enjoy practicing the song you’ve written if it takes into consideration all of the things we’ve talked about: an interesting topic or theme, simple rhyming lyrics, a simple melody and chord structure, some element of learning, a sense of fun, along with gestures that make the song even more entertaining. Writing a song for kids can be easy only if you make sure you simplify it, both for yourself and for the kids as well. Let your inner child shine through, grab your laptop or pen and paper and get writing. Good luck!
About Jay Sandwich
Jay is an ex-shred guitar player and current modular synth noodler from a small town somewhere. Quote: “I’m a salty old sandwich with a perspective as fresh as bread.” No bull.