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Writing your song!
You have 30 seconds to LIST as many of your favorite songs
DISCUSS: find a partner and discuss your favorite songs with them- why are they your favorite songs? Do you have any that match with your partner? Please come up with one song to share
DISCUSS as a class: Let’s listen to a few
What is the difference between musical theatre and pop music?
Introduction to songs: When to sing (motivation)
Characters need a reason to sing, some moment where their emption takes over. Find those “song posts.”
Realization (of the past). The character recognizes what s/he or others have done or left undone. i.e. “The Party’s Over” from Bells are Ringing
Decision (in the present). The character chooses what he wants and what to do to get it. i.e. “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl
Transitions (toward the Future). The character changes what he wants, which changes what he does. i.e. Soliloquy from Carousel
What to Sing (Emotion)
“I am” songs are about supporting (or questioning) the status quo, the current reality. i.e. “Jet song” from West Side Story and “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast.
“I Want” songs are about inviting (or avoiding) change, the possible future “Over the Rainbow” from Wizard of Oz and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from My Fair Lady. The conditional love song is one popular variety of “I want” i.e. “People will say we ’re in love” from Oklahoma! and “If I loved You” from Carousel.
Types of songs
Brainstorm with a partner which styles of songs would work best in their musical and what moments of the story will feature songs.
Use the “Song Styles for Musical Theatre” handout to create the “why” for your song you are creating.
Lyrics are NOT poetry. Poems live on the page; lyrics live on the stage. We read poems at our own pace; we hear lyrics at the pace of the music. To help the audience understand a song, we need to be aware of two main aspects of our lyrics.
Phonetics (word sounds): Some combinations of sounds are easier to understand. For example, the line “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” in the song “Purple Haze” is often heard as “Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”
Semantics (word meanings): Some combinations of words are easier to understand. The best lyrics are conversational. Avoid inverting a phrase for a rhyme i.e. “When we go out and walk/with you I like to talk.”
Building a Lyric
Choose your title: The title should focus the main idea (and imagery) of a song. If you “head out on the highway until your ship comes in,” you will confuse the audience. Pick one idea & stick with it!
What words, images, and phrases does your title bring to mind
Are there certain pictures you want to paint with this song?
Look for patters themes, or structures among the words and images.
Building a lyric 2
2. Plan your song: your song should have a beginning, middle, and end. The images should flow, line by line and section by section, in a gradual and logical pattern, with each section adding something new and not just repeating the same thing in a different way.
How can you arrange these images clearly tell your story?
How does each section flow from and build on the previous section?
How should the audience feel when the song is finished?
Look up the lyrics of one of your favorite songs.
Identify the rhyming scheme (if there is one)
What makes these lyrics important to you?
If you said the lyrics aloud, would they fit a beat?
Using your song title, brainstorm ideas on a piece of paper. Use a web- it doesn’t matter what you write
“Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific
Section 1 Looking across the room (“you may see a stranger”)
Section 2 Listening across the room (“you may hear her laughing”)
Section 3 Moving across the room (“when you feel her call you …”)
“On the Street Where you Live” from My Fair Lady
Section 1 Walking down the stret (“I have often walked...”)
Section 2 Looking along the street (“Are there lilac trees… ”)
Section 3 Meeting others on the street (“People stop and stare …”)
Lyrics are NOT poetry. Poems live on the page; lyrics live on the stage. We read poems at our own pace; we hear lyrics at the pace of the music. To help the audience understand a song, we need to be aware of two main aspects of our lyrics …
Two main lyrical aspects
Semantics (word meanings): Some combinations of words are easier to understand. The Best lyrics are conversational. Avoid inverting a phrase for a rhyme i.e. “When we go out and walk/with you I like to talk.”
Piece together your dialogue- before and after your song- paraphrase it
Outline your song- beginning, middle, & end- lyrics do not need to be specific
i.e.- theme of piece is “love’s journey”
Day 4: Week 2 Lesson 1 & 2