Sing well-known, repetitive songs before then substituting individualized words or phrases, i.e., "This little _______ of mine, I'm gonna let it shine," or "I'm gonna _________________, down by the riverside!"


Word Substitution Songwriting comprises many possible activities to serve low to high levels of cognitive functioning, or to address various goals/objectives. The simplest variation may be called MadLib Songwriting. MadLibs prompt single word responses. This example provides very basic prompts, although you could say, "an adjective" instead of "describing word" to develop academic skills.

Coal MadLib

Fill-In-The-Blank Songwriting allows more creativity and self-expression by filling in small or large phrases. This method also encourages awareness of the phrases place within the context of the song.

Coal FIB


Fill-In-The-Blank Songwriting utilizes the same approach but directs the creative process towards the patient's own life and experiences. Rather than just completing the song in a coherent way, cuing responses helps make the project more individualized and meaningful.

Coal Cued

Finally, Piggyback Songwriting utilizes only a song's melody and accompaniment to rewrite all of the lyrics.

Coal Piggyback



Further ReadingEdit


James E. Riley, MM, MT-BC