Announcing the Fun Music Company Preschool Songwriting Competition!

Attention: Aspiring Children’s Songwriters!

Get your song included in our upcoming preschool music education product for a one-of cash prize plus lifetime exposure!

Preschool Music

The Fun Music Company always turn towards our community of music teachers and musicians whenever we want to develop products for music education.

Right now, we are developing a set of lesson plans for Preschool Music. We have already chosen an expert writer for these lesson plans, and we’re working with her to develop a world class program of lessons. This will be a set of lesson plans that anyone can use to do a great program of lessons for preschool music, no matter how much experience they have.

For this, we require a selection of original songs, based around a number of common themes for preschool music lessons.

These songs don’t have to be complicated: we are looking for simple, effective songs that work for preschool children. They only need to be a few lines long – at the most one page or a single chorus and verse.

The songs should inspire and encourage the use of actions throughout and any ideas from the composer about the actions will really help.

The deal is this:

We’ll pay a ‘prize’ or license fee of $100 per song that we use to the composers. We need approximately 20 songs, so songwriters have the potential to earn up to $2000 from this competition.

Here is the important detail:

You’ll be giving us a perpetual, non-exclusive license to use your song(s) in our music education products.

This means that:

  • We can use the song in our products as long as necessary with no additional royalty payable
  • This is a non-exclusive license, so you can still publish or re-use the songs in your own publications if you wish, as long as you don’t enter an agreement which makes our use of the song invalid.

If you’re unhappy with that arrangement, then please don’t submit your songs.

All we require from the composer is the words, and a melody with chords.

We will have backing music created for the music, and get quality recordings made, so we don’t need recordings. If you’ve got recordings that you think will help us choose your song and you’d like to submit them then please do so, but we only need the sheet music. We won’t use the recordings other than to listen to them to judge the winners.

You can submit your sheet music in any format you like: PDF is great, or Sibelius or Finale format is fine. Even if you hand write your song on the back of a napkin and scan it in that will be just fine!

We will optionally provide additional publicity for the winning song writers with a blog post on funmusicco.com and exposure in our monthly ezine.

Here is the list of themes for the songs:

Ducks
Cats
Dogs
Trains
Shapes (circle,square, triangle)
Colors (the basic 8 only)
Days of the week
Seasons
Family
My Body (head shoulders knees toes  arms, hands fingers legs feet
Community helpers (fireman,policeman, doctors etc)
Farm yard animals
Months of the year
Sun & moon/day &night
Positional words (hi,low front,back,here,there)
Street safety  (stoplight colors and “look both ways before you cross”)
Months of the year

Feel free to submit songs that are ‘around’ those themes: If a song is brilliant and not quite matching exactly then we may still choose to use it.

We’ll keep the competition open until the end of May, so you have plenty of time to submit as many songs as you like! We’ll decide in the first few weeks of June, and you should be paid by the end of June if we choose your songs.

So please send your songs to [email protected] by the 31st of May, 2013, and we’ll be in touch!

 

 

29 Comments

  • By Brenda Neufeld Reply

    Hey janice,

    How do I know that if I send you my song you won’t use it and deny me the rights?

    • By Janice Reply

      Hi Brenda,

      If we want to use your song, you and us will both sign a non-exclusive License assignment. What this means is that you’re assigning us the right to use your song(s) in our product. You will continue to own the copyright: but you have allowed us to use it in our products. If you’d like we can send you a sample contract so you can see that there are no tricks – if you’d like that just email us at [email protected]

  • By Jo Slagel Reply

    Hey Janice
    Sounds like a great comp and I’m quite keen – just have a couple of questions:

    – with the license, does it mean I, as the songwriter, still have ownership of the song and you just get free use of it, or am I actually handing over ownership?…. and I’m just giving you guys the rights to use it, right? – not anyone else who wants to..?
    – also, if my song/s are a part of one of your resources, am I able to get complimentary copies of that resource? (and other resources?? gotta ask!)

    thanks heaps! I have been really enjoying using the printable music theory sheets with my kids and watching your weekly tip videos when I get the chance :o) keep up the good work!

    Jo Slagel

    • By Janice Reply

      Hi Jo,

      You are not giving us the copyright of your song – you are simply assigning us the right to use your song in our products. You still hold the copyright, and third parties are not able to use it. We’d be happy to send you a sample license agreement like we would complete if we chose your song – just email us at [email protected] if you’d like us to send you that.

      And yes, we would be happy to give a copy of the finished resource to anyone whose song is chosen.

  • By Anu Grace Reply

    Hi Janice
    Where do I upload songs?

  • By Cath Reply

    Hi Janice
    Are you accepting entries from outside the USA?
    Cath

  • By Kerry Reply

    Hi there,

    This is a great opportunity! Is this open to song-writers outside of Australia?
    Thanks

    • By Janice Reply

      Hi Kerry and Cath,

      This competition is open to composers and songwriters worldwide! You can be located anywhere. Payment is in USD for convenience.

  • By Christian Reply

    Hi, about the songs, are you wanting words too, or just a melody and chords?

    How long is it supposed to be? Are we talking just a verse or do you want a verse, chorus, and bridge?

    Do you have any examples I could hear or look at so I would know exactly what you’re looking for?

    • By Janice Reply

      Hi Christian,

      Yes, we are wanting words too to go with the songs, based on those themes.

      Think Simple, Simple, Simple, then make it a bit more simple. The songs that win the competition will not necessarily be the most complicated or even ‘correct’- They’ll be fun and easy songs to sing for preschool children.

  • By Christian Reply

    Oh, and what instruments are these songs written for, piano, guitar, or what? Or are these just for kids to sing?

    • By Janice Reply

      Hi Christian,

      These songs should be easy to play on piano or guitar, and we intend to provide sequenced backings in the final product. Yes, they are intended for Kids to be able to sing along with the teacher.

  • By Janice Reply

    Other questions that have been asked by email:

    >>> When you say the melody only has to be a few lines – does that mean anything from 8 bars to 32 for example, while incorporating an AABA / AAB form?

    The form can be anything you like, from 8 bars to around 32 would be the maximum. The main thing is that it should be obvious and easy to follow, for it will be taught by just about anyone, who may or may not have much music background.

    >>> Do you want words written with the melody and chords?

    Yes, please we do want WORDS with these songs. We should have made that clearer in the initial blog post!

    >>> Is it possible to sign the agreement before I start sending you anything?

    The copyright license contract is really only appropriate if your song is chosen. If you’re worried about us using your song(s) without your permission, then you really need us to sign an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) prior to sending us your songs. We’d be happy to do that for you. It isn’t necessary, as songs we don’t choose to use we will behave ethically with and delete our copies of. We really do care about artists rights, which is why we really do try and do the right thing and pay for the use of songs.

    >>>What is the age span again of the children you are targeting?

    These are pre-school children, so children mostly from the age of 3 to 5 years old. This could potentially also be used for 2 year olds, but most of the children would be 3 or 4 years old in most cases.

    >>>Are you following any particular approach to music, such as Learning Theory, Kodaly, Orff, Dalcroze?

    Not particularly – our programs tend to be very general and draw on strategies from a lot of those approaches. This will be no different.

    >>>Are you looking for songs within the range that child can sing, (which is pretty limited) or songs that they can move along and play instruments to?

    Yes, if you could keep to a very small range that would be great. In preschool classes in our experience, the children don’t tend to sing much anyway… its mostly the teacher who sings, and often the parents as well. Basically the melody should just be very easily singable… by anyone!

    Songs that they can move and play instruments to would also be very appropriate.

  • By Mandy Reply

    How about “piggy back songs”…you know, using a familiar melody?

    • By Janice Reply

      Mandy,

      Yes, ‘piggy back’ songs are ok – as long as the melody is not subject to copyright. So therefore, something on a melody of a traditional folk song would be ok, but not something on the melody of a copyrighted pop song.

  • By Barbara Reply

    Is there a deadline? Also, if we would like to submit a page explaining some things about the song, would we then scan and send the music, and the page of description, as a pdf file (rather than the saved finale music?

    • By Janice Reply

      Barbara,

      Yes, certainly a page containing things about the song would be much appreciated to go along with it. You can just send that as a word processor or text file if you wish, or PDF is fine.

  • By Janice Reply

    More questions that have come by email:

    >>>>Maybe also a bit more clue as to what you’d like in terms of musical progression, pitch development and rhythm development, is the program aimed to develop the ear at this level, or is it more focused on the content of the words.

    In our experience the best preschool songs really are just designed to get children to do SOMETHING! While some musical progression and development is great to aim for, we do need to be realistic about what children of that age can achieve. We are looking at children 3-4 years of age, who can’t read and have not yet been to school. If these children open their mouth and make some sound, that is a big achievement for this age group. If they move to the music, that is also an achievement. They develop their musical ear naturally through doing these activities,

    Therefore if I wanted to write these songs myself I would write really SIMPLE words that children could remember, and simple melodies that they can follow. The chords don’t need to be anything other than I, IV, V, and should feel really ‘obvious’ as to their progressions.

    >>>>Do you want sequenced songs or emphasizing certain time sigs and musical features etc?

    Some variety in music musical features, keys and time signatures is good – we don’t want everything in 4/4 and all at the same speed. It doesn’t have to really be a sequential thing, and we certainly wouldn’t aim for understanding of aspects like time signatures.

    Just focus on enjoyable, easy to sing songs, and you’ll have a good chance of having your songs chosen!

  • By Janice Reply

    THREE NEW THEMES!

    In consultation with our writer, we are looking at three new themes that you may want to think about writing songs for:

    Opposites
    Nutrition (four food groups)
    Health (importance of exercise and hygiene)

  • By Barbara Reply

    I have written dozens of kid’s songs, some of which are appropriate for preschool (and I’ve used them there!) Do you have any plans for a book for older kids, maybe k-3?

    • By kevin Reply

      Hi Barbara,

      We have already used songs in our K-2 Whiteboard program. At the moment we’re not developing any more, but we may do so if the demand is there for such a product. At the moment the focus is on getting great songs for the preschool program.

  • By Justin Callahan Reply

    Do we have to send you a studio version of the song or is a work tape okay? If you choose my work tape will you pay for me to sing it in studio. I have a great kid song, but have not recorded it in studio. Please let me know.

    Justin

    • By kevin Reply

      Justin,

      We don’t really require a recording at all – a few lines of sheet music is fine. With the purpose being preschool, it has to be easily singable by anyone teaching preschool music, so we’re looking for something that is super easy to fall into the voice. For this reason the way we look at them is to play a couple of chords on the piano and sing with them. If they fall easily and obviously into the voice, then we’ll look harder at them. So your work tape will be absolutely fine – If we were to choose it then we would pay for our own singers to record them. We plan on using the same singers for all tracks for consistency.

  • By Joy Lewis Reply

    I have two songs which I have recorded in my husbands studio for a pre-school production i was involved in. How do i submit these to you?
    I think they are recorded on sibalius.
    Joy Lewis

    • By kevin Reply

      Hi Joy,

      just email them to [email protected] – or if they are too large to email then you can put them online using a service like dropbox and email us the link – that will be fine.

  • By Christine Reply

    hello..are the results in for the winners and if not, where will we find the results?

    • By kevin Reply

      Christine,
      Sorry for the delay – the songs are still being judged. As we had more entries than expected it is taking longer than we thought. We expect to be able to announce winners in August

  • By Christine Reply

    Awesome..thanks!

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