Grow a song?! Yes, you correctly read that.

Songs generally take time to develop and to take shape. Performers breathe life into them. Some songs change over time.

Drawing upon my work with preschooler to 103+ year olds, I’ve uncovered a few ways you can grow a song in your sessions.  In doing so, it can allow for creativity, self-expression, and exploration for your participants and yourself.

Grow a song in your sessionsOne song, 6 ways to grow

Here are 6 ways you can grow a song into one or more sessions

  • Gather song with the same theme/topic.
  • Collect songs by the same composer or lyricist.
  • Identify other songs popular at the same time.
  • Find various versions of the same song.
  • Create a session through association.
  • Use the song in different ways. 

Want more details on these? Here’s the dirt.

Songs that grow as they go along

There are many songs that build as you go along. Here are just a few.

  • There Was a Tree (+ there is a book version!)
  • Green Grow the Rushes Oh
  • Green Grass Grew All Around
  • Rattlin’ Bog
  • Father Abraham
  • When I First Came to This Land* (Another singable book. If you purchase the book through this link a few cents will be contributed to Music Sparks.)

Grow a song through lyric writing

A fun way to grow a song is through lyric writing. Four approaches are:

  • Songwriting with Mad Libs.
  • Creating extensions to existing songs.
  • Using a word list from which substitute words can be selected,
  • Writing new lyrics to an existing tune.

You’ll find more details here on each approach.

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