Education recruiter pens anti-bullying anthem to mark Anti-Bullying Week 2012

Itper – the Education Recruiter pens anti-bullying anthem for Anti-Bullying Week 2012

In a move which could be the first of it’s kind, a leading children’s charity has partnered with an education staffing company in order to reach thousands of children and young people with an anti-bullying message.

The Songwriting Charity is proud to announce that it has partnered with Itper – The Education Recruiter. The partnership is being launched with a fundraising drive focusing on the charity’s BullyBeat songwriting programme. The partnership is an exciting one and will really boost the charity’s efforts to reach many more children and young people, improving their self-esteem, confidence and overall wellbeing.

Nathan Timothy, CEO of the Songwriting Charity said, “We recently worked with the Itper‘s entire London team. They set about writing their own BullyBeat song, “Never Alone”. Some stars were born that day!.” Nathan continued, “Itper’s willingness to show their solidarity with the thousands of children out there who are affected by bullying, was heartfelt. Their song carries a universal and very powerful message, and we are so proud to be working in partnership with Itper.”

Tim Mirsadeghi, Managing Director of Itper commented: “Corporate Social Responsibility is something Itper take’s seriously. Having witnessed the positive and immediate results of the inspirational songwriting workshops run by the Songwriting Charity in schools, we decided that we wanted to get fully involved. Not just in the background, but as a full Partner to an extraordinary children’s charity.

“At a time when private agencies are often in the news for all the wrong reasons, it’s really nice for Itper to be part of such a good news story. We’re therefore delighted to announce our Partnership with The Songwriting Charity – it’s an incredible opportunity for Itper, our teachers and our schools to make a positive difference to young people’s lives.”

“Never Alone” is available to download from http://soundcloud.com/the-songwriting-charity/itper-workshop. The music video to accompany the song is available to watch on the charity’s Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lpw-xLEqdA

Notes to Editors:

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

The Songwriting Charity currently works with over 250 schools and non-mainstream settings across the country

The Songwriting Charity formed in 2011, and is based in London, Cambridge, Gloucestershire and Kent.

Nathan Timothy is a member of the following associations: BASCA – The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, AIM – Association of Independent Music, Musicians Union and PRS

The Songwriting Charity is an Associate Member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance

Further information and all social feeds can be found on the charity’s website: http://nathantimothyfoundation.org

Media enquiries to: John Quinn, Director of Engagement john@songwritingcharity.org or 07950 022009

Information about Itper: http://www.itper.com/

Itper – The Education Recruiter is a specialist education staffing agency providing teaching, technical and education support staff to schools, nurseries and colleges in London and the South East. They have offices in London and Sydney, Australia.

Itper was founded in 2003, and they are one of only two education agencies to have been awarded a perfect score every year from the Department of Education Quality Mark, in recognition of outstanding safeguarding and vetting procedures.

Itper are members of the recruitment trade bodies APSCO and The Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC).

Tim Mirsadeghi is Founder and Managing Director of Itper. He is an Executive Board member of The Association of Recruitment Consultancies, (the recruitment industry trade body). He is also a member of Elite Recruitment Leaders, (a peer networking forum of recruitment industry executives), and The Institute of Directors.

Media enquiries to: Tim Mirsadeghi, Managing Director, Itper, timm@itper.com or 020 8853 0144

We are Ploink Charity of the Month for November!

We are Ploink Charity of the Month for November! It’s true! With a nationwide BullyBeat project underway and another being planned with some new partners in the East of the country for 2013, this news comes at an exciting time for the charity! We are now officially operating in the North, South, East and West of England, have an expanding team, a growing reputation for excellence on the ground and a collection of testimonials from professionals sharing the considerable impact we are having in their schools and groups. Our engine-room is a small one compared to other charities. We’re a young charity that needs donations, big and small, and this is why Ploink matters! This is why being Charity of the Month for November is such a big deal for the Songwriting Charity!

What’s the big deal about Ploink? Ploink is the UK’s first (and in our opinion, best) charity micro-giving website and over the last two-three years, has grown tremendously with over 400 charities of all sizes registered to receive micro-donations from the public. Ploink has democratised giving! Marc Simpson’s electronic piggies help us to make that leap from dropping coins in buckets at supermarkets, to being able to make considered judgements about huge number of charities on the recommendations of others, or our own research and taking that (first) step to becoming a donor. Pennies and pounds they may be, but it’s the act of giving that counts! And this is why we love Ploink!

The site has recently been refreshed and refined, adding some new features such as an improved messaging system between charities and supporters – we like the term micro-philanthropists! The long running Charity of the Month match fund has also grown from an initial £50-£100 to a whopping £250 in matched funding provided by the good people at CardSave.

So how does this all work for us during the month of November? To donate to us using Ploink, you do the following;

  1. Register (it’s free) and create your profile, add a photo and little about you!
  2. Search for Nathan Timothy Foundation and click ‘support’ – it’s that easy!
  3. You can select up to three charities in total;
  4. Drag change from the line of coins above your electronic piggy into ours and hear the piggy go ‘ploink’!
  5. Once your piggy is full, you can click donate, where you’ll be taken to a secure payment screen;
  6. If you want to schedule your ploinks (pledges) and then donate later, then hit Auto Ploink and drag how much you want the system to Ploink for you until the piggy is full!

All we ask you to do is to make sure that by the end of the month, you donate your piggy’s contents so that your donation is matched. The first £250 raised in November will be matched by CardSave to the tune of £250! £500 plus any Gift Aid attached to your donations will mean we can deliver a number of workshops for children and young people lacking in confidence, with low self-esteem, who are in receipt of Free School Meals, have a range of special educational needs and disabilities, or may have been bullied. Your contribution will help us to create more impact by adding more groups to our national network of song and songwriting!

Remember, remember, Ploink Charity of the Month for November – is the Nathan Timothy Foundation – The Songwriting Charity!! Thank you for supporting us!

BullyBeat

This year, Anti-Bullying Week will fall between the 19th to the 23rd November. This year’s theme – ‘We’re better without bullying’ – highlights the effect bullying has on achievement. We thought it would be a good idea to draw your attention towards our very own BullyBeat Songwriting Workshops and share a little about the process and the reason why it’s needed and also valued by our school partners.

BullyBeat has been designed to enthuse children about the process of lyric writing, singing, music arranging and contemporary production whilst promoting a serious anti-bullying message. Children that take part in these workshops are not just taught how to sing and write a song together but they are also encouraged to express their thoughts on ‘bullying’ and its effects. Many months after we’ve visited, BullyBeat songs are still featured during school assemblies and other anti-bullying events.

 “Possibly one of the best visiting workshops that I have participated in in over 10 years of teaching. Pupils were open in discussing experiences and were able to show a better undertanding of what bullying is. Well planned, fantastic delivery and a great connection with the pupils. Thank you!” Faye Blain, Sherington Primary School

BullyBeat remains one of our most popular programme after our Sports Tracks Songwriting Marathon. We have already booked up great chunks of the new school year between September and December with BullyBeat workshops and interest has spread as far as the West Country and East Anglia, where we now have a physical presence.

Why do we need BullyBeat?
Bullying remains among the top concerns that parents have about their children’s general safety at school, and increasingly their journeys to and from school. Bullying is not just a school issue, but one that affects children and young people anywhere. Bullying makes the lives of its victims a misery, it undermines their confidence and self-esteem, can destroy childhoods and lives. Bullying can negatively impact on young people’s ability to form healthy and fulfilling relationships with their peers, siblings, even their parents. Bullies are also impacted in a damaging and lasting way; attendance, levels of attainment, relationships, future prospects. They too need to find ways to channel their energy into positive and emotionally healthy activities, all the while, improving their ability to form healthy relationships with their peers and significant others.
There are no hard and fast answers. However, there are opportunities for creativity to be brought to bear and to help create the calm so often needed when bullying seems to be the all-consuming storm, touching everything and everyone in its path. Our songwriting programmes, give children and young people the time to stop, take stock, enjoy the time to be creative, and during BullyBeat workshops to consider the impact and consequences of bullying behaviour on those around them, and themselves.
Facts about bullying:
Bullying thrives in a culture or atmosphere that tolerates it; where there is little or no authority, hardly any adult supervision, no culture of respect or celebration of diversity. Bullying can also lead to short, medium and long-term school absence – school refusal.
According to the Red Balloon Learner Centre Group, providers of intensive care education centres for children so badly bullied that attendance at mainstream school is no longer possible, some 16,000 children may be absent from the mainstream education system altogether. This is a conservative estimate on the numbers of school refusers, but is a disturbing indicator on the direct affect bullying has on the education of thousands of school aged children.
Beatbullying found a direct correlation between bullying and truancy in their ‘Bullying and Truancy Report (2006) with 1 in 3 young people who experience bullying truanting from school (42% of young people who have been bullied truant).
Further facts about bullying;
  • Almost half (46%) of children and young people say they have been bullied at school at some point in their lives.
  • 38% of disabled children worried about being bullied.
  • 18% of children and young people who worried about bullying said they would not talk to their parents about it. Chamberlain, Tamsin, George, Nalia, Golden, Sarah, Walker, Fiona and Benton, Tom (2010) Tellus4 national report (PDF). London: Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).
  • 30,439 children called ChildLine in 2010/11 (11% of calls) about bullying.
  • Between 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 ChildLine carried out 30,439 counselling interactions with a primary concern of bullying. NSPCC/ChildLine facts and figures. 
During a BullyBeat workshop
When children are asked to explore the range of issues that arise when discussing bullying, through songwriting, something significant happens. Lyrically compelling, melodically expressive and highly charged performances are drawn out from the perspective of both the bullied and the bullies. The behaviors are highlighted and responded to with passion and sensitivity in equal measure. As with the uniqueness of every child, each song written by the children reflects a wealth of individual experiences to move even the hardest of hearts. In the face of growing bullying trends, this innovative engagement tool supports school awareness raising and offers an emotional outlet and support forum equipping children to deal with bullying behaviors in a safe, non-judgmental and empowering environment.
Children that take part in our BullyBeat workshops are taught how they all possess vocal ability (symbolic of ‘speaking up’), and that they can write a song together (working together not apart). They are encouraged to express their thoughts on ‘bullying’ and its effects in deep and meaningful ways through creative expression. By listening to one another, respecting their friends and working together as a team the children create something that has an immediate and lasting impact on their peers. BullyBeat gives them the opportunity to think about the problem in a number of different ways, ways that resonate, that are credible.
If you’d like to enquire further into our BullyBeat songwriting workshops, then contact us via our website enquiry form or send an email directly to ben@songwritingcharity.org.

Songwriting Charity and Skoogmusic celebrate UK Inspire Day at Hackney Special School

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Songwriting Charity and Skoogmusic celebrate UK Inspire Day at Hackney Special School

Downsview School in Hackney will join in the UK Inspire Day celebrations by working with The Songwriting Charity and Skoogmusic to create an original song for the Hackney School’s Sports Championships in July.

UK Inspire Day is a celebration of the London 2012 Inspire programme – a family of over 2,700 projects across the UK that have been inspired by the Games to do something special in their local communities.

Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: ‘UK Inspire Day is a celebration of the Inspire programme and more than 2700 exceptional projects like the Songwriting Charity’s Songwriting Marathon whose events and celebrations this summer will bring the UK to life.’

The Songwriting Charity’s Songwriting Marathon is one of the exceptional projects to have been awarded the coveted Inspire mark and become part of the London 2012 Inspire programme that has already given 10 million people across the UK an opportunity to join in with Games-inspired activity and try something new.

Nathan Timothy, CEO of the Songwriting Charity said: “I am delighted to announce that we are working in partnership with Skoogmusic at Downsview School on UK Inspire Day. Skoogmusic and our charity share a vision to empower all young people through the art and craft of songwriting. And the Skoog is an amazing instrument to behold.”

Nathan added: “We’ve worked with over 1000 children since we started the Songwriting Charity and now that Skoogmusic is in the creative process, we’re excited at how we can really encourage and empower all children to make music.”

Dr Ben Schögler, Creative Director of Skoogmusic Ltd said: “We are really thrilled to be working with the Songwriting Charity on this wonderful project. At Skoogmusic we believe in ‘music for everyone’ and more importantly that everyone has the right to make their own music.”

“The opportunity the Skoog offers for including all children in actively making music is unique. We hope we will be able to help more children, particularly those with disabilities or additional support needs, through the art and craft of songwriting.”

Aneurin Wood, Principal Equalities & Disability Inclusion Officer at The Learning Trust said: “I am delighted that the pupils from Downsview have the opportunity to play an active role in the Hackney Schools’ Sports Championships by composing the official anthem of the Hackney Schools’ Sports Championships”

Notes to editors 

Nathan Timothy Foundation – the Songwriting Charity

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 Songwriting Charity, addresses the emotional health and wellbeing of children using songwriting and music technology. The Songwriting Charity formed in 2011, based in London, Cambridge and Gloucestershire.

About the London 2012 Inspire Programme Songwriting Marathon

26 songs recorded in 26 schools, in the spring/summer terms of 2012. A world class London 2012 themed anthem is written and performed by a class of children in a primary, secondary or SEN school.  The children’s anthem is recorded and ready to share with the world at the end of an exciting one-day workshop.

The Songwriting Charity is a wellbeing charity, formed in July 2011 and working across the country delivering songwriting workshops designed to boost the self esteem, confidence and participation of children and young people using songwriting and music technology.

Contact details: John Quinn, Director of Engagement, Nathan Timothy Foundation, on 07950 022009 or emailImage john@songwritingcharity.org

About Skoogmusic Ltd: Skoogmusic Ltd was founded in 2007 by Dr’s Ben Schogler and David Skulina.

The company is the commercial result of the NESTA ‘new instrument’ project lead by Professor Nigel Osborne. Skoog is a radically simple, all-new musical instrument that gets more people playing music, particularly disabled children.

For more information – Contact Ben or David on 0131 554 2838 / ben@skoogmusic.com david@skoogmusic.com

About The Learning Trust:

For more information and photography, contact Steve Ebert, Corporate Communications Manager, The Learning Trust, 020 8820 7474

The Learning Trust took over the responsibility for education in Hackney from Hackney Council on Thursday 1 August 2002. The Learning Trust is responsible for the education of over 26,000 children in 75 schools. For further information visit The Learning Trust website at www.learningtrust.co.uk

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.

MusicLearningLive! 2012 at the Institute of Education

Are you going along to MusicLearningLive!2012 next week? We certainly are. We’re looking forward to meeting up with Skoog Music‘s Dr Benjaman Schögler and seeing the Skoog in action, and also getting our hands on one of these amazing and inventive devices.

Ben and John will be roaming the IOE, business cards in hand and looking to network with with the great and good in music education, so if you see them wondering the halls and corridors, have a chat with them. The Songwriting Charity is really hitting its stride now and we’d love to share what we do with as many people as possible. We run a whole range of programmes suitable for all the Key Stages, and we’re keen to support ALL children and young people to engage in songwriting and musical expression. Check out our testimonials page if you’d like to see what people have said about us.

If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, the conference agenda looks really impressive and we urge you to go online asap and get your tickets!

See you on the 12th!

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Continuing the ‘friends’ theme… here’s a little bit of news about some of our new friends

We’ve all been out on the ground working with some terrific new school partners from as far afield as East Sussex to Sheerness. Just have a listen to their amazing work on our SoundCloud and you’ll understand why our songwriting workshops are loved far and wide, by teachers and children alike. NT and BOS are for the duration of Anti-Bullying Week 2011 on a Bully Beat songwriting marathon in South East London.

I haven’t been out on the ground for quite a while, but my day with Kestrel Class was just sublime and a reminder of how powerful songwriting actually is. Songwriting as the stimulus gave the children freedom to tell stories, to imagine, to convey their fears, their triumphs. The day captured not just voices, but their hearts and minds. Right from the off, they were writing verses, chorus’, changing keys. There were percussive sounds resonating around the class room, the stamping of feet reverberating, rhythmic banging on tables, random tunes being hummed. Some groups were finding similarities in their early constructs to the work of favourite artists in the charts. It was almost hypnotic!

The day also saw boys, who had until then, refused to sing in school take centre stage and kick off their song with true abandon – singing and songwriting magic. I won’t forget the experience in a long while and I doubt the children will either considering their feedback and recorded interviews.

In fact, we’re pretty sure that it is the very way in which we engage with children and young people that has moved a number of organisations to join us, to become Friends of the Foundation. We had a fantastic meeting recently with our new friends SoundCloud. Needless to say, we all love SoundCloud at the Foundation. We were particularly excited because SoundCloud get us! They share in our vision because they’re passionate about sound, music and what we’re building. SoundCloud see the value in what we do and how we work. SoundCloud will help us as we explore their brilliant platform and build our presence and community. We’re thrilled to be embarking on what we hope to be a long and fruitful partnership. Thanks for getting round the table with us guys – it’s going to be songwriting charity magic!

That’s not all! We also welcome two new friends to our fold, Clear Financial Advice and Term Times Magazine. Barry Greening Managing Director of Clear Financial Advice, is someone I’ve known for many years and I was so pleased to learn that he was happy to support our work. As one of our pioneering  friends, the support of Clear Financial Advice will support our efforts to offer our workshops further afield, supporting the needs of a greater number of schools, communities and children over the course of the coming 12 months and beyond. The suggestion of a charity golf day hasn’t been forgotten either Mr Greening!

Term Times Magazine  have also joined our ranks as a Friend of the Foundation. Featuring a full page article about us in the magazine’s next issue available from 28th November, the opportunity to generate awareness of our work and the charity’s mission and objectives couldn’t have come at a better time. With our songwriting marathon being rolled out next year to mark and celebrate the 30th Olympiad, the generosity of Jackie Forrest, Director of Term Times Magazine, will mean over 200 primary schools and 40,000 households will learn about our work. Thank you Jackie!

If you would like to become a Friend of the Nathan Timothy Foundation, then all you need to do is comment here, or email me directly: john@songwritingcharity.org. I can talk to you about programme sponsorship opportunities, upcoming events and showcases. Let’s give you an example. Sponsoring one of our wellbeing programmes, whether it be Bully Beat or Soul Food for three years could mean thousands of children having the opportunity to explore, some for the very first time, a range of issues, feelings and experience through songwriting. They’ll be learning about the value of what they’ve created, the meaning and importance behind ‘copyright’ and ownership. You’ll be assisting their learning on a whole new level. The impact you will have could be significant – your sponsorship could change their lives.

Partnership, friendship, sponsorship – it’s a two-way street, so get in touch, we don’t bite!

We are the #1 charity in the world dedicated to the empowerment of youth through the art and craft of songwriting.

Thank you so much for supporting us.

John Quinn

D of E at the NTF