Congratulations to Callum James, SAYS17 Runner Up with his original song ‘Cardboard Spaceship’.  Here’s a bit about Callum and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write ‘Cardboard Spaceship’?  This song was essentially written about the relationship with my younger brother. There is almost a ten year age gap between us and he always used to want to emulate me. He would like to wear clothes and shoes similar to mine. Often wanting to wear shoes and clothing that I had outgrown but was too big for him. He liked to wear hand me downs even though they were often threadbare. We used to watch old Star Wars movies when he got home from school and on one occasion in the summer holiday we made a spaceship with windows cut out of a large cardboard box that we took from the recycling. People are forever saying he looks like I did when I was younger. I have had comments from people that have listened to the song that the sentiments reminded them of their younger siblings. The bigger message is about being able to go where ever you want and be your own person just by imagining and believing.

How long have you been writing songs?  About 5 years

How did you get into songwriting?  From listening to music and wanting to emulate others that I admired and as means of expressing myself. I had always been surrounded by music but probably the artist that made it real for me when I started writing was Ed Sheeran.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting to me is a form of therapy and helps me express my innermost thoughts and feelings. It makes me feel comfortable with myself and able to cope with situations.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  When I think of a catchy hook it really excites me and I record it on my phone. I will then play it over and over and refine if required and then put words to it.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Over coming “writers block”. Sometimes I’ll just write and write and eventually the words will start to flow. Before starting songwriting, I had struggled writing things down clearly. Last year I was diagnosed as being dyslexic and so now realise why I had those issues. Songwriting has helped greatly in that respect.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Chords.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  It gives a platform for your song to get heard by many different people. The calibre of the judges and their respective talents means that your song is listened to by music professionals who have won Ivor Novello awards for instance. It is a real privilege and not something that is usually possible. To benchmark one of my songs against those written by other songwriters is really useful and to have reached the final 10 shortlist is really special.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs? Ed Sheeran “A Team”, Cat Stevens “Father and Son”, Bears Den “Clouds over Pompeii”

15 years from now you will be… Hopefully still performing and writing songs. I am constantly trying to learn how to play better and listen to all genres of music for influence.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Anything relating to music; whether performing live, listening to music or watching live music .

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Congratulations to Tom Westlake, SAYS17 Finalist with his original song ‘Something To Hope For’.  Here’s a bit about Tom and his songwriting.

How long have you been writing songs?  It feels like I’ve always written songs but I actually only started about 3 years ago.

How did you get into songwriting?  I used to perform cover songs by myself and with my band Last One Home. When I saw how well the audience responded to these, I was inspired to have a go at writing as I thought it would be an amazing feeling to get a similar reaction to my own songs (If these were my songs I’d get a huge sense of accomplishment from the audience!)

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting allows me to develop the creative side of myself.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  My favourite part of the songwriting process is hearing a whole track come together and then playing it live for the first time. That first impression from the audience is essential to assessing how well your song will go down. Performing your own songs and having a great reaction gives you this huge sense of accomplishment!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  The most difficult part of songwriting for me, is generating those crucial first words or phrase. Once I have a musical or lyrical idea, I can often write a whole song in a very short space of time.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I often find that lyrics and melodies flood into my head at the same time and I sing something and say to myself ‘that’s a song’, before immediately going off to work on it and adapt that original lyric and melodic phrase into a full track.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  The Song Academy Young Songwriter competition gives ‘unheard of’ songwriters a chance to have their music critiqued by a panel of expert judges and it gives everyone the opportunity to kickstart their future career in the music industry.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  I love so many different songs but my top 3 artists that have inspired me the most and my 3 favourite tracks by each of them are: Biffy Clyro – The Conversation is…, Snow Patrol – The Weight of Love & Oasis – Rock and Roll Star

15 years from now you will be…I hope to be performing, either with my band Last One Home or as a solo artist, and to be continuing to write songs for myself and others while possibly acting as a producer and studio engineer as well!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  When I’m not writing I am normally in rehearsals or playing live shows, but in the unusual scenario where I am doing neither, you could probably find me out with friends!

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Congratulations to Roman Lewis, SAYS17 Finalist with his original song ‘Mindless Town’.  Here’s a bit about Roman and his songwriting.

How long have you been writing songs?  I’ve been a music lover my whole life, but probably around about 2 and a half years ago. However, my music has evolved quite a bit.

How did you get into songwriting?  I wanted make people feel the way I feel when I hear music that touches me. My friend made up the word for it. It’s called a “crinkle”, and it’s the indescribable shiver you get when you listen to incredible music. I want to make people “crinkle”.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  For me it’s almost a means of therapy. Whenever I’m not feeling too great I pick up my guitar and I take a snapchat of the emotions I’m feeling at that moment in the form of a song.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  When you finish it and play it fully for the first time. It’s quite a special feeling for me.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  If there is a difficult part in the process of writing a song for me, then I leave it. When I have something to say it just comes out. When that doesn’t happen then I am forcing it and the song won’t be good or have any value. However sometimes, when I’m writing about something that’s hard to speak about, it is fairly difficult.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Always chords. Always has been. Despite this, my most recent song was written with melody first because I broke my wrist and couldn’t physically play chords. I’m excited to put chords on it though, and finally be able to play guitar again.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  It not only gives young people the chance to meet other songwriters and be inspired by them, but it also helps you share your music with others.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Damien Rice, Bon Iver, Radiohead. These are three of many many people who I have drawn inspiration from throughout the years and have made me “crinkle” countless times.

15 years from now you will be…  Over 30. Damn…

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I like football. I used to dance. Probably performing though. I like music a bit.

Have a listen to all our top ten SAYS17 finalists


Our SAYS17 winners will be announced on the 8th May at 12pm on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Southern Terrace in the Young Songwriter 2017 competition live showcase on Sunday 4th June, 2-5pm. Around 50 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #freeevent

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Gus Harrower, Young Songwriter 2016 winner performed his winning song ‘Wanderin’ Man’ in the Voice In A Million show at SSE Arena Wembley on Wednesday.  An incredible performance and great song!

There’s 3 more weeks for 8-18 year olds to enter our Young Songwriter 2017 competition (entry deadline is 2nd April).  Get submitting!

Click here for more information and the entry form.

Calling creative lyricists, singers & musicians!

Join our vibrant groups of young songwriters and collaborate on writing, composing, producing & recording an original song from scratch with a performance at the end! For 8-11 yr olds and 12-16 yr olds. Unleash their creativity & develop their musicality with professional songwriters.

Songwriting workshops in West London, Winchester and Emsworth.  Check out the dates and book soon to guarantee a place.

“Lets their musical and creative side run free” – Jo, Mother
“It’s awesome creating a song from scratch with professional songwriters!” – Amy, 14 years old
“Inspirational” Charlotte, Mother
“Incredible value – building important life skills as well as writing fantastic songs!” Tanya, Mother

More info and entry form to book places

For the 6th year, we’re looking for the top young songwriters aged 8-18 across the UK & Ireland, with a new category for international young songwriters.

Aged 8-18? Written your own original song? Want to write your first song? Have you what it takes to write a hit song? Want your songs to be listened to by key players in the music industry, including Tom Odell, Imogen Heap, Conor Maynard, Rumer, Eg White, Fraser T Smith, Lyn Goddard and Jamie Theakston!

You can enter up to 5 individual songs and 5 group songs. Closing date is 2nd April 2017. All lyrics and music must be the entrant’s own original work.  The competition is separately judged for the 8-12 and 13-18 age categories.

We’re looking for raw songwriting talent. Audio recordings don’t need to be professionally recorded as they will be judged on their originality, lyrics, melody, composition and potential to be a smash hit! Written song feedback from an industry expert is available before entering.  Get ready to enter.  Submit a short entry form and upload your song directly on the form or via Soundcloud – it’s super easy and quick!

Winners will record their winning song at a top recording studio in London, have a professional music video and photos, win a Scarlett2i2 Studio, Farida Guitar & 4 tickets to Beautiful – The Carole King Musical in London and perform at our Young Songwriter 2017 live showcase in London and in the Voice In A Million Show at Wembley Arena!

Get ready and be part of the largest community of young songwriters!

Young Songwriter 2017 Competition Entry Form

Good luck!

The Song Academy Team

It’s been an incredible year! Have a listen to our top 20 songs of our young songwriter members in 2016.  Congratulations to our young songwriters and a big thank you to the fantastic Song Academy team.

If you’re a songwriter aged 8-18 check out our Young Songwriter 2017 competition, open for entries on 1st Feb 2017.

If you’re interested in our after school clubs & holiday workshops have a look at what we offer talented young songwriters.

If you’re a music teacher looking to enrich your music programme please have a look at our songwriting programmes for schools.

If you’d like a Song Academy songwriting birthday party get in touch.

We’ve had a brilliant year helping young people write smash hits and express themselves.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

The Song Academy Team

Write a Christmas smash hit with our professional songwriters!

Where?  West London & Winchester

WEST LONDON at The Holy Trinity Church, Brook Green, Hammersmith, W6 7BL

Monday 19 (2-6pm) & Tuesday 20 December (2-5pm)

WINCHESTER at The Railway Inn, 3 St Pauls Hill, Winchester, SO22 5AE

Tuesday 13 (1-4pm) for 8-11 year olds

Wednesday 14 December (1-4pm) for 12-16 year olds

Who?  Two groups: 8-11 year olds and 12-16 year olds

Join our dynamic & spontaneous songwriting & singing workshops over the Christmas holidays.  Our vibrant groups of young songwriters collaborate on writing & producing an original song with our hit songwriters across two afternoons with a performance at the end.

We develop participants creative lyric writing skills, improvisation of melodies, harmonies and rhythm skills, and composition of instrumental parts/riffs and solos. Participants choose the style of music – rock, country, jazz, pop, rhythm & blues, hip hop, urban, latin, electronic, folk or a new mixture! Those that play an instrument can bring it along and those that don’t can focus on creating the vocal harmonies.

£95 for two afternoons (7 hours) with a performance at 4:45pm on the second afternoon for friends & family

£35 for the one afternoon (3 hour) workshops in Winchester, with a performance at 3.45pm.

To enquire/book – click here for the online booking form.

or email contact@songacademy.co.uk or text/call 07710 023743.

“Lets their musical and creative side run free” – Jo, Mother

“It’s awesome creating a song from scratch with professional songwriters!” – Amy, 14 years old

“Inspirational” Charlotte, Mother

 

YOUNG SONGWRITER 2016 ALBUM RELEASED TODAY

* Album release showcasing the top young songwriters across the UK and Ireland

* Judges included Tom Odell, Eg White, Guy Fletcher & Jamie Theakston

We’re delighted to announce the release of the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2016 Compilation Album on Spotify, iTunes and other distributors through AWAL (Artists Without A Label). The album includes 26 tracks from the winners and selected finalists & highly commended of the 2016 Young Songwriter competition, which attracted outstanding young talent from 7-18 year olds across the UK and Ireland.

This album not only gives young songwriters a unique platform to get noticed by a larger audience and educate them in the digital world of e-commerce and the dynamics of the music industry, but it also provides them with their own revenue source.

Buy our Young Songwriter 2016 album on iTunes.

The annual Song Academy Young Songwriter competition has gone from strength to strength since it began in 2011 and is now the leading song writing competition for young people aged 7 to 18 across the UK and Ireland. It’s a springboard for the next generation of creative stars to get noticed by key players in the music industry, build confidence, have their voices heard and shine in the limelight.  Thank you to our sponsors PRS for Music, Yamaha, Dawsons Music, Farida and Access To Music for supporting our Young Songwriter 2016 competition.

This year’s prestigious judging panel, including Tom Odell, Rumer, Eg White, Guy Fletcher and Jamie Theakston, whittled down hundreds of entrants to choose a winner and two runners up from both of the competition categories, covering 7 to 12-year-olds and 13 to 18-year-olds.

Tom-OdellThe judges had nothing but praise for Song Academy. Tom Odell, singer songwriter said “When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it.  But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and its something I wish had been around when I was starting out.”

Rumer photoRumer, singer songwriter said: “I was very impressed with these children’s songs and was taken aback by their originality and their beautiful, unselfconscious approach to storytelling. I was very humbled by a lot of their words.”

Director of PRS for Music, Myles Keller said “This wonderful competition empowers young songwriters, enabling them to showcase their talent and offering them a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity to gain crucial feedback from some of the very best British songwriters. In the early stages of a career, this kind of help is like gold dust and really enables industry newcomers to build strong, sustainable careers. Music is integral to our nation’s identity and it is crucial that we nurture the next generation of songwriters now to ensure a creative future. PRS for Music is absolutely delighted to support such a positive and exciting competition.”

Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, says: “Here at Song Academy, we are aiming to give young people a voice, help them to express themselves and celebrate their individuality. We give them the opportunity to unleash their creativity and inspire them with what’s possible. By connecting them to a vibrant community of their peers who all love writing original songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry, we help to build young people’s confidence and self-belief.”

GET READY for our 2017 Young Songwriter competition and take a look at our excellent song feedback service.

We had an incredible afternoon at Westfield London in June this year showcasing the top young songwriting talent from across the UK and Ireland.  36 young songwriters performed their original songs to a big crowd.  Plus it was fabulous to have a special performance from the amazing singer songwriter Rumer.

We were part of the Hammersmith & Fulham ArtsFest programme with Westfield London celebrating the Queen’s 50th anniversary.  The British weather was spectacular with torrential downpours right at the end of our showcase!

Please have a look at our Young Songwriter 2016 showcase highlights video.

Congratulations to Gus Harrower, winner of our 13-18 year old category who has gus-low-resbeen chosen to perform his winning song ‘Wanderin’ Man’ at the  Voice In A Million 2018 show at Wembley Arena.

Get ready for the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2017 competition, open for entries on 1st February 2017!  You can make sure your songs are the best they can be by taking advantage of our expert song feedback service.