How To Make Lyric Videos using Powerpoint or Keynote

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Lyric videos

Teaching songs with lyric videos

Lyric videos that have lyrics that show up line-by-line in time to an audio track can be a useful tool in teaching students songs and helping them to learn lyrics by heart.  They are not hard to make but they do take a little investment of time. For this reason, they’re best suited to songs that you are teaching to many students – perhaps across multiple year levels – or for singalong songs that you are going to use in assemblies, concerts or religious services.

There’s more than one way to create lyric videos but today we’ll look at a simple method that involves using Powerpoint (on PC) or Keynote (on Mac).  The result will be a simple video with a soundtrack and lyrics that appear at the right time throughout the song.

If you’re a member of the MMC, look out for an instructional tutorial video that will show you the process step-by-step on both a PC and a Mac.

6 Steps

There are 6 steps in this process:

  1. Gather the content you need for the video
  2. Set up your Powerpoint, Keynote or Google Slides template file
  3. Copy and paste the lyrics into your template
  4. Add the audio file
  5. Record your slide timings
  6. Export as a video file

Step 1: Gather content

The first step is to gather the content you need to make the video.  I would suggest creating a folder and putting your content in there so that it’s easy to find.  You will need the following:

  • Audio file of the song
  • Song lyrics – either on a lyrics website page or in a Word document
  • Optional: background image/s for your slides if using


The Pixabay website is a great place to find public domain images.  I like to type “background” or “texture” into the search box on Pixabay to bring up suitable background images for my slides (you can see the one I chose below)


Step 2: Set up your Powerpoint or Keynote file

The next thing is to set up a template file for your lyrics videos.  

  • Start a new presentation file
  • On the title slide, add your background image (if using) or change the background colour
  • Add the title of your song and adjust the font, font size and font colour if desired
  • Create a second slide (this will be for the first line of the lyrics) and format the font like before


  • Turn on the formatting guides and/or snap to grid options to make it easier to line up objects on each slide
  • Center the lyrics and make the font size quite large
  • Make sure the font colour is easy to read over the background image

A Million Dreams

3. Copy & paste lyrics into your template file

This is the part that’s a little time-consuming. It’s not difficult but you’ll need a little patience!


  • Duplicate the first lyrics slide
  • Select the existing lyrics on the slide, copy the next line of the lyrics from your Word doc or lyrics website and then paste that line into the text box
  • Adjust the font formatting if necessary
  • Repeat this process for the rest of the song


  • In Powerpoint, you can leave one line of nicely formatted lyrics in the text box (which we’ll use to copy the formatting) and paste the next line of lyrics underneath – in the same text box.  You can then use the Format Painter feature to copy the format of the first line to the lyrics you just pasted in
  • If you’re using Keynote, you should find that the format adjusts once you paste the lyrics into the text box
  • When deciding how many lines to put on a single slide, consider how your students will read the lyrics.  Small chunks work well
  • Consider the layout from a musical point of view – start new song sections on a new slide
  • Once you’ve set up the lyrics for the first chorus of the song, you can copy that the set of slides for the next time the chorus appears in the song (ie. don’t create the next chorus from scratch!)

Step 4: Add the audio file

The next step is to add the audio file to the title slide and set the file to play continuously through entire presentation.

In Powerpoint:

  • Add the audio file to title slide.  An audio icon will appear on the slide
  • Select the audio icon (1)
  • Click on the Playback tab  (2)
  • Check the box next to Play in background (3) and uncheck Loop Until Stopped (4)

PowerPoint audio

In Keynote:

  • On the right side of your Keynote file, click on Document to open the Document pane (1)
  • Click on the Audio tab (2)
  • Drag your audio file from Finder on to Soundtrack area (3)
  • Choose Play Once in the drop-down menu (4)

Keynote audio

Step 5: Record timings

The next step is to “play” your presentation file in time to the music and record the timings for each slide so that they match the music.  Remember to advance the slides a little bit ahead of each line of the song.

In Powerpoint:

  • Go to Slide Show tab (1)
  • Select Rehearse Timings (2).  The song will start straight away
  • Advance through the slides at the appropriate time by using the right arrow key on your computer keyboard
  • Press Escape when finished
  • Powerpoint will ask whether you want to save the timings – choose Yes
  • The recording is now saved within your Powerpoint document

PowerPoint Timing

In Keynote:

  • Go to Play > Record Slideshow (1).  The recording will not start until you click on red Record button at bottom of screen
  • BEFORE pressing record, click on the microphone icon to turn off the mic, otherwise music will be recorded via mic and you’ll have double soundtrack (2)
  • Press the Record button (3) and wait for the “3, 2, 1” count-in.  The song will start to play
  • Advance through the slides at the appropriate time by using the right arrow key on your computer keyboard
  • Once finished, press the Escape key
  • The recording is now saved within your Keynote document

Keynote Timing

Keynote timing 2

6. Export recording as a movie

The final step is to export your recording as a movie/video file.

In  Powerpoint:

  • Go to File > Save and Send > Create a video
  • Choose the video quality and make sure Use Recorded Timings and Narrations is selected
  • Click Create Video, then name the file and choose your saving location
  • Wait for the file to export (once that has happened, it might take a little while for the file to be converted – be patient!)

In Keynote:

  • Go to File > Export To > Movie
  • Make sure Slideshow Recording is selected in drop-down menu
  • Click Next, choose your saving location and name the file

You’re DONE!!

Locate the video file you created and play it through to check everything is as it should be.

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Want More?

Hello! I’m Katie Wardrobe – an Australian music technology trainer and consultant with a passion for helping music teachers through my business Midnight Music.

I’m a qualified teacher but no, I don’t currently teach in a school. I help teachers through my online professional development space – the Midnight Music Community – where there are tutorial videos, courses, links and downloadable resources.

I like to focus on easy ways to incorporate technology into what you are already doing in your music curriculum through a range of creative projects.  I also run live workshops and have presented at countless conferences and other music education events.

If you want simple, effective ideas for using technology in music education, I would LOVE to help you inside the Midnight Music Community.

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