Accentuate the Positive – Lyric Writing for Kids
In 2002, The Johnny Mercer Foundation launched a lyric writing program to teach elementary students about the art of songwriting and to introduce them to the songs of the Great American Songbook.
At the center of this program is Accentuate the Positive, a student activity guide that explains how a song is born, how music and lyrics are conceived, and written and how these songs reflect our passions and ideals. Accentuate the Positive is currently being used in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, and Miami schools.
The impact of the partnership between FIU and Miami-Dade schools is far reaching, linking music to literacy development, aiding students’ artistic growth, and enriching second language acquisition. An iconic songwriter and lyricist, Johnny Mercer’s work provides an exemplary framework for deepening cultural awareness of the great American song tradition, while providing cross-cultural connections to the rich diversity found in South Florida. Mercer’s own history of collaboration with over 300 artists will serve as a model leading to curricular innovation where students develop critical skills and learn in cooperative ways.