Monday, May 14, 2012

which comes first?

A melody or lyrics? When I'm writing songs, I typically look at wording before adding any sort of musical notations. This allows me to think about components of music, such as meter, key, dynamics, chords that may emphasize lyrics, etc...and parallel this to elements of spoken language (rate of speech, rhythm, type of utterance, emotion(s) of the speaker).  This way, I feel that I can better "attack" topics and really highlight them with music.  However, there are occasions when I'm driving along (and along and along!) my way to/from work and my mind is suddenly flooded with notes. It may be for a current project or something that I roughly record on the voice memo feature of my phone, and stash away for the "right" activity.

It just so happened that for today's song, the lyrics were already written for me. They were penned by an ABA therapist who I "share" a kiddo with. We thought that since music is such a motivator for her, putting the words to music seemed a natural fit. When I write, I, personally, usually look for  some sort of rhyme; this song doesn't, but to me- it works. The flow and message of the words are good, and during sessions, I've seen great success at learning, singing, as well as recalling afterward.
I like that the song offers empathy that yes- it's alright to be angry...we all experience this emotion!  However, there are ways of expression that aren't appropriate (and these can easily be modified to fit your needs); instead, alternatives are given.  I also made a lyric page with pictures to illustrate each "do not" and "can."

So, when it comes to song-writing, it may be a "chicken and egg" deal...other therapists, teachers, composers: how do you approach your creations? I'm interested to know your methods!

Getting Mad

Sometimes I get mad.
It’s OK to get mad.
I get mad when something is too hard.
It’s OK to get mad.


When I get mad, I do not kick.
When I get mad, I do not scream.
When I get mad, I do not run.
It’s OK.

I can ask for help.
I can take deep breaths to feel calm.
I can count to 20.
Then I feel better.

Great job, Lucy*!

*name changed