In February half term, 40 children from across Northants took part in our virtual ‘Songwriting For Beginners’ project.
The project was run by Northants local singer, songwriter and vocal coach Sophie Garner. Sophie is the author and creator of The Creative Songwriting Journal. The journal is the culmination of Sophie’s years of experience as a teacher, coach and mentor which guides its users through the process of songwriting as a tool for expressing emotion.
‘This unique and colourful journal is filled with creative exercises, quotes and inspiring activities. All providing a positive and empowering tool kit for children to process their own unique thoughts and feelings through songwriting, giving them a skill set to use long after finishing the journal.’
All 40 participants received their own copy of the journal in the post to use throughout the online sessions.
“I love the book! I was so excited when it came and I wanted to use it right away. I’d like to do more in it.”
“We love the book! It was incredibly exciting to receive in the post and made it feel very special, the layout of the book is really nice it explains things well and has lots of space to write in to make it your own.”
Feedback from participants via Survey Monkey
Sophie was joined by three musicians from NMPAT’s Inclusion Team; Greg Coulson, Rebecca Price and Jon Kendall. This allowed every participant to interact with a range of musicians to help them develop and understand their own musical styles and interests. Everyone had the chance to write their own original song lyrics set to and existing backing track, and a small group song accompanied by the musicians. The focus was on the themes of ‘family’ and ‘what makes us happy’.
As well as writing songs, the group learned all about warming up their voices, breathing techniques, and how singing can make us feel good. You can have a go at learning the most popular warmup of the week here.The mantra of the week became ‘if you can’t say it, sing it’ which encouraged everyone to continue to use their new found lyrical skills to help them express their feelings.
“I feel like I’ve actually found myself. When I’m writing, I feel like I can write anything about anything and it’s gone out of my head”
Songwriting For Beginners participant.
The week was a great success, with many participants saying they would love the chance to get involved again. You can watch the video below to hear some of the finished lyrics written about the theme of ‘family’ over the course of the week.