Getting better as I try, innit

songwritingcharity blog:

On the 6th June, NT & JQ will be leading 18 riders on an overnight cycle round our capital. The team aims to raise £10,000 to get our anti-bullying initiative Bully Beat into more primary schools. Bully Beat helps children to understand the effect, impact and consequences of bullying, it also helps to build their confidence and improve their self esteem, the very things that bullying can erode and destroy.
Parents often tell us by email or via social media just how much Bully Beat has helped their children gain in confidence, and the boost to self-esteem they’ve experienced being a songwriter and recording artist for one very special day!
With your help, we will reach many more children affected by bullying behaviour.

Originally posted on frequentlywrong:

On this occasion I am out with fellow Nightrider participant Nick Lomax. Nick, Fergus and I are three Girton Dads and along with one Girton mum and 16 other riders, we are taking on the Nightrider London; 100km or 62 miles around London starting at Lee Valley VeloPark or Crystal Palace Park. It’s at night, on the roads and with London’s late night revelers, city custodians, workers and night buses running while we cycle our hearts out. Taking in the major sights and climbs, this is going to be one hell of a night of cycling.

Nick has been a rock and is a magnificent coach (salute), a role he has accidentally assumed owing to the many questions I continue throw his way about this and that. All of us are raising funds to beat bullying through the Songwriting Charity’s brilliant songwriting in schools programme, Bully Beat. It’s…

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Preparing for Nightrider 2015

SWCharity Nightrider

Between now and June 6th, we’ll be pushing out blogs written by some (if not all) of our registered Nightrider charity cyclists. Most of the people taking part are like me (JQ) novices when it comes to cycling and participating in this kind of challenge. There are also a number of seasoned cyclists on our side who have contributed much already in terms of advice, information, hints and tips on getting the most of this experience. Terry Maley, Dewayne Artrey, Fergus Gracey and Nick Lomax, thank you!

Our first contributor is Sarah Willson, Project Accountant, SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd, Ely. Sarah is one of eight SAMSON MH employees including Songwriting Charity Trustee, Sharon Hall, taking on Nightrider to help us to beat bullying this year and beyond. Sarah has started training hard for the challenge and is doing well and shared the following with us, “Ok, chose nice country roads and managed 13.5k. Could have gone further, just didn’t know how far I had gone but quite pleased with that. Saying that not sure bum could handle more. Not sure if I’m going to be able to sit down tomorrow. Ordering padded leggings this afternoon!”

13.5k is a good distance, keep it up Sarah. Don’t forget the old maxim ‘little and often’. Getting saddle time in these early days is vital. I’ve been advised that padded shorts/leggings are also a must have!

Sarah is fundraising for the Songwriting Charity‘s anti-bullying programme Bully Beat. Bully Beat helps children to understand the effect, impact and consequences of bullying, it also helps to build their confidence and improve their self esteem, the very things that bullying can erode and destroy. Parents often tell us by email or via social media just how much Bully Beat has helped their children gain in confidence, and the boost to self-esteem they’ve experienced being a songwriter and recording artist for one very special day!

With your help, we will reach many more children affected by bullying behaviour. Please support us and support Sarah Willson’s efforts by making a donation here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sarahwillson1

 

 

‘Thinking out Loud’

Video

Children of Queenborough School and Nursery in Kent miming the Ed Sheeran/Amy Wadge Song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ in a special video tribute, part of a school music project, filmed by Nathan Timothy, CEO of the Songwriting Charity.

Smiling Faces

smilingfacescover

A few weeks ago, we received an email from a chap over in the US who suggested a way to drive awareness, interest and possibly generate donations that would go towards the delivery of songwriting workshops. A musical collaboration between LA based DJs, musicians and producers called Clinton Vansciver and Bijan Malaklou that would benefit the charity in a number ways was we thought an excellent idea!

Keen to say thank you for taking such an interest in what we do at the @SWCharity @JohnMichaelQ arranged a Skype call with @BijanMalaklou and after about 90 minutes, we agreed a timetable, objectives and outcomes from this partnership.

Now proud owners of our limited edition One Song One Day badges, Van Sciver and Bijan Malaklou have released their melodically driven, feel good anthem — “Smiling Faces.” And to celebrate the release of this new track, @Van_Sciver and @BijanMalaklou have officially partnered with us to help drive awareness of our work.

Each download will help fund workshops for children to learn the art and craft of songwriting. Download your free copy of “Smiling Faces” now. When you do, don’t be shy, share the love and show your appreciation for these guys. As a result of the release of Smiling Faces, we have seen a surge in Soundcloud followers, subscribers and video views on our YouTube Channel, and plenty of love on Twitter. Get those dancing shoes on and throw some shapes – this is no sitter, so get ready to move!

Track Download: bit.ly/smilingfacesDL
Track Stream: smarturl.it/smilingfaces

‘Distant Stars’

The Songwriting Charity’s Songwriters Choir programme in the Cotswolds is only the second one of its kind in the country.  The project is led by a core of 20 primary school participants from Isboune Valley Primary School, who write the songs. The Isbourne Valley young songwriters will then introduce their work to their older peers at Winchcombe making up the rest of the choir. ‘Distant Stars’ is one of many wonderful, uplifting and inspiring songs and performances delivered by the Songwriting Choir. 

My Experience with The Songwriting Charity

Thank you Jacqueline Kench for contributing this month’s guest blog about her experience with the Songwriting Charity.

“I’m a Primary School Music Teacher. There aren’t many of us around. I teach only music, in a large Primary School in Bracknell, Berkshire.

In recent months at school, children had been coming to me at lunchtimes having written their own songs. I am fortunate enough to have time each week with a small group of Gifted and Talented children, and had given them enough knowledge about chords for them to write their own songs. One song in particular stood out, and I met with the 9 year old girl who had composed it in a recording studio over the summer to get the track down. You can listen to it at https://soundcloud.com/jacqui-kench/summer-song . It was a fantastic experience for the girl, and gave me a real glimpse into how much children can achieve.

I’ve recently discovered the delights of Twitter. I say recently, actually this was my fifth attempt at ‘getting Twitter’. Anyhow I got Twitter, and found The Songwriting Charity. I was immediately interested, as I am a songwriter myself, and got in touch.

So it was through Tweets and phone calls that I managed to get The Songwriting Charity into my school. They managed to secure some funding (from a company sponsor called Itper), which meant there was no cost to us as a school.

I decided to use the group of Gifted and Talented children, as it is a 2-form entry school it wouldn’t have worked to just choose one class. This way, some children from Years 4-6 all got to participate. And they were rather excited about the prospect of missing normal lessons for the day!

So one Friday in September, Ben O’Sullivan and Kat Marsh came to Wooden Hill Primary. The theme of the songwriting workshop was bullying. The children worked in groups to brainstorm ideas and thoughts about bullying. Kat showed the children how to turn their ideas into lyrics and melodies. The main chorus was ‘Run away, from the violence, run away to get some silence’.

The groups practiced their part until it was time for Ben to record it. One boy can play the djembe (African drum) really well, and his beat was used as the main rhythm of the song. Ben added more drums and keyboard. I have an excellent beat boxer in Year 6, and we made sure his talents were able to shine in the song. Another child loves to rap, and had written a rap section in a matter of minutes! One child was reluctant to work in a group, so we worked with her at lunchtime to record her section, ensuring everyone took part. Ben said he got goosebumps when recording her part, and that is what it’s all about.

Once all the parts of the song had been recorded, Ben started to mix them together to create the perfect song. While he was doing this, Kat and I took the children outside to film some scenes for the music video. The children of course loved this bit!

We only had to wait a matter of hours for the song to be finished and put online onto Soundcloud. Within a few hours the number of people who had listened to it was reaching a hundred. I emailed all the staff and made sure they listened to it too! You can listen to it at https://soundcloud.com/the-songwriting-charity/wooden-hill-primary-runaway

Monday morning it was played in assembly to the whole school, and the children involved stood at the front and were awarded certificates. Only a few days later, the music video was uploaded to YouTube, and it was amazing to watch. I cried!

The video was shown in assembly, by which time most of the children had listened to it so often they sang along to most of it. It is very catchy, and the children as so proud of what they have achieved. It has raised the whole morale of the school.

Since that day, the YouTube video view count is well over a thousand. The children appeared in the local paper, and spoke on BBC Radio Berkshire. I have plans for the song to reach far and wide, as at the end of the day, its message is what’s important.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the Songwriting Charity, especially Ben and Kat. I know I will keep in touch with the charity and would love to help where I can. They do an amazing job and change children’s lives through music.”

Follow Jacqueline Kench on Twitter: @inspectorMuso

Follow us: @SWCharity

Now We Are Three! You’re all invited!

Saturday 26th July 2014 will mark the Songwriting Charity’s third anniversary. Three years old and counting! No fancy party, no reception, no gatherings and no hospitality on offer…….

Instead, you can make our day and celebrate this milestone with us in the time honoured Songwriting Charity tradition of the cake eating, cake posing, posing with a cake, cake only, freshly baked (bought) cake selfie! One day we will throw a real world party and probably have a cake-off or something similar and you’ll all be invited. Till then, please indulge yourselves in some cake-baking malarkey and share your cake-selfie with us by tweeting @SWCharity or posting on our FB Page

Last year we had 22 cake photos from our wonderful and cherished friends and family.

Donor, relative, supporter, shopper/Giver, relative, a parent of a child we have worked with, or a teacher in a school we have visited – you’re all friends and family, and we want all of you to get involved and celebrate not just our third anniversary, but also the achievements of thousands of brave and courageous young songwriters who put their heart and soul into every verse, chorus and piece of music created in the last three years.

If you have any trouble sharing your cake pictures via the usual social media suspects, just email them to John Quinn and he’ll get them online for you. 

Get baking!

Much love,

The Songwriting Charity