In today’s world, feeling relaxed and being creative isn’t easy. There are so many technological distractions which can easily cut young people off from the real world and encourage them to live in a disconnected social media world, plus big events like COVID-19 and climate change have created fear and uncertainty in our daily lives as well as uncertainty about the future. Imagine your child had something they wanted to share but didn’t know how to express it, or they were afraid that their creativity would be laughed at or frowned upon, or they feel isolated and that no one believes in them. Maybe they are starting a new school and have worries but feel embarrassed or unable to talk about them directly, or perhaps they’ve lost someone close or argued with a friend and don’t know how to express their emotions.
This is where songwriting can help. Music and especially songwriting is a powerful tool that allows people to express emotions, as well as relate to the emotions of others. Songs are written from the heart, mind and soul – whether joyful or sorrowful – and the very act of composing and writing lyrics and melodies can be very cathartic. The Ancient Greeks believed if you had sorrow and you wrote it down in a song for Apollo he would take away the pain! Many musicians and therapists believe that songwriting is a great way to discover and process feelings of all kinds – hope, fear, joy, sorrow, excitement, anxiety – which can all be uncovered as children learn to play with words and melodies. The physical act of writing down what they are feeling can help children deal with their worries and fears as well as express wishes, hopes and dreams.
Music therapist Barbara Dunn said that ‘songwriting is a way to give voice to the essence of who we are, to understand and express ourselves and, to some extent, our relationship to the community and world that surrounds us’. If we can get more young people engaging with their feelings and thoughts, and transforming them into a song with a message that is personal or universal, then maybe they’ll grow up to believe, as John Lennon once penned, ‘there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done, nothing you can sing that can’t be sung’. Everything is possible.
Song Academy is dedicated to the wellbeing of young people and the future of music. Through our songwriting programmes and The Young Songwriter competition we enable young people to express themselves and be heard. From writing their first song to developing their first album, we nurture young writers, artists, musicians, producers & creative thinkers, empowering young people at a formative time of their life.
At Song Academy, young people get a unique opportunity to write with others, understand how other people might be feeling, and so learn how to be sensitive towards others, as well as exposing them to a multitude of different view points and ways of life. On top of this, they are learning how to sing or play instruments and perform to an audience, both individually and as part of a group. This helps them gain confidence whilst extending their knowledge of music theory & composition in a fun, exciting environment. The Song Academy leaders are all young enthusiastic professional songwriters and musicians who delight in helping young people find their own words, melodies and voice.
For those young people who’d like some help developing their songwriting talents, we have an exciting programme of online songwriting workshops running in December. Another opportunity we provide is an excellent song feedback service throughout the year.
Plus mark the date! We’d love all your creative & musical pupils to enter their original songs into The Young Songwriter 2021 competition. The entry period is 1st February to 31st March 2021. It’s an inspiring opportunity for them to work towards, with a star-studded judging panel including Fraser T Smith, Tom Odell and Imelda May. As well as getting their songs heard by some of the best songwriters and key players in the music industry and connecting to our vibrant community of young songwriters, they have a chance of winning some fantastic prizes. Prizes include a recording studio session with a top producer in London, a Focusrite Scarlett Solo Gen 3 Studio Bundle, Yamaha prize and a signed Tom Odell album!