Local musician Jon Martin visited KUA fifth grade classrooms in May.

“From the day I was born

“They all told me how to be

“Stand up tall

“Sit up straight

“Don’t talk back

“Don’t be late

“But that wouldn’t be me

“No, that wouldn’t be me”

Set to a local musician’s guitar melody, these lyrics struck a chord in Julie Brunson’s fifth grade classroom. Local writer Robert Young anticipated their appeal with preteen audiences at Kids Unlimited Academy.

Young spent about three weeks composing the lines before sending them to Gold Hill guitarist Jon Martin, with whom he’s collaborated on about 10 songs. The duo shared their writing and musical tips with KUA students this month and offered feedback in two fifth-grade jam sessions.

Local artist Robert Young visited KUA fifth grade classrooms in May.

“The more you play ’em over and over again … they almost start to grow,” said Martin of composing new songs. “Eventually, you get the flower on top.”

Aligned with their English language arts poetry unit, KUA fifth graders devised lighthearted lyrics about chewing gum and toenails, along with more weighty words about war.

“War ain’t nothin’ but a heart-breaker,” Martin sang, setting the student’s lyrics to minor chords.

“The point of war blows my mind.”

If the song was written as a heavy metal anthem, it could exceed 20 minutes, Martin explained. Pop songs — like a student’s song about soccer — usually are only about three minutes and often comprise major chords, he said.

“Soccer, soccer why so hard?

“Soccer, soccer why so fun?”

The lyrics assignment paired with the special guest presentation were designed to show students that poetry isn’t “boring,” said Erin Monteith, KUA’s instructional coach for ELA. Young volunteered to visit with KUA students for the second time this school year, following his talk at February’s Family Literacy Night.

KUA students received signed copies of books by local author Robert Young.

“I like words, playing with them, then shaping them into sentences, paragraphs and books,” said Young. “Writing books provides me with an outlet for my curiosity.”

The author of 28 books, Young is a former teacher who has been visiting local classrooms for 34 years. He recently published his first graphic novel, “Lobo: The Hunted and the Hunter,” based on the true story of a cunning wolf and a relentless hunter who becomes one of America’s first conservationists.

Young’s offer of autographed books for the entire class elicited cheers. But students also swarmed Martin, asking for his autograph on their typed and printed lyrics.

“What are the reasons you’d want to get into music?” he asked the class.

“Just for the fun of it,” one student replied.

“That’s the only reason to do it,” said Martin. “Just do it for the love of music.”