Writing Prompts 101 –
Part 3: How to Use Musical Writing Prompts
What Is a Musical Writing Prompt?
Have you ever noticed how you can hear a song and it will change your mood or remind you of someone or make you think about something that happened? Music is very powerful. The melodies, rhythms, and lyrics can create different emotions and atmospheres. That’s why I love using music when I write. The music I choose to listen to helps me write about specific things. It’s kind of hard to explain so let me give you an example.
How To Use a Musical Writing Prompt
You need a piece of paper and a pencil or something to type on for this little exercise. I want you to listen to this song called “Havana” by Jesse Cook. While you listen, I want you to write down whatever thoughts or feelings come to you. Do you think of a place? Do you feel happiness, sadness, excitement, or fear? Does this song take you on an adventure? You may be shocked at how quickly you are seeing a story or forming a poem while you do this. (Sometimes a song is too short but it’s perfect for whatever I am trying to write. So I just play it over and over again until I am finished.)
Now what? Look at your notes. Use the words and images to create your poem, story, or essay. When I hear this song, I think of a trip to South America where I am invited to a party with lots of fun music, excellent spicy food, and tropical humidity.
What did you come up with after hearing this song? Nothing? Well, here’s another secret of mine: play the song again, but this time, get up and dance. Something about dancing to the music may help you shake the ideas loose and make it easier to write them down.
More Musical Writing Prompts
I’m pretty confident that you didn’t have trouble using this musical writing prompt. It will be easy to use others. You can find several YouTube channels and websites created for this. *As a side note, parents will want to preview some of the music videos ahead of time and turn on the ‘Safe Browsing’ feature to make sure there’s no inappropriate content in the videos.
There are also some basic music apps like Amazon Music, iTunes Radio, Pandora and others that I like to use to create stations for writing. Amazon Music lets you create your own playlists that you can enjoy offline and I like this feature for those times when I’m out of the house without internet.
So now, go have some fun! Experiment with different types of music and see what kinds of things you can write while you listen. Listen in the car or when you’re out for a walk. But don’t forget to carry paper and a pen to write down your ideas!
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