We link Australia’s internationally successful songwriters and producers, teachers, young people and leading researchers in shared creativity – that’s a fresh approach to school/industry partnerships.
Through mentoring by industry professionals, the program uses the creation of students’ original work as a springboard to explore issues around the cultural industries – like the importance of being enterprising, collaborative, persistent and resilient.
We support practical contemporary music education in schools, so that, together, we build a stronger songwriting culture in Australia and introduce more young people to global opportunities. At the same time, we help build young people’s work-ready skills that transfer to any industry, not just music.
How we work
We match schools with Australia’s top songwriters and producers who directly mentor students to create and record original songs in an intensive workshop environment. Typically, we work over two consecutive school days, with preparatory and follow-up activities for extra support.
2020 brought a COVID pivot which saw us launch SongMakers in virtual mode, bringing our mentors in to classrooms via videoconference. Both the virtual and in-person delivery modes give students an inside look at industry co-writing sessions. As collaborators with some of the biggest names in music, students learn the elements of team writing, arranging, demoing and showcasing new music. They build the confidence to find their ‘writer’s voice’.
We bring music students together from neighbouring schools to model the importance of real-world networking and collaboration. This cross-school collaboration is otherwise rare in Australia.
We deliver learning opportunity AND access to industry which are not otherwise available to schools, particularly those in regional areas.
Through the in-school workshops and a dedicated program of professional development we connect teachers with the industry and help keep their skills up to date too.
Gender equity across our workshops makes SongMakers one of Australia’s most successful interventions for engaging young women in the music industry – an otherwise under-represented group outside of this program.
We follow all protocols around working with children and vulnerable young people, in person and in virtual mode, guided by APRA AMCOS’ Child Safe Policy.