Warrington Guardian Article - 6th May 2020
Top 40 spot for school girl writer in competition
By Ethan Davies
Emily hit the top 40
A SCHOOLGIRL from Bewsey enjoyed national success in the Song Academy Young Songwriting Competition 2020 – which is judged by Tom Odell and Imelda May.
Emily Murphy, 10, submitted ‘Across The Universe’ to the competition having had a helping hand from her friend Sophie Williamson on backing vocals and music teacher John Oates, who recorded Emily’s song.
Each year 160 entrants bid for glory in the competition, which is open to 8-16 year olds. ‘Across The Universe’ made it into the top 40, just missing out on a place in the final ten.
Emily, who has been using her time in lockdown to write more songs, said the prospect of being a finalist was ‘very surprising’. She added: “I know there are people there who are much, much older than me.!”
It’s not the first time Emily has tasted success, having come runner-up in Great Sankey High School’s ‘MatFactor’ competition, when she performed ‘Hallelujah’ on guitar.
Emily dreams of going into musicals, and is currently rehearsing with the First Act Drama group, as well as working with teacher Mr Oates on her singing.
She says they are responsible for ‘boosting her confidence’ enough to enter the competition.
Mum Louise, who works for the NHS, says she is “really proud” of Emily.
“Mr Oates is really supportive and encouraging. [Emily] works hard and practices a lot. I think it’s all come together to make her enjoy it and branch into writing songs, as well as playing somebody else’s.
“Look out Adele!”
This is an interview taken from the Song Academy website.
Emily Murphy is 10 years old from Liverpool and her song ‘Across The Universe’ was selected as a top 40 song in The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2020 competition 8-12 year UK/Ireland category. We caught up with Emily recently to talk about all things songwriting!
What inspired you to write your song? I was thinking of my friendship with my best friend, Sophie, when I wrote this and I was also thinking about how scary new places can be until you make a friend.
What got you into writing songs? I currently have guitar lessons and I like experimenting with the chords and that creates new tunes in my head. I then just keep improving them until I am happy with it.
What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? The part of the process I like most is when you get stuck on a rhyming word for ages and the satisfaction when you get the right word and it all just clicks into place.
Describe your setup that you used to write your #SAYS20 entry, was it just a pen and paper or a fully kitted out studio? The song was initially just in my head until my mum suggested writing it down and we recorded it on her phone.
How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? I usually start with the chorus and then work on the verses.
Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with?I would love to collaborate with Paloma Faith – she writes powerful songs and I like singing them to myself!
What made you enter #SAYS20? How did you hear about it? I heard about #SAYS20 from my music teacher at school – we had a song writing competition at school.
What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about entering the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition next year? Do you have any tips for them? I would say to someone thinking of entering “just go for it; no song is out of place in the competition.”
What do you like about the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition? I like the fact that #SAYS20 is done online because if you had to sing/perform in front of judges it would make some people too nervous and therefore means people are more confident to enter.
No Parr Hall concert this year but congratulations to the choir for getting into the final that was not!
Warrington Guardian Article
The choir won the title during a competition at Parr Hall
PUPILS at Westbrook Old Hall Primary School are celebrating after being named Choir of the Year for a second consecutive year.
The choir scooped the award after attending the Primary Choral Festival held at Parr Hall, which is run by Accent Music Education Hub.
To win the competition, the school had to progress through a preliminary stage and then impress judges from respected music institutions including Chetham’s School of Music.
And the school’s music teacher John Oates said he is extremely proud of the pupils for backing up the success of the previous two years.
“The competition gives the chance for both the choir and soloists to perform and it is always a great event to be involved in,” he said.
“Everyone at the school is extremely proud of the pupils and especially proud that we have been able to win the award for the third successive year.
“The standard of competition at the festival was really high so we are delighted to have done so well again this year.”
Westbrook Old Hall Primary, an Omega MAT school, initially came up against 13 other choirs in the preliminary stage before gaining a place in the final six.
It was here that the school wowed the panel of judges by singing You’re Going to Lose that Girl and Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles and Be My Baby by The Ronettes.
Headteacher Stewart Quinn was also quick to praise the pupils, adding: “Winning the award is an incredible achievement and I am so proud of all the children and Mr Oates.
“The children at our school 'Learn with a Smile' and music brings enjoyment to all."
Liverpool Philharmonic Children's Choir 7-12.
Follow the link above to find out more about the Liverpool Philharmonic Children's Choir and how to join.
This extract was written by Katrina about her song and is featured on the Song Academy Website.
Katrina is 10 years old, from Warrington. Her song ‘Stars’ made the Top 30 in The Young Songwriter 2019 competition 8-12 years UK & Ireland Category. Congratulations! Here’s a bit about Katrina and her songwriting.
What inspired you to write your SAYS19 Top 30 song? My teacher at school encouraged me to enter saying that my song has potential and its a good composition. However, what inspired me to write this song was, I was upset about some things that were happening in school with friends, so I’ve put it into words and express how I really felt.
How long have you been writing songs? I started in Year 3 at age 7.
How did you get into songwriting? My older sister, who was also writing songs at that age, inspired me to write my own songs and experience a new perspective to express your feelings.
What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? In my opinion, songwriting allows you to explore your own feelings and sometimes play around with your words, because you’re basically writing a story to share. What it allows you to achieve is that it improves your own skills in writing songs, so that you can be creative and confident enough to explore other new things and structures.
What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? My favourite part of the process is the chorus/bridge. I say the chorus, because that is the main part of the song and it has to attract people that they can actually sing along. I also like the bridge, because it opens a new perspective in the song.
What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? I would say it’s a bit harder to find your melody, because you want it to flow in with your lyrics. Your lyrics might be too short for the melody or might be too long. It needs to sound like your own with originality.
Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? I start with the melody, chords and then lyrics.
What do you like about the Young Songwriter competition? What I like about the Young Songwriter competition is that when you listen to songs from children similar to your age, it gives you more ideas on how to improve your own or write your own. Then, you can create it into your own idea.
Who are your three favourite artists/songs? I like Cavetown, because his lyrics are really deep and well put together. His songs are also really catchy and that’s very important too. I like ‘Fight Song’, because every part of the song is strong and everything flows in. I also like ‘Fly me to the Moon’, because I like the structure of the song and the instrumentals.
10 years from now you will be… Although I have a passion for Music, I have a goal to be a successful Dermatologist in future, but I will still continue to explore and develop my skills in Music as my favourite quote ‘Music It’s not what I do, It’s who I am’.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? When I’m not composing songs, I’m drawing because I’ve learnt that you can also express your feelings through art and pictures too.
Y5 & Y6 children from Westbrook Old Hall Primary school choir singing at the Omega MAT schools' concert on the 12th February 2019.
PRIMARY school pupils from across town competed in a Warrington schools competition at the Parr Hall.
Eleven schools took part in the Accent Music Education Hub Primary Festival, each performing two songs to a sell-out audience.
Westbrook Old Hall Primary School were crowned the winners on the night which took place on Thursday, May 24.
Schools had to apply for a performance opportunity at this prestigious event and the choirs sang in front of an audience of parents, teachers and the new Mayor of Warrington Cllr Karen Mundry.
Tricia McTeague visited Old Hall on Tuesday 24th May to deliver a song writing workshop to children from Y6.
Tricia has performed with Ronan Keating, Lionel Ritchie and Elton John. She is also a songwriter and has had one of her songs go Platinum in Japan and another reached number 4 in the UK dance chart.
Tricia explained her song writing process to the children and gave advice as to how to present songs when performing.
Warrington Guardian Article
Young songwriter wins praise from top popstars
Erin Jordan was a runner up in the national songwriter of the year competition.
AN 11-year-old songwriter who performed alongside pop star Rumer at the weekend says her music is inspired by ‘personal experiences’.
Erin Jordan, from Chapelford, was a runner up in the national young songwriter of the year competition with her track Promises.
The song was praised by the judges including singer Tom Odell, who said: “Heartbreaking.
“This is really strong. Simple and moving.”
She also won praise from Starsailor front man James Walsh and singer songwriter Rumer who added: “Very catchy song, great melody. Simple idea, but very effective!”
The Westbrook Old Hall Primary School pupil was invited to perform at Westfield in London on stage with singer-songwriter Rumer on Sunday.
She said: “I haven’t really performed on a stage before so it was really exciting.
“I got the idea for my song Promises after my friend told me someone had broken a promise somebody made to her but I get most of my inspiration from my personal experiences.
“I was so excited that the judges liked my song and the comments they made about it were great.”
Erin’s mum Ruth said she is very thankful to Erin’s music teacher at her primary school John Oates who encouraged pupils to enter the competition.
She said: “Mr Oates has been really generous with his time and he even came to London to watch Erin perform.
“The school has been brilliant at giving her access to music and recording equipment and Mr Oates helped her record the track for the competition.
“He organised a songwriter to come in and teach year six about writing music.”
Ruth said Erin started playing the guitar three years ago and has been taking her songwriting seriously for the past year.
Erin, who has a nine-year-old brother called Daniel, says her favourite pop stars are Sabrina Carpenter and Taylor Swift, because they play different instruments and write their own songs.
Ruth said: “We took her to see Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour for her birthday and she was such an inspiration to Erin.
“Her grandfather was very musical so maybe that’s where she gets it from – we are just so proud of her.”
Another song, called United, which was recorded by Erin and her friends Evelyn, Leah and Amelia was highly commended by the judges.