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Tips for Writing New Hymns and Songs

Charlotte Larcabal

Do you have musical talent or a way with words? You can submit something to be considered for the new hymnbook and children’s songbook!

If you haven’t already heard, the Church is revising the hymnbook and the Children’s Songbook. And you are invited to help!

“Perhaps the most meaningful hymns and songs of the Restoration have not yet been written!” said Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy. “We encourage our talented members to prayerfully consider what they might add to the body of music already known and loved by the Church.”

Check out newmusic.lds.org and give suggestions (like what your favorite hymns and songs are and what you’d like to see in a new hymnbook), or submit your own original hymn or song to be considered! But it doesn’t have to be a complete song—you can also submit just lyrics or just music. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2019. That may seem a long way away, but time goes quickly, so if you think you would like to submit a song or two, get started soon.

Remember: all languages and cultural styles will be considered, but the music you submit should be appropriate for use in worship services. Inspirational music invites the Spirit of the Lord into our lives, unifies us, creates an atmosphere of reverence, and gives us another way to offer praises to the Lord.

If you think you’d like to write a hymn or a song, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Write lyrics that teach and explain gospel doctrine through analogies, stories, and examples. They should invite and inspire! (Check out “Choose Your Words” for more lyric-writing tips.)
  • Try picking one main idea to write about and stick to it. Too many topics in one song can get confusing! Think about what gospel principles are meaningful to you, and consider creative ways to write about them.
  • Don’t just wait for inspiration; go find it! Good ideas can come from talks, scriptures, life, or personal revelation.
  • Melodies should be simple and memorable; repetition is good.
  • Have a good idea? Record it on a voice recorder so you don’t forget it!
  • Keep trying! Songwriting is hard work. You may have to write a few songs before you have one you love.

Did you know that youth help write the music on the Mutual album? Read some of their stories and find out what inspired them.

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Have any other tips for writing lyrics or music? Share your experience below!

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