Whoever You Are

Impossible not to be charmed and impressed by this latest Bully Beat song brought to us by the consistently brilliant young songwriters at Edward Francis Primary School, Rayleigh, Essex. The song deals with a serious issue confronting children and young people today. Whoever You Are is catchy, thoughtful, containing crystal clear messages. The sparkling performances captured in the video ensure the song’s appeal ranges far and wide. We’ve no doubt it will bring a smile to your face and get you tapping your feet, all for the right reasons!

Well done Edward Francis Primary School! You have graduated two cohorts of exceptional songwriters and clued up Bully Beat activists! This year’s Anti-Bullying Week is all about Making A Noise About Bullying – well you guys have been doing that for the last two years (and more) with the Songwriting Charity.

We offer thanks to the Essex Community Foundation and the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust Burns Night Pledge donors for supporting this important project, for playing their part in empowering children through the art and craft of songwriting and helping the world hear what they have to say.

Getting on our bikes to beat bullying

The Songwriting Charity’s very first Nightrider London event is round the corner. Our eighteen Nightriders are primed and ready for the open roads of London. Tooled up with puncture kits, inner tubes, padded shorts, electrolyte tabs, new bicycles, rhubarb & custard gels, water bottles, multi-tools, lights, cameras – ACTION – the team is ready and we are proud of each and every one of them. They have worked hard, trained hard and have been supported by generous sponsors and donors. Team SAMSON are doing an exceptional job! We offer our thanks to everyone involved, especially our sponsors and donors for their support and encouragement. Nightrider London promises to be an exhilarating experience and a night to remember for all involved.

Songwriting CharityIf you receive Google Alerts or equivalent notices about bullying or anti-bullying work and news, you’ll appreciate why we do this work, particularly why we dedicate ourselves to the delivery of Bully Beat (and our many other programmes). Bully Beat is more than a project, a programme, a workshop, it’s an intervention. We are intervening through the intensive, reflective and creative process of songwriting, and aided by the very latest music technology. We are intervening not in a reactive way but in proactive and preventative way. During our workshops, children develop their understanding of bullying through activities and exercises that call on them to reflect on choices they make, the ways in which they behave to one another and the impact those choices can have. Confidence is boosted in a measurable way through participation in singing. We see and document significant positive shifts in children’s pride in literacy work. The benefits and impact are tangible.

Every time a donation is made to any of our Nightrider Bully Beat fundraisers this is the kind of impact you help us have on the lives of children we work with. You should be proud of that. Just look at the infographics below for the proof in our songwriting pudding!

If you haven’t done so already and would like to, please donate to our Nightrider appeal. The more money we raise, the more children and schools we can reach out to. Our team of cyclists deserve the support as do our beneficiaries. Thank you.

SWC_Confidence SWC_Literacy   SWC_Singing

Statistics drawn from evaluation data collected during workshops facilitated by Nathan, Ben, John, Sarah, Kat, Esther, Amy.

Illustrations by Ben O’Sullivan, Director of Programmes.

Stop Don’t Bully Me


‘Stop Don’t Bully Me’ is an original Bully Beat anti-bullying song written by children at Tunstall Primary School, Sittingbourne, one of 30 primary schools in the Swale District of North Kent taking part in this project.

Bully Beat has been designed to enthuse primary aged children about the process of lyric writing, singing, music arranging and contemporary production whilst promoting a serious anti-bullying message. We’re using informal music education and literacy working to communicate a range of key messages. Every song is written by the children. We record, produce and publish the songs at the end of the process.

The Bully Beat in project in Swale is supported by our partners The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust and First Class Business Solutions. Without their support, we would not have been able to deliver such a large scale project. Interest in Bully Beat is extending right across Kent with schools in Medway showing a keenness to get involved.

We are currently working with up to 30 primary schools across the district in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. More schools than we have funding for are wanting to get involved. If your school wants to join the Bully Beat project, get in touch with john@songwritingcharity.org

Feedback from teachers we’ve worked with on Project K


We hope you like this video! Feedback from some of the heads & teachers we worked with on Project K last year in Cardiff. Details about Project K 2014 will be released soon. Project K is a special songwriting-in-schools programme for primary schools in Wales.

In 2013, pupils attending ten Cardiff primary schools benefited from this fully funded song-writing project promoting peace, celebrating song and remembering Kate Johnson, the sister of the charity’s CEO, Nathan Timothy. Kate was a visual artist in Cardiff who sadly passed away in July 2012. Kate was involved in the early stages of the Songwriting Charity’s work when it was founded in 2011

Project K 2014 is beginning to take shape. We plan to involve up to 40 primary schools and are busy putting a fundraising plan into action. We’re keen to hear from companies, local businesses and individuals who would like to get involved in the following ways:

  • Event sponsorship. Last year we held the Project K celebration event at the Millennium Stadium! We can’t think of a more iconic venue and intend to ‘takeover’ the stadium again next year. Can your company help us in 2014?
  • Make a personal or company donation towards our goal of bringing Project K to more than 1200 children. Visit BT MyDonate where you can make a commission free donation towards Project K.
  • If you have a place on the Cardiff Half Marathon 2014 or are planning a challenge event/activity, please consider raising funds for us and Project K.
  • If an employee decides to raise funds for Project K, could your company match it?
  • Provide in-kind support, for example marketing opportunities like advertorials in magazines, or letting us utilise any spare printing capacity for posters, stickers, leaflets even extra special Project K badges!

Whatever you decide to do, it will make a difference to a great many primary school children in your community.

If you have other ideas about how you can help us, or would like to discuss any of the above just email john@songwritingcharity.org


Transatlantic Inclusion Project Brings Together Canadian and English Students


The Songwriting Charity is proud to have played a part in a transatlantic inclusion project. Facilitated by teacher (and friend of the Songwriting Charity) Jonathan Carnaroli who was interviewed extensively by local media covering the winners of the Community Living Algoma Inclusion Project, St. John’s Catholic School Grade Six and Seven students, won an iPad for an inclusivity-themed music video which was co-written with Gretton Primary School children in England. Gretton Primary School is one of the Songwriting Charity’s newest school partners and is working closely with our Director of Programmes Ben O’Sullivan who is leading our programme development and expansion in the South West.

inclusion2Over to you Jonathan!

“Throughout my career, I have always been an advocate of teaching with technology because of its ability to capture student interest when used effectively. Having been a bit of a novice in the Apple world at the time, however, programs like iMovie and Garage Band were rarely used in my classes; in fact, they weren’t even on my “shortcuts” dock.

During my two years as a Key Stage 2 teacher at Parsloes Primary School in England, all of that changed. I had the pleasure of working with Ben O’Sullivan on a few basic projects that involved music composition and film editing. Ben started me off small, showing me how to create iMovie trailers and edit existing audio files in Garage Band. Once I became comfortable with the software, I began working alongside Ben and Toby on larger projects.

Ever since my return from England in August 2012, I have wanted to facilitate a “Trans-Atlantic project” like this and the perfect opportunity arose in the form of a contest. In February, a local organization called Community Living Algoma challenged students in various schools to demonstrate “Inclusion” through a poster, song, dance, or music video. BAM! I suggested to my students that we create a music video with students from England and they obviously loved the idea.

The creativity started flowing in the Grade 6/7 classroom and within a few days, we were sending our lyrics and beat to our “co-producers” at Gretton Primary School (UK). The final product was incredible. The students on both sides of the Atlantic were buzzing about this project, as well as the teachers and parents who witnessed the process and product. In my city (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario), this project was broadcasted by local news channels and radio stations. Our Grade 6/7 class won the iPad, which was the grand prize in the contest. But the real prize, without trying to sound too “cheesy”, was how the whole idea of inclusion was encompassed and brought to life through this project.

The Grade 6/7 students at St. John are so proud of their work and feel like superstars because children in England know the lyrics to their song… in fact… children in England wrote one of the verses! When does something like this ever happen? Not often enough obviously. The students on both sides have had an opportunity to collaborate with people from another continent, with whom they would never have had the opportunity to speak. They have built relationships to a certain extent with these students. They’ve shared thoughts and feelings, and they’ve engaged together in a creative process that has produced something astonishing. When people watch this music video, their jaws drop. It’s something special because it’s real – it’s from the heart – it’s not a “Canadian” song or a “British” song. It’s a song by young people who share a common interest. When we watch this video, we see how alike we all really are, regardless of gender, race and culture.

I can’t say enough about the positive impact this project has had on the students in Grade 6/7 and the entire school… and perhaps even on the community as a whole. I look forward to facilitating more projects like this in the future and keeping the lines of communication open. The possibilities are truly endless.”

Jonathan Carnaroli

Bully Beat Songwriting Programme Given a Major Funding Boost

Major funding has been awarded to The Songwriting Charity to support the delivery of our Bully Beat anti-bullying songwriting and wellbeing project to primary and special schools, and pupil referral Units across the Swale district of Kent. More than 1800 children will benefit directly.

Nathan Timothy, Chief Executive of the Songwriting Charity said, “This is a huge moment for the charity. We’re very proud to have received the backing of the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust and offer our heartfelt thanks to Nick Lawson and the Trust’s Committee for believing in us! Being awarded funding from the Trust will make this the single biggest mobilisation of the Bully Beat programme since we formed the charity 18 months ago.”

“The idea is to get children across the country talking through a regional and national network of song, promoting positive anti-bullying intervention. The more we talk, the stronger the anti-bullying message becomes. And when you transform those messages into song, they are amplified and all the more impactive.”

Nick Lawson, Chairman of the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust said, “The ALMT is all about mitigating the suffering of children. Through the Songwriting Charity we have a clear chance to identify and act on bullying in schools.”

ImageOne of the schools that will benefit from the funding provided by the ALMT is Halfway Houses Primary School on the Isle of Sheppey. Head teacher Ryan Driver said, The Songwriting Charity has enabled our children to be proactive in their stance against bullying. Being part of the songwriting process has allowed them to voice their opinions through music and song as well as being able to share their work with the rest of the school and the community through our website. This kind of creative experience really enriches what we do, as a school, to promote the anti-bullying message.”

About The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust

The ALMT is a registered children’s charitable trust committed to mitigating the suffering of children by working with grassroots partners across the world. The ALMT make targeted grants to programmes that it believes will outlive its legacy and they have a proven track record of supporting sustainable projects internationally. By the close of 2012 the trust had engaged globally in more than 50 projects with 35 partners in 17 countries. Further information about the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust can be found here: http://www.almt.org

About the Nathan Timothy Foundation – The Songwriting Charity

The work of the Nathan Timothy Foundation ‘The Songwriting Charity’ addresses the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people using songwriting and music technology. The charity’s Bully Beat songwriting workshop has been designed to enthuse primary aged children about the process of lyric writing, singing, music arranging and contemporary production whilst promoting a serious anti-bullying message.

To date children’s songs written across a range of Songwriting Charity workshops have been streamed approaching 70,000 times on the charity’s SoundCloud, and their music videos viewed more than 32,000 times via the Songwriting Charity’s YouTube Channel.

The Songwriting Charity Social feeds:






Angus Lawson Memorial Trust social feeds:



Soundcloud has been part of the Songwriting Charity journey from the very beginning. We have a growing community of parents, young people, education professionals, artists, producers and promoters. Many of our strategic partners have also started up Soundcloud accounts and interact with us. What we’re most proud of is the engagement with young people, particularly the young songwriters who took that big brave step in to the limelight during a songwriting charity workshop and shared their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Soundcloud is fundamental to the internet experience. And Soundcloud is critical to our charity.