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Unlocking and developing young people's musicality & creativity through songwriting

Please support our search for the greatest young songwriters aged 7-18 in the UK and Ireland – encourage young musicians to enter The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2015 competition.

The idea behind Song Academy was sparked when my eldest daughter, Matilda (8 years old at the time) came to me with her first song and I was astonished at the sophistication of her lyrics & melodies and how much it meant to her that I was listening to what she had to say. It struck me that there was a huge opportunity to provide a creative outlet for musical children to express themselves, build their inner confidence and get their talents noticed.

The music curriculum can be brought to life and enriched with the power of songwriting to engage and motivate young people. As well as the musical benefits, the psychological effects of songwriting are fascinating. If we can get more children engaging with their feelings and thoughts, and transforming them into a song, whose message is personal or universal, then maybe they’ll grow up to believe, as John Lennon once penned, ‘there's nothing you can do that can't be done, nothing you can sing that can't be sung’. This is critical when young people are growing up in a fast paced, electronic and competitive world where they put high expectations and demands on themselves. There is little time to sit back, reflect, create for fun and express what’s going on for them. Song Academy is an antidote to the demanding lives young people lead and safe place where young people can connect with their peers and discover who they are and their relationship to the community and world that surrounds them.

The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2015 competition is open for entries on 1 February and closes on 6 April 2015. Please encourage your students to enter. Together we will nurture young people’s musical & creative talents and promote the importance and impact of music in their lives now and in the future.

High profile judges on the 2015 panel include Ivor Novello award winner Tom Odell and chart topping producer Naughty Boy. Tom Odell said: ‘When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it. But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and it’s something I wish had been around when I was starting out. I can’t wait to hear the songs!’

Previous winners include Archie Faulks (aka Tenterhook) who shortly after winning was signed to a record label and Orla O’Neill who is now writing with Fraser T Smith.

Please visit songacademy.co.uk/says15 for information on the competition and how to enter. Closing date for entries is 6 April 2015, and it's free to enter.

Enjoy watching our young songwriters of 2014 in action, performing their own songs at Westfield, London. A big thank you to our sponsors of the Young Songwriter 2014 competition - PRS for Music, Dawsons Music, Tech Music School, Spotify and First News.

Blog by Rowena Atkins, Founder and Chief Executive