A school song celebrates the institution for which it was written and unifies students and staff. Capture your own school's identity by surveying students and staff for school-specific information to tell your story. Once you have a collection of anecdotes and ideas that represent the essence of the school, convert your notes into memorable lyrics and a catchy melody.
Use a Meaningful Title
Summarize the main theme of your song in the title. It should be singable and stand up to repetition in the lyrics so that it can be used in the song's chorus. A good song title is like the topic sentence of a paragraph: It encapsulates the message of the rest of the words.
Fine Tune Your Lyrics
Study existing songs to learn lyric structure. Organize ideas into sections and select partially repeating elements for the pre-chorus and a distinct message for a bridge. Use your song title in the chorus. Rewrite parts of the lyric that sound clumsy when you sing them. Use vowels for sustained -- long -- notes; for example, the last note of "The Star Spangled Banner" is held using the "ay" vowel sound in the word "brave."
Use an Effective Melody
A song's chorus is typically the hook, or the part you remember most easily, and this is often accomplished by higher notes in the melody. For a school song, ensure that the entire melodic range of the song is not too broad. Three octaves -- or a 21-note range -- is considered achievable by most singers after training, so keep your song melody within two octaves, or a range of 14 notes or less from highest to lowest. The melody should be simple, somewhat predictable and not too high or low.
Nancy Lovering is a writer, photographer and teaching assistant. She took novel writing at Langara College and photography at British Columbia Institute of Technology. She obtained her teaching assistant certificate through Delta School District Continuing Education. She previously worked as an assistant controller while in the Certified General Accountants program, and has training in dog psychology through Custom Canine Teaching Ltd. in Vancouver, BC.