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.
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.