Creative Composition and Songwriting

We want to encourage young people to create, perform and record their own compositions and songs

As part of our Take Note youth consultation young people in Wiltshire told us they’d like to have more chances to share ideas and music as well as to branch out and try new things. So whether they are creating rap, classical or film music or whether they’ve recorded on a phone or a million pound studio, we are working with our Associates and schools towards providing more opportunities for young people to develop their creative musical composition skills.

Top tips for recording your music with no budget!

Download your free “no budget” recording guide here:

5 tips for recording your music with no budget

We also launched a series of music industry events for young people – keep an eye on our What’s On page for details of future events.

Below are a few online platforms, apps and resources that support creative composing and songwriting – let us know if you find more and we can add them!

Please note – these are almost always only suitable for young people aged 13 and over, and young people under 18 should always get parents permission before creating any online account and sharing any personal information like names and email addresses.

Young Composers Toolkit

Created by Sound and Music specifically for under 25s, this toolkit is designed to help you find events, competitions, advice, videos and more to help develop your composing skills.

BBC Music Introducing 

Helpful songwriting tips plus advice for unsigned and undiscovered musicians

BeBot robot synth app

Bebot is a musical instrument that anyone can play using touch control . And it’s all built into a friendly animated robot, who performs your music while you play. Although it looks simple on the outside, inside is a powerful synth engine which lets you create and edit your own sounds and apply effects. Accessible,simple and fun, but not just for beginners. Bebot has been used both on stage and in the studio by accomplished musicians and performers including Dream Theater, How To Destroy Angels and The Flaming Lips. (Also now available for Android)

Bandlab

Free, age 13 and over

Online Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Create, upload, collaborate and share with other users.

Soundtrap

Free account, pay for upgrades to access more features, age 13 and over

Online version compatible with Garageband. Create, upload, collaborate and share with other users.

Soundtrap Education

For teachers / schools. Annual fee, create an account for your own pupils

Launchpad

Free, age 13 and over

Great app for creating beats and grooves, electronic music and DJ effects

Noteflight

Free and premium versions available aged 13 -17 with parent/guardian permission, or aged 18 and over

Online “Sibelius” type platform – create, transcribe and playback music scores

iPads for Wiltshire

Schools and Associates can contact Wiltshire Music Connect to find out about our iPad loans for projects and programmes.

BBC Bitesize – writing your own music

Inspiration for getting started, and advice on experimenting with, and structuring compositions

Trinity College London – composing support video

Composer Chris Lawry looks at helpful ways to spark creativity and combat writer’s block when composing music, including:

  • Starting with one of the three pillars of composition, rhythm, melody and harmony
  • Choosing a word and taking the letters that are the same as notes to start a melody or bassline
  • Building a rhythm through a call and response exercise

Trinity College London – advice from composers

Composers Chris Lawry and Jake Painter give tips and advice on how to get started with composing music

Cove – music making for mental health

“Cove” is a simple, free music making app developed with NHS to help support young people’s emotional health and wellbeing. Suitable for all ages, creates simple loops of mood music, choose melody and percussion instruments against a mood base, and create your own loops to match your mood. Also now being used with older people with dementia.

Freesound

Freesound is a developing, huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their free reuse. You can:

  • browse the sounds using keywords, including “sounds-like” browsing
  • upload and download sounds to and from the database, under the same creative commons license

Young people should not interact with other users on this global database without their parent / guardian’s permission

Teaching resources:

Sound and Music Education page

Sound and Music is the national charity for new music. They have an education programme which includes resources for primary and secondary schools, young composers,  summer school / workshop opportunities, professional CPD etc.

Musical Futures free downloads

We like this Musical Futures guide to supporting informal composition – free download and video guide. Check out their other free composing and songwriting resources too.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

That’s My Music! is a collection of resources to support the teaching and learning of composing in primary schools. . As well as providing guidance around composing with children in the classroom it explores different starting points for composing such as using topics, creative use of ICT in composing, using existing repertoire as a stimulus for children’s own composing, song writing and other composing using voices.

Royal Opera House fanfare writing

What is a fanfare, resources to support writing fanfares, and advice about running a fanfare competition in your school! (Get in touch with us if you do – we’d love to hear about it!)

Copyright information

The IPO (Intellectual Property Office) has a great website aimed at teachers and young people called Cracking Ideas with resources for learning about copyright. There’s also a free app-based game called MUSIC INC aimed at 14-18 year olds interested in music which allows gamers to guide aspiring artists through the challenges and opportunities of a successful music career in the 21st century. The game highlights some of the challenges the modern music industry faces as well as providing education on the wider issues of copyright and the affect it has on the music trade, and teaches skills like managing budgets and making investment decisions.

The game has been designed to educate young audiences on specific challenges thrown up by the digital market and copyright infringement.

Staying safe and reporting concerns when you are online

This website is provided by National Crime Agency /CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline, and has information and advice for children and parents about staying safe when you're on a phone, tablet or computer.

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