1. LYRIC-FIRST WRITING WITH A LYRIC EVERYONE KNOWS: Take the lyrics for Yesterday by the Beatles. Write a new song with them with different chords and melody and even instrumentation. This is a challenge because you'll hear the original melody in your head. Change to minor key, come up with chords first, or hum a melody into your phone's recorder. Improv is key or start with a stock progression (a good idea for songwriting any day) using Autochords or a similar app. Another tip: try altering the pacing of the lyrics; don’t pause in the same places. You can expand the lyrics as well - add a verse!
2. CHORD, MELODY FIRST WRITING: RE-WRITING LYRICS TO AN EXISTING SONG. You may alter the melody as you see fit, but keep the general chords, rhythm, and feel of the original song, which is TBA (stayed tuned or RSVP for more).
3. LYRIC-FIRST WRITING AND SWAPPING: Write an original lyric on an index card (single side only, the quicker the better); set it to music, it should be less than 120 seconds long. Record it quickly without editing and share it with me. You'll trade lyrics with a partner, who will make a new song from your lyrics without hearing your recorded version. You'll make a new song from that person (or another's) lyrics. We'll share both recorded versions of yours and your partners' songs at group class.
4. CHORDS-FIRST WRITING: Write a song of any length based on the chords given. They can't be changed. :)