Announcing the Fun Music Company Kids Songwriting Competition!

Hello all music teachers, musicians & composers!

Ever written or wanted to write a cool little kids song?

Today I’ve got a special announcement just for you. Starting today, and for the next two weeks we are running a song writing competition to gather some fresh and exciting new kids songs for an upcoming product for us.


WHY?

As you may already be aware of, we are currently developing new materials for interactive whiteboard. These are going to be fun materials for use in Primary/Elementary schools.

Our first module of lessons is going to be for Lower primary/elementary (reception to year 3), and is going to consist of fourteen prepared music lessons on the broad theme of “introduction to music”.

An essential element in this program is going to be some cool, fun songs that kids can sing along with and do actions.

Of course, we could just hammer out arrangements of “Row, Row, Row your boat” and “Old MacDonald”, but would kids really enjoy that?, and does that give teachers something fresh and exciting to do with their classes?

The only other way we could go is to contract a composer or compose these ourselves, which would be good, but it would take us a long time and be quite expensive.

So, we thought “lets take it to our own community” and give anyone the chance to submit songs to be included and we can give away the money we would have paid as prizes.

WHO?

Anyone can enter. We don’t require any formal qualifications or degrees, and you don’t have to have experience as a composer or kids performer.

If you are already a kids performer or you have written kids songs then this is perfect for you. You have the opportunity to not only win cash prizes but invaluable publicity for yourself as an artist.

WHAT?

We just need good, fun, easy to sing Kids Songs.

They should be SHORT.  One, perhaps two verses with a catchy chorus is all that is needed. 16-32 bars is really all that is necessary. They should be around one minute long – two minutes at the absolute maximum.

They should be EASY TO SING. The whole premise of this course is that it is going to be able to be taught by a classroom teacher with no music experience. Therefore it must not involve anything complicated to sing, and it should sit easily within a child’s range (under an octave)

They should have natural opportunities for ACTIONS. Kids love songs with actions – and if the song naturally suggests it then it works even better.

You don’t need to have a recording, or even a complicated arrangement written out. All we require is the melody and chord symbols.

14 Song Themes to choose from:

1: MUSIC Theme song (‘Lets do music’ or similar)
2: Playing The Guitar
3: Playing The Piano
4: Instrument Families
5: Pop Music Instruments
6: Jazz Music
7: Rock and Roll Music
8: Instruments of the Orchestra
9: African Music (some sort of African folk song would be good)
10: Asian Music
11: Notes and Rests
12: Rhythm
13 Soft and Loud
14: Fun with Music

They have to fit in with lessons that are based on the above themes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t have other themes. EG a song about “Animals” could be adapted to being about “soft and loud” etc.
If you’ve got a good song and it doesn’t fit into one of these themes, but you think it would be good anyway – then just submit it. you never know – we might re-adapt the lesson theme around it if it is good enough!

HOW MANY?

We think we need 14 songs at the moment, but we may even choose to use more.

You can submit just one song, or as many as you want to.

We will give one prize for each song we choose – so you have the opportunity of winning more than one prize.

We reserve the right to choose as many or as few as suit the project. If we don’t choose your song, then don’t be offended: It may well be a brilliant song but it might just not be suitable for the project.

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

There are three parts to your prize for winning:

1. You get a cash prize of $100 USD per song that is chosen. (paid via paypal)

If you submit 10 songs, and we choose all ten, then your prize would be $1000. If you submit 10 songs, and we only choose 1 of them, then your prize would only be $100…  fair enough?

This is the only royalty payable for our use of your song(s) in the eventual product, and we will require a simple contract to be signed giving us the rights to use it if you win.

2. You get publicity via a blog post on our website sometime during the next 6 months.

We can promote you as a singer/songwriter through a blog post, and mention in our email newsletter. For many budding children’s artists this publicity will be extremely helpful, given that our blog (where your article will appear) is listed #1 in Google for “music teaching resources”, and our mailing list consists of nearly 20,000 music teachers.

3. You get attribution in the product – with an optional website link to further promote your music.

If teachers using this product like your song they’ll have the opportunity to follow up with you and hear more of your music though a website link in the bibliography.

WHEN?

We need this NOW! We want to launch this product as soon as next month, so it is very important that it be done quickly.

For this reason we have a timeline of just two weeks for this competition. ALL entries must be submitted by email by midnight (US EST) Friday 29th of July.

No late entries can be accepted.

WHATS THE CATCH?

You’ll be signing over the copyright to your song(s) to us with no further royalty payable. You’ll still be able to use the song for your own purposes, and even publish and record it, as long as you don’t sign an agreement which makes our use of the song illegal.

If I was a budding children’s performer I wouldn’t feel this was a catch at all – my song would be out there and being heard in hundreds of classrooms. I might not be getting an ongoing royalty, but I would be getting ongoing publicity.

HOW TO ENTER:

Simply send your entries as an email attachment to [email protected]  A PDF is fine, or even a .jpg scan of your handwritten music. Finale or Sibelius formats are also acceptable.

Use the Subject line SONG WRITING COMPETITION ENTRY, and we’ll email you back to confirm reciept of your entry as soon as we can.

We’ll decide and announce winners by the 5th of August.

Some Anticipated Questions you might have…..

(we’d call these frequently asked questions.. but seeing as we’ve never done this before we can hardly them “frequently” can we?!)

Can I use a song that I’ve already recorded or used for something else?

Yes absolutely!…… As long as there is not a recording contract or copyright restriction in place on it. If you’ve written it and you are happy for us to use it, then there is no problem at all.

Do you need a recording?

No. All we really need is the melody and chord symbols. We will be having our own MIDI and sound creation experts create backing tracks for these songs, so they all have a consistent feel and style. We may or may not decide we need to contract a singer to record the vocals for us.

If you do have an existing recording, then feel free to send it to us, and it will help us decide whether or not your song can be used. The recording however won’t be used in the final product.

Did I read it right that you can win more than once?

Yes. If your songs are all brilliant and totally suit our themes, then we’ll award you more than one $100 prize. We can’t do more than one blog post for one person, but we can find other ways to give you publicity if you do win more than one. We will award $100 per song that is selected.

Do I have to have a website and want publicity?

Of course not! If you don’t have a website and don’t want any publicity that is just fine. you can just do it for the $100 and the honor of winning!

Are there any second prizes?

No. There is a maximum of 14 first prizes, and no second prizes. There is no guarantees that we will choose any number of winners – we will only choose winners if we can use the songs.

How do I know that you won’t go ahead and use my songs even if I don’t win?

We respect copyright. We respect the integrity of composers and performers. We would never do such a thing as use your songs without your consent or approval.

If that is a concern to you then we will sign a non disclosure agreement, which should give you the peace of mind that we will keep your songs confidential.

So Good luck – Send your entries to [email protected] with the subject line SONG WRITING COMPETITION ENTRY by Friday 29th July, 2011.

13 Comments

  • By Cliff Tetle Reply

    What a rip off. Songwriters work hard at their craft. You want to take their copyright, give them $100.00 and own the song. That’s shameful and disrespectful. Record companies in the early days did those despicable practices. Sure you’ll get people, but not me or anyone with half a brain that respects their own creative work. You could do this without taking a person’s copyrights/ownership away from them. You know that. One hundred dollar? That’s an insult.

    Be fair to musician/songwriters. What goes around; comes around. Sincerely, Cliff Tetle

    • By janice Reply

      Cliff,

      Thankyou so much for your opinion, and for voicing concerns that others may have as well.

      Obviously you are not the right person to enter this competition, and anyone who has similar opinions about it obviously shouldn’t enter.

      There are a few things about this which you seem to have missed the point in our message.

      We are not a huge conglomerate record company that are going to make millions from this, while paying composers $100. That is not the story here. We are a small company that make music teaching products that we share with a community of music teachers via the internet.

      We are developing a set of music teaching materials, of which songs are a small part. These are also not “hit songs” that someone has put their heart and soul into creating. We are talking about 16-32 bar “dittys” that are fun for kids to sing. They aren’t the main focus of the course, they are just supplementary to the teaching materials.

      We thought it would be nice for teachers to be able to share their music which wouldn’t otherwise get heard or seen.

      If anyone is big enough to have large recording deals that they can earn great royalty from their work, then they probably won’t enter.

      We’re not “taking” peoples copyright – we are simply not paying a royalty for the use of their song beyond the prize in the contest. The copyright of the work is still the composers, and they can still publish, perform and share the song elsewhere if they wish.

      Its all just a bit of fun, and a good opportunity for those who would like a little extra publicity and exposure for their music.

      I hope this clears it up for you and anyone else who might feel the same.

  • By barbara levine Reply

    Are we allowed to submit our own lyric to an existing song?

    • By janice Reply

      Hi Barbara,

      Sure, you can do that – if the song is public domain song… e.g. “twinkle twinkle little star”, but not something which is a pop song or under copyright

  • By David Nunley Reply

    Hello,

    This sounds like a wonderful competition. I do have an original song that was used in the Milwaukee Public Schools Biennial Festival in 2008 and 2010. Is it okay if I use this particular song? Also, I do have a recording of it as well. Can i submit the CD to you? if so, where do I send it?

    Thank you so much,

    David Nunley
    Music Teacher

    • By janice Reply

      Hi David,

      Sure you can use a song that has been part of a festival before.

      We’d love to hear the recording. If you could extract the CD to an mp3 file and send it to us via email that would save any postage cost.

  • By Mary Toso Reply

    I’m inspired and wrote one this morning. I don’t have it ready, but it will be soon. I hope you will like it.

    Thank you for the opportunity to enter songs for your consideration.

    Mary Jo

  • By Gerald York, Jr. Reply

    Is there a way to send song(s) via U.S. Post Office? I have an old music notation program (Windows 95-98) that works beautifully for all my school, church, camp, and personal needs. These old computers are not internet capable.

    Please let me know ASAP. Thanks. If not I’ll figure something out!

    • By janice Reply

      Hi Gerald,

      We can probably do that – but as we are based in Australia it may take longer than two weeks to reach us. Do you have access to a scanner? If you do just print the file out, then go to an internet capable computer and scan it in as a picture file – that would be fine.

  • By janice Reply

    Hi everyone – A Quick update. We’ve had lots of entries already, which is great.

    We are thinking we need to add one more lesson around the theme of “School Band/Marching Band Instruments” so there is another idea for a song if you are searching for ideas.

  • By Gerald York, Jr. Reply

    Janice,

    Hopefully you received what I sent and it was “openable”. I’m really excited about this opportunity. Thanks for offering it.

    God bless,

    Jerry

  • By Paula Reply

    Will you have another contest next year?

    • By janice Reply

      Hi Paula- Yes we’ll be running another competition in January 2012. To get the full detailsand an email about it when it’s launched, enter your details on our main page at:

      http://www.funmusicco.com

      Kind Regards,
      Janice

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