Climate change the inspiration for music from young, songwriting debutants
14 June 2019
A synth-pop tune tackling young people’s concerns over climate change is among the compositions from first-time songwriters – the result of a pioneering course which will return next month.
Delivered by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Inspiring Music service, the four-day songwriting and composition course brought together nine aspiring young musicians, who had never met or written a song before, to collaborate and create.
The students also learnt the essential skills to continue creating music, such as lyric-writing, performing on instruments and overseeing stylistic nuances. Taking influences ranging from DJ superstar Calvin Harris to Brit Award-winning pop sensation Dua Lipa, the result was three original compositions.
One of the songs, called ‘What Have We Done?’, takes a young person’s look at what’s happening to the world they’re growing up in. With an eye on the emerging concerns about our environment, Alma – who are Bott, Dunx and Vela (real names Ellie, Liam and Antonio) – deliver their theme to a stomping electronic beat.
Guided by tutors Daniel Johnson, Joel Blunden and course leader Jon Kendall, the latter said: “It has been a privilege to work with such a talented and creative group of young musicians who have worked extremely hard to produce original compositions of such a high standard.”
As well as Alma’s song, another group called Three X Amazing (Chloe, Elizabeth and Niamh) penned a lyrically adept track named ‘Trust,’ featuring a rap from Chloe.
The third group, called The Crab Trio (Grace, Holly and Sophie), wrote a tear-jerking pop song about love and loss, called ‘Everlasting Love’. You can listen to all the songs at the Inspiring Music Soundcloud page (link opens in new window).
Charlotte Payne, Inspiring Music Director – who led the music department where Dua Lipa was a student studying for her GCSEs at Parliament Hill School in Camden – said: "I am astounded at the level of creativity from the musicians who have taken part in this course. The calibre is extremely impressive, and it has been such a pleasure to listen to the high-quality compositions.
“It is great that we can help nurture the talent these musicians have, and I will certainly look out for their future songwriting masterpieces.”
Student Ellie said of the course: "It was very inclusive and had things for every ability, but still made everyone feel good and allowed us to create full-on songs in a little amount of time. It was so fun!"
After the success of this inaugural songwriting course, Inspiring Music will run another one, between Monday July 22 to Thursday July 25, for children in school years six and onwards.
Charlotte said: "No experience of songwriting or performing is required to sign-up for this course. As shown by the young people that joined us on our first ever four-day intensive course, anyone can learn the fundamentals behind songwriting, composition, production and performing. It is an experience they will all cherish and one that will hopefully be the spark that inspires them with the confidence to continue creating their own music."
The course costs £120 (£30 per day) and, for families on a lower income, there is financial assistance available (link opens in new window) through the Friends of Bedfordshire Youth Music, which could help towards the cost of the course.