Songwriting Charity on SoundCloud

Songwriting Charity on SoundCloud

We love social media! We love the speed at which things can happen. It has been a brilliant way to stay in touch with our supporters, build new relationships, seek out  and establish new business development opportunities to support our fundraising and generally make a lot of noise about our work. For all the razzmatazz and jargon surrounding social media and its usage, we really enjoy using it to share the work of thousands of young songwriters, singers, artists, story tellers, budding pop musicians and performers.

Bully Beat Workshop

We love SoundCloud! On The Songwriting Charity’s SoundCloud, the voices of thousands of children can be heard singing solos, duets, rapping, beat boxing, speaking, trying their hardest to overcome fears, a lack of confidence, nervousness, low self-esteem. It’s of paramount importance to us that children feel safe, valued and confident enough through the process to want to sing, to try and sing, to communicate through spoken word and poetry, to collaborate with peers, to write, or just relish in the fact that they have written something that captures the essence of how they or their friend is feeling. If they don’t want to sing or perform, that’s fine. They can get behind the camera, interview their peers, create their online album cover, work out a dance move, create a ‘cheer’ or relish in the fact that no matter what they do on that One Day, they contribute. The whole process is quite magical. It leaves us exhausted at times, but wanting to do more, to delve deeper and work for longer so that we have the chance to document even more.

Remember, many of the children who participate in our workshops have never performed in front of their peers before, some have never been selected for this kind of experience before. Many have disengaged from their learning, lost interest in school and find themselves on the verge of permanent exclusion. A large number will have experienced some form of bullying behaviour and feel unsettled in what might be a new and unfamiliar environment. They may have few or no friends at all and have real trouble settling in. Then there are the shy and quiet children, ones that are ‘off the radar’, in someone’s mind, neither excelling or achieving. Forgotten. Invisible.

People say it’s just One Song in One Day and you can only achieve so much in that period. And to an extent, they’re right. At the beginning of the process, that’s exactly what it is! However, that One Song on that given day is the catalyst for change, the spark, igniting the children’s imagination. They’re already inquisitive learners. But now, it’s all different, it’s in stereo and technicolour! And crucially, they are being given the time to be creative.

No day is ever the same at the Songwriting Charity. Every day we are spoilt.  Every day, children surprise themselves! They pick up the baton and they run! Sometimes the emotions are so intense we have tears, tears of joy not anguish. Once they gather themselves, often with the help of friends or classmates, they come back, ready to take on the next challenge.

As we embark on developing our presence on other social networks such as Pinterest and Google+, many Twitter followers have decided to migrate over to SoundCloud and are now absorbing the rich vein of social commentary being offered up by children and young people we work with. Our social media supporters are discovering how these children see and comprehend the world around them. They cheer us on and show a genuine appreciation for the songs, the voices, the words, the melodies.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Songwriting Charity, please, don’t be a stranger! We are very social. Click the links in this article, watch the videos, listen to the songs, imagine what it must be like to write a song, a complete song, perform it, record it and have it published! Imagine how empowering that must be, how satisfying and exciting it is………

It doesn’t end there! This is just the beginning.

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.

Summer time, and the giving is easy!!!!

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The Nathan Timothy Foundation, the Songwriting Charity, is signed up to the online fundraising portal TheGivingMachine™. We hope to raise much needed income to support the charity’s wellbeing work which is centred around the delivery of songwriting workshops in schools and community groups for children and young people from five to 25 through the innovative online shopping scheme developed by four dads in Bishop’s Stortford.

A member of the Institute of Fundraising, TheGivingMachine™ taps into the multi-billion pound online retail market by providing a website for shoppers to buy from over 100 leading retailers. Every time they shop, a percentage of the sale is turned into a donation on behalf of the shopper and given to their chosen UK charity and/or school – at no cost to the shopper. The not-for-profit scheme launched nationally in 2007 and is already raising regular income for over 600 charities and schools across the UK.

The work of the Nathan Timothy Foundation – ‘The Songwriting Charity’ addresses the emotional health and wellbeing of children using songwriting and music technology. All of our one-day workshops are unique, presenting children with opportunities to sing, write lyrics, perform and record their ideas both individually and as a team – evaluating their progress and actively supporting the progress of their friends every step of the way. We are the #1 charity in the world dedicated to the empowerment of youth through the art and craft of songwriting. We were attracted to TheGivingMachine™ because of its ease of use, guaranteed regular income and the organisation’s transparency.

We also love the choice of retailers, the special offers available for our supporters and the fact that the team at The Giving Machine are friendly, helpful and always very supportive in their efforts to help us attract more support.

The fact of the matter is that we are all doing so much shopping online. If just 100 of our supporters shopped via TheGivingMachine, we could raise well over £1,000 a year of additional income! We have over 2000 Facebook supporters and if they all shopped via the Giving Machine…. well, it would make a huge difference!

To raise money for our charity, simply go to http://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk then join as a Giver/Shopper & select the Nathan Timothy Foundation as one of your beneficiaries. You can then shop via TheGivingMachine™ and support the wellbeing of children in your local schools, communities and beyond! 

Six degrees of separation

This week, we welcome Mark Fishlock as our guest blogger! A good friend of the Songwriting Charity, Mark was originally a sound engineer, working with Haircut 100, Modern Romance, Psychic TV, Juliet Roberts, Dave Ball and the film director Derek Jarman. His work includes television (Flesh and Blood, The Adventure Series, Eldorado, The Wars of the Roses), video (Heart of the Nation, Patrick Moore’s Guide to Astronomy, Paul McKenna’s Hypnosis series, A Thin Red Line), radio, library music and commercials. Mark also voiced the telephone-based Bizarre Jukebox for nearly 10 years and in 1998 was co-host of the Accumulator Quiz on Talk Radio. Mark is the Chair of BASCA’s Media Executive Committee. Biography taken from the BASCA website.

Over to you Mark, and thank you ……………

I sometimes get asked to speak to students on songwriting or music technology courses. The students look at me, their faces tense with anticipation, their pens hovering expectantly over blank sheets of paper, ready to record the magic formula to a career in the music business.

This optimism turns to disappointment the second I mention the “N” word – networking. It’s a modern, business-speak way of expressing what my well-intentioned mum, in an attempt to steer me away from a music career, summed up as “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

Except it isn’t … it’s much more fun than that.

It’s not a case of getting a foot up at the bank, thanks to Uncle Eric who plays golf with the manager. It’s simply about meeting people and leaving some sort of impression … even if it’s just that they know your name and what you do. I tell students it’s like planting seeds. You never know if they’ll flower, lie dormant for 10 years – or indeed for ever – or if they’ll grow into a magnificent Redwood.

The more you do this, the more you start to construct a kind of web, where a series of connections is made. The more links there are, the more chance there is of connections being established among themselves, without you having to play any active part. People talk to each other and you can also tap into other people’s connections. The UK music business is relatively small, so the Kevin Bacon game, Six Degrees of Separation, can involve many fewer degrees once your web has grown to a reasonable size.

This week I had the satisfying experience of seeing my web operate in a fascinating way.

My brother is a music publisher in South Africa. One of the bands he represents has a large local following, selling platinum albums and performing at major venues. However, he wants to launch them in the UK and Germany and as a result, some of the material needs rearranging and remixing for the European market.

He asked me if I knew a producer who could take this on. No one came to mind immediately, but I said I would give it some thought. Last week I was MD-ing a session and during a break was chatting with one of the singers. She mentioned her boyfriend who was playing in a band with a drummer I used to play with (another connection). It turned out he’s a producer who has just finished reworking some tracks for an opera/crossover artist. It sounded like a potentially perfect match. Emails went to and from Cape Town and I hooked my brother up with the producer.

As I was checking the CV on his website, something began to sound familiar. In 2008, I had been involved with the organisation of the BBC New Talent competition, a nationwide event that culminated in four two day workshops/masterclasses in Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow and London. The producer had been one of the finalists.

So, not only had I met him four years ago, but I still had the CD he’d given me after the workshop.

In a very gentle British way, the network had worked its magic. What would now be great is if the producer reworked the South African band’s songs and delivered massive hits across Europe. When the band go on MTV to explain how they got to conquer Europe, they can say it all started with a chance conversation between a singer and an MD during a break in a session.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Mark Fishlock is a songwriter and composer  writing mainly children’s songs for the language teaching market. He is a director of BASCA, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

Young songwriters pen Olympic tunes – Sports Tracks Songwriting Marathon has been officially recognised as a London 2012 Inspire programme!!!

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Media release: Immediate

Young songwriters pen Olympic tunes

26 days 26 schools 26 songs

Celebrating the 2012 Games with the world’s first songwriting marathon

The Nathan Timothy Foundation songwriting and music education project ‘Sports Tracks Songwriting Marathon’, has been granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme.

The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Nathan Timothy, CEO of the Foundation said “We are thrilled to have been awarded the Inspire Mark. It makes us so proud to officially play a part in the London 2012 Games. Our vision is to unite children of all backgrounds and cultures, helping them to create their own special memories linked to these games, whilst also ensuring there is an educational legacy in place after the 2012 Games are over.”

Nathan continued: “They’ll create original songs and music, and be part of a historic occasion, offering hope for a more positive future through the metaphor of an aspiring Olympic Champion. It’s about opening up creative opportunities for children who may also have no access to this level of support or creativity, helping them to achieve and feel valued, now and long after the Games have gone.”

Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: The Sports Tracks Songwriting Marathon is encouraging children and young people to fulfill their potential. I am proud that with the help of partners such as the Nathan Timothy Foundation, we are delivering our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in sports, literacy and music education.’ 

The Sports Tracks Songwriting Marathon is specifically designed to help children and schools celebrate the London 2012 Games through participating in a fun, physically active and creatively challenging songwriting activity. The additional aim to leave in place a creative songwriting legacy through a nurtured and long standing partnership with schools and community groups. We will run an Olympic and Paralympic Songwriting Marathon concurrently.

Notes to editors 

About the Nathan Timothy Foundation: We are the number one charity in the world dedicated to the empowerment of youth through the art and craft of songwriting

The work of the Nathan Timothy Foundation – The Songwriting Charity, addresses the emotional health and wellbeing of children using songwriting and music technology.

The Foundation formed in 2011, is based in London and Cambridge, but works nationally and has worked with and supported over 1300 children and young people.

The Foundation now works with over 120 primary, secondary and Special Educational Needs schools.

The charity’s one-day workshops are unique, presenting children with opportunities to sing, write lyrics, perform and record their ideas both individually and as a team – evaluating their progress and actively supporting the progress of their friends every step of the way.

Recorded material is made available for children to download via the Foundation’s SoundCloud social music platform, enabling schools to use the songs for presentations, assemblies, and special events or for use out in the wider community.

The Foundation works closely with participating schools to tailor the workshops to the needs of the students and the school through its unique legacy programme called Encore Curriculum.

About the Inspire programme: The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 Games – a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, education, sustainability, volunteering, and business opportunities & culture. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in. The Inspire programme has awarded over 1,400 different projects the Inspire mark.

About London 2012: The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are delivered by two key organisations – the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

LOCOG is responsible for staging a memorable Games in 2012. They will deliver the best possible Olympic and Paralympic Games experience for everyone involved, enabling a lasting legacy and inspiring people to join in.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is the public body responsible for developing and building the new venues and infrastructure for the Games and converting the Olympic Park for long-term use after the Games.

In the summer of 2012, the UK will come alive with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Find out the latest from the London 2012 blog –

http://london2012.com/blog

Contact details:

Nathan Timothy, CEO, Nathan Timothy Foundation, on 07779 103986

John Quinn, Director of Engagement, Nathan Timothy Foundation, on 07950 022009