“A true believer in the power of music and education, Tim Cheesebrow connects to all learners to help them develop both as people and musicians. He realizes the strength of connecting with the learner first, giving them the confidence needed to create incredible songwriting projects.”
– Michael Moeller – Band Director, Mahtomedi High School


”This was the best class ever! I will always keep writing music because it’s a part of who I am now.”
– Westwood Middle School Student

Sounds of Minnesota – Teaching History through Story and Song

An exciting new program about our rich musical Minnesota heritage!

Tim Cheesebrow and Fred Keller bring the musical history of MN to life through songs and activities that keep students engaged and curious. Each lesson has a unique historical focus, and was designed in partnership with MN teachers to meet state standards and benchmarks.

Lessons come with preparatory activities so you can get your students ready for the big day when Tim and Fred come to teach the lesson. There are activities for students to do, project starters to carry the learning forward, assessments and follow up activities so it’s a snap to plug this program into any MN curriculum.

How does it work?

Simple. Just pick a lesson that fits with what you’re working on in class and give us a call or email! We’ll take care of the paperwork with your administrative team, send you any prep materials, and show up in your class ready to go! If you don’t see the lesson you’re looking for in the list, Fred and Tim would be happy to create a custom experience for your students that fits with your learning objectives.

Contact Tim at tim@discovermusicnow.org to set up a lesson!

Songwriting Programs

The program teaches basic music theory and lyric writing concepts then allows students to explore different ways of expressing themselves musically. Students are encouraged through instruction and mentorship to process their thoughts and feelings, verbalize them, and use their own voice to share their stories with others. The results are astounding. 82 percent of students rated their songwriting experience as “very highly” or “highly satisfied.”

Statements gathered in exit surveys and follow-up interviews demonstrate the deep level of impact songwriting had on their wellness. They have self-reported benefits like: increased confidence, mental clarity, social awareness, anxiety and anger management, catharsis, self-awareness, personal development, compassion, empathy, general well being, emotional control, and gratitude for having learned healthy tools to express themselves.  Delivering these programs over nine years and in multiple school districts has yielded consistently positive results.

After students write the songs there is an option to go into a recording studio with professional musicians and make a high quality recording of their song. 

“Music has given me a voice. It has given me access to expression and energy like nothing else. Without music I would be eaten alive and swallowed by my emotions.”
– Middle School Student, 3 years after participation in the program

Guest Artist

An unforgettable experience where Tim comes to your classroom and writes a song with the class. In a single class period, students are guided through the songwriting process and the class participates in a group sing-along of their song. A professional recording is made available online at no charge.


A truly powerful series of 12 visits to your classroom over the course of the school year. Students are encouraged to dig deep and (with guidance) write their own songs as they learn about music theory, rhythm, rhyme, musical structure, storytelling, and self expression. This opportunity can stand alone or be offered as an enrichment to existing music programs. Optional recording of student’s songs.

Targeted Services

Tim works with school deans and counselors to offer songwriting as a wellness tool for identified students. Designed to support behavioral health plans, this program teaches students the language of self-expression and how to use music to process, model and convey their inner thoughts and feelings.

Songwriting Course

For maximum impact and student learning, Tim will partner with district staff to provide a full-term class aligned with state standards in Fine Arts. There is no expectation of student proficiency in music, but by the end of the course they will be able to read and write in traditional and popular rotational styles, craft words and melodies, make chord progressions, explore careers in music, learn the science of sound, and will learn how to use music to express themselves in a safe and healthy way. This course includes visits from guest artists and professional recordings of student songs.


An interactive concert can be added to any songwriting program. Concerts can be for select groups of students, school-wide, or even for both students and families after school hours. The concert uses music and stories to talk about mental health and inspire students to find healthy ways to express themselves.

Songwriting Workshop

Tim leads a seminar style workshop that focuses on songwriting basics and how to use them as part of a daily practice of wellness. This program can be delivered directly to students, teaching them the importance of self care and empowering them with tools to make their own music, or it can be delivered to groups of educators/counselors interested in incorporating songwriting into their work.

The end result is a group inspired to conquer their challenges and help others using music as a vehicle for their expression.

Each workshop includes 20 free copies of Songwriting for Wellness: Using Music to Heal the Mind


“Because Tim teaches a songwriting class, he understands that “putting yourself out there” is scary, and Tim provides the scaffolding needed for kids to push through their fears to create something truly magnificent.”
– Kevin Berdine – GT Coordinator, Lighthouse School
“Songwriting is the sole way of complete honest expression i have learned to use. I am usually shy, however when i write i feel free to express my deepest emotions which would otherwise rot within me.”
– Lighthouse Student