Havilah Rand


Havilah is an award winning singer songwriter and educator who has recently relocated to Bellingham, WA after an eleven year stint in the acclaimed Live Music Capital of the World Austin, TX . Her musical journey spans five full length albums and two decades weaving its way through the jazz halls of New York City, the alternative rock venues of post grunge Seattle and countless coffeeshops and theaters across the United States And Europe. Havilah also holds a Masters Degree in Teaching and has been a classroom educator in both public and alternative school settings for over ten years. She is the founder of Holistic ArtVentures, an organization that uses songwriting as a tool for bolstering empathy, creativity, collaboration and confidence. Through various songwriting programs, Havilah has written songs with hundreds of children and elderly and has even been nominated for the Esme Barrera Music in Education and Activism Award.

Teaching Experience

Havilah holds a Masters In Teaching degree from Woodring College and taught middle school Social Studies, Language Arts, and ESL for over ten years to grades K – 12 in both private and public school settings. She founded Holistic ArtVentures in 2012 and has since been creating and leading songwriting summer camps, after school workshops, home school curriculum and more for both kids and adults alike. Havilah also coaches voice and music privately out of her home studio in Bellingham, WA.

Teaching Philosophy

A lifetime of using music as a way to express myself in conjunction with being an educator in various classroom settings has taught me that a curriculum which integrates music and art serves a variety of purposes including building self esteem, healing emotional trauma, creating meaningful connections across diverse populations and making academic subject matter relevant and interesting. The mission of my songwriting programs is to create avenues for curiosity to be sparked and for hidden talents to be discovered. By giving students the ability to express their perspective and reactions to the world around them through art, we are allowing them to take ownership of their learning and to be engaged in a very profound and personal way.

Young Songwriter Program with Havilah Rand

Lesson Plans


Students will use songwriting as a way to integrate information from magazines, books, academic

subject materials and more with their own perspectives and express themselves. Students will also use

songwriting as a way to memorize important academic facts and information as well as cultivate

cooperation, community and empathy for each other and the world at large.

Materials: Havilah will provide most materials including a composition book for each student to use

as a writing journal. Classroom will provide scissors, glue, colored pencils, markers, sharpies and pens

and pencils.

3 Hour Lesson Plans Grades 4 – 12

Introduction: 45 minutes

Havilah will introduce herself as a songwriter and educator who has been writing songs and singing

since a very young age. She will stress that having a job at the things that bring her the most joy in and

of itself makes her very successful at her job. She will then lead a whole class discussion on what it

means to be an artist bringing out salient points such as the imperfect nature of art and the uniqueness

of every creation. This portion of the class will culminate with a song being collaboratively written “on

the spot” with Havilah leading the music and arrangement while taking lyrical ideas from the group.

The song is recorded and then listened to by the whole group.

Main Activity (90 minutes)

Phase 1 (35 minutes)

Havilah will explain that all art, including songs, begins in both the outside world and the artist. We

take in ideas from the world around us and integrate them with our own personal perspectives and then

create a work of art which will resonate with others. Students will be given magazines and books to cut

interesting pictures, words and phrases out of. They will be given a limited amount of time for cutting

and pasting their findings onto a piece of paper or journal.

Brain Break (15 minutes)

Havilah will lead several theater improv games to help relieve anxiety, inspire collaboration and

innovative thinking.

Phase 2 (35 minutes)

They will then be given another chunk of time to begin creating lyrical ideas based on the words and

pictures they cut out. Students may also branch out into pairs and groups at this time to collaboratively

work on songs.


Students will be given the opportunity to share their works in progress with the class. They will also be

given the option to have what they share recorded.

12 Hour Lesson Plans

Grades 4 – 12

(Each day is a two hour session)

Day 1


  • discussion on the nature of creativity and what it means to live life artistically
  • whole class songwriting collaboration

Main Activity

  • break into groups and use magazine and book cut outs to begin cultivating song ideas
  • brain break with theater improv games


  • Whole group sharing with option to record

Day 2


  • Listen to several songs by artists such Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Marvin Gaye Buffy Sainte

Marie and discuss how they are using songs to express what is happening in the world around


  • Theater improv games

Main Activities

  • students are put into groups of three or four and given a picture and one instrument of their


  • students are given 20 minutes to write a song together
  • Groups present to the class
  • Students continue to work on their ideas from last week or continue collaging

Close with listening to anyone else that desires to share and discussion on how the collaborative

process worked or didn’t work. Stress the words empathy, flexibility and compromise.

Day 3 and 4


  • Listen to several songs requested by students and discuss song arrangement in terms of verses,

chorus, bridge, etc.. (15 min)

  • Theater improv games (15 min)

Main Activity: Writing songs about academic material (60 minutes)

  • students will he assigned groups
  • students will brainstorm important facts relating to a particular academic subject
  • Students will build upon their brainstorm ideas and begin organizing the information into parts

of a song using a template. Havilah will support as needed

  • At this stage a make shift recording studio will be set up and students will be recording as they

are ready. Students who are not as engaged in the writing and music process will be invited to

help engineer, assist and “produce” recordings.

  • Brain breaks, games and sketching in journal as needed (10 minutes)


  • Whole group listening session to recorded songs. (20 minutes)

Day 5


  • Listen to several songs requested by students and discuss song arrangement in terms of verses,

chorus, bridge, etc.. (15 min)

  • Theater improv games (15 min)

Main Activities (75 minutes)

  • Finish editing, recording and rehearsing live versions of songs
  • Decorate CD covers and labels
  • If this is finished students are challenged to write their own lyrics to a popular melody they

know and are limited to two verses and a chorus. Lyrics must also relate to academic subject

matter such as math facts, science facts, or social studies events/issues.


  • listen to recorded works and have discussion about the writing process. What is easy for some

and difficult for others? Why? What are you enjoying most about the process?

Day 6

The final day is dedicated to preparing and performing a live performance and CD release celebration.

Students are invited to share one song, either the recorded version or a live version. Staff and students

from other classes are invited to attend. The performance will end with a question and answer session

from the audience.