Sing for Your Rights

Songs, song lyrics, and musical performances are forms of speech protected by the First Amendment. The Constitution protects authors’ and inventors’ exclusive property rights for limited times over their creative works. Further, the Fifth Amendment protects property owners by ensuring: “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” All of these constitutional protections have helped music flourish in the United States and have allowed musicians to give voices to their ideas and to generations.

In this lesson, students will understand the ways the Constitution protects the rights of citizens who express themselves through music.

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