Musicians have always found the song form to be a particularly powerful way of raising social issues. A song has the unique ability to have lyrics that really express a point of view and the musical aspect that can help enhance the emotion, be that making it sombre and heartfelt, or being aggressive and powerful. The sixties saw a resurgence in popular protest songs, but as we moved into the eighties and beyond they found less of an audience.
Fast forward to 2020 and a new young generation of artists are starting to use songs as a genuine force for change. Across indie, rock, pop and urban genres the real societal issues of our time are once again being tackled with nothing more than guitars, beats and the human voice. This year’s students had a go at express themselves through their musical talents. Take a look.
Supported by: Mark Gale at Universal Music Publishing Group & Jordan Riley, Record Producer & Songwriter.
Mentored by: Sam Burt (Music)
Project Outline: Rebellion is in the air!
Whether they are feeling governments are cheating them, or that social contracts have been broken, or simply systemic inequality, people power is peaking across the globe. But how can we best ensure that real change for the better does occur? And what role might music and creative young people have in that?
This project aims squarely at the person who feels like they have something they simply have to say and has a passion for songcraft. You don’t need to have written a song before and this project has a minimal amount of music technology involved. You should have a decent knowledge of what melody and harmony is and how a song is structured. Above all you need to have an issue you want to address – it could be something locally that you feel needs more light on it, or it might be a big global issue. Anything is up for debate, as long as you feel strongly about it!
Before diving straight into songwriting you will get a great benefit from researching exactly what a successful protest song is and analysing why it has had such an impact. There will be a short tutorial on how to write songs and a showcase of a protest song, including the story behind it. You will then start work on your own song. You are free to do it solo or as a group and are welcome to present it however you would like. This could be a live performance or it might be you want to record it on some music software. You can even submit it acapella. The main thing is that your song and your rendition of it can generate a genuinely powerful emotion and a call to action in the listener.
Thank you & Well done!
All we have left to say is thank you and well done, not only to the students but to the teachers at Marden High School and George Stephenson High School, North Tyneside Learning Trust, to the companies that have supported and contributed to these briefs and the TICE team that plugged away at the project week after week.
To the students – we hope you have enjoyed this project, we hope in years to come that you can proudly present an industry written project you did, achieved, quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE.