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Elizabeth Vaughn

Creating a Hook Project


Stage 1 Desired Results

Standards: Goals:

MU: Cr3.2.C.la Share 1. Students will study the chord progressions and lyrics of popular song hooks.
music through the use
of notation,
2. Students will create a sample hook together in class for individual reference
performance, or
technology, and when creating their own song hooks.
demonstrate how the
elements of music have 3. Students will gain an understanding of chord function and harmonic movement
been employed to in an applicable context.
realize expressive intent
4. Students will experiment with different combinations of chords to create a
MU:Cr2.1.C.IIa chord progression for their song hook.
Assemble and organize
multiple sounds or 5. Using their previous research, students will brainstorm words associated with
musical ideas to create their topic, experiment with different combinations, and create lyrics and a
initial expressive short melody for their song hook.
statements of selected
sonic events, memories, 6. Students will create a short hook for their songs with lyrics and a chord
images, concepts, texts, progression that portrays their song topic. This initial creative process will help
or storylines. inform and influence the rest of their songwriting process.

MU:Cr3.1.C.IIIa 7. Students will share their work with their peers and give one another feedback
Research, identify, to inform their own revisions and future writing.
explain , and apply
personally-developed 8. Students will present their work to the entire class and
criteria to assess and a. Explain their rationale for their musical decisions
refine the technical and b. Explain how their hook portrays their researched song topic
expressive aspects of c. Walk the class through their creative process
evolving drafts leading
to final versions. 9. Students will debrief in a group discussion to examine the challenges of this
project and how this initial writing experience will influence the rest of the
songwriting process for each student.
Generative (Essential) Questions:

1. What gives a song meaning?

2. Why does your song topic concern you?

3. How can we express our own concerns in a constructive way?

4. What makes a hook catchy?

5. How do I use music to talk about and challenge social injustice and other global issues?
Elizabeth Vaughn

Stage 2 - Evidence

Day 1- Students engage in a group-led discussion about song hooks, identify the nuts and bolts of a hook, (lyrics,
chords, rhyme, rhythm, etc.) and will write a song hook together.

Day 2- Students will engage in a group-led discussion on chord function and harmonic movement. Students will
examine examples of hook chord progressions. Students will write a chord progression together.
Day 3- Students will examine examples of chord progressions. Students will write out their own chord
progressions, record playing them, and share their process in discussion.

Day 4- Students will engage in a group-led discussion on hook lyrics. Students will examine examples of hook lyrics.
Students will write one set of hook lyrics together.

Day 5- Students will examine examples of hook lyrics. Students will create their own hook lyrics, record them, and
share their process in discussion.

Day 6- Students will examine examples of and experiment with combining hook lyrics and chord progressions
together. Students will take the lyrics and chords written in class and together combine them to create a finished
hook. Students will then enter a group discussion about suggestions for revisions of the class hook.

Day 7- Students will combine their chord progressions with their lyrics and finish their song hooks. Students will
then share these with a peer and provide feedback for one another. Students will prepare for presentation of their
process.

Day 8- Students will present their hooks to the whole class and engage in short, student-led discussion about each
hooks chords, lyrics, and overall feel. Classmates will offer ideas to consider for student revision and later
reflection.

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Discuss the specific process by which learners will make progress toward the goals. Specifically address the ways
you, as a teacher, will support, challenge, and wind for the learners. What “workshops,” “lessons,” or “experiences”
will you guide learners in to help them develop tools needed to grow? How will you support individual learning and
growth?

“Hook Project” ← 8 day project

Day 1: Introduction: What is a hook?


1. Define through examples of song hooks they have been studying in pop music
2. Identify the different elements of a song hook
a. Chords, short melody, lyrics, harmony, rhythm, etc.
3. Class discussion and activity: Create a song hook together
a. Begin with a simple chord progression ( I- V- vi- IV ) and play this for students on piano/guitar

4. Pick a topic to write a song hook about (this cannot a topic someone has chosen for the project)
5. Brainstorm words associated with the topic together and write on the classroom board

6. Separate from lyrics, come up with a short and simple melodic idea that fits within the chords
7. Begin combining words from the board together and test different combinations with the melody
Elizabeth Vaughn

8. Test a few different hooks students come up with as a group


9. Pick one final hook to solidify and have the class play and/or sing it
10. Group discussion on the process
a. What worked? What didn’t?
b. What was the hardest step? The easiest?
c. How will you want to approach the songwriting process after this experience? Identical,
similar, or different than the approach we’ve just used together in class?

Day 2: Chords
1. Define through chord progressions in pop music hooks they have been studying
2. Identify the qualities of different chords (major, minor, 7ths, half/fully diminished)
3. Identify common chord progressions found in pop music and compile a list on the classroom board
4. As a group, experiment with altering these common progressions with other chords and discuss the
harmonic function of these new chords
5. As a group, pick one common chord progression, make additions/alterations to it, and create one new
chord progression to write on the board for future reference. Play this progression as a group

Day 3: Chords (cont.)


1. Review the chords, chord progressions, and new class progression studied and created in the previous
class
2. Majority of class will be given to students to work on building their own chord progressions
3. Halfway through class, students will pair up, share what they’ve got so far, and offer one another
suggestions for revision. Students will then return to working independently
4. Teacher will float around the room for most of the class period, observing and offering guidance

Day 4: Lyrics
1. Define through examples of song hooks they have been studying in pop music
2. Identify the elements of song lyrics in a hook (Rhyme, pacing, rhythm, melody, pulse, etc)
3. Class discussion about what makes a song hook “catchy” and memorable
4. Using the same topic used on day 1, review the words the class had brainstormed relating to the topic
5. Have the class experiment, as a group, different combinations of these words that can form one
idea/sentence
6. Have the class come up with a short, simple melody that fits within the chord progression created on day
2
7. Write a few lyric sentences and a few melodies on the board and have students experience mixing and
matching these two song elements together
8. Select one final combination of lyrics and melody, play and sing this as a group with the chord progression,
and write on the board for future reference

Day 5: Lyrics (cont.)


1. Briefly review the process the group went through in the previous class
a. What worked? What didn’t?
b. What was the hardest step? The easiest?
c. How will you want to approach the songwriting process after this experience? Identical, similar, or
different than the approach we used together in the last class?
Elizabeth Vaughn

2. Majority of class will be given to students to work on building their own lyrics and melodies
3. Halfway through class, students will pair up, share what they’ve got so far, and offer one another
suggestions for revision. Students will then return to working independently
4. Teacher will float around the room for most of the class period, observing and offering guidance

Day 6: Combine! Lyrics, Melody, and Chords


1. Review examples studied since day one of project and have a brief class discussion on how each element
fits in with the others to portray an idea or topic.
2. Informal self assessment: Does my song hook and all of its elements fit together to portray my song topic?
3. Majority f class will be given to students to work on combining their lyrics, melodic idea, and chord
progression.
4. Halfway through class, students will pair up, share what they’ve got so far, and offer one another
suggestions for revision. Students will then return to working independently
5. Teacher will float around the room for most of the class period, observing and offering guidance

Day 7: Combine! Lyrics, Melody, and Chords (cont.)


1. Class will be divided into two groups to form to Q&A panels
2. Students will each share their lyrics, melody, and chord progression through presentation (and
performance if students choose) and will explain where they started, their creative process, and how their
final song hook portrays their topic.
3. Following each presentation, the panels will engage in a Q&A with the student presenting and offer
compliments, constructive criticisms, and ideas to consider as students approach their final revisions in
preparation for their full class presentation.

Day 8: Class presentations


1. Class will be given notecards and be instructed to write their own name, the name of the presenter, and
their compliments, comments, and constructive feedback on each students presentation (and
performance if they choose)
2. Each student will share their song hook and explain how it portrays their topic and will walk the class
through their creative process.
3. The class will engage in a group discussion on the project, addressing the questions:
a. What worked? What didn’t?
b. What was the hardest step? The easiest?
c. How will you want to approach the rest of the songwriting process after this experience? Identical,
similar, or different than the approach you’ve used to write your song hook?