Songs of the Centenary

Songs of the Centenary (SOTC) is a global quest for songs of Commemoration, Remembrance and Unity created by children.  This search will draw from submissions in partnership with Never Such Innocence (NSI) Poetry & Art Competition.

SOTC officially launched in Liverpool on Thursday 17th November at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. SOTC is now open for entries!

We are incredibly excited to be in partnership with Dave Stewart Entertainment on this journey to 2018. Together, we are enlisting the support of leading artists to create music, and of children to write lyrics. Fused together they will create The Songs of the Centenary...

We have created an online platform, powered by Trackd (which you have free access to), providing a secure environment to create music. A key element is collaboration and via our App, you may write a song, add drums, guitar and sitar, with other young people across the British Isles, and the world. 

Alternatively, you might decide to write your own music and record it directly onto Trackd, or upload pre-existing music via Voice Notes, Dropbox or similar.

Why not apply for an Arts Award? You’ll end up with a portfolio or arts log that shows off your creativity and gives you a recognised national qualification or award to put on your CV.

The judges' selections will be performed at the NSI and SOTC Award Ceremonies, and every entrant will receive a personalised Certificate of Commendation.

In 2018 we shall create one Centenary album, a collection of Songs of the Centenary. From these songs we shall create one Centenary anthem, the Song of the Centenary, a song of unity performed by children and leading musicians. 

How to get started?

1.  Ask a teacher or parent to download the Trackd app

2.  Follow the instructions to make a profile (username must not have any spaces)

3.  Pick your trade (songwriter for SOTC)

4.  Choose a profile image

5.  Pick your instrument (singing for SOTC)

6.  Begin the tutorial (can replay at a later date by going to Settings)

7.  After the tutorial you will land in the Workspace (default page). To find SOTC, click on Feed (far-right option)

8.  Once in Feed (far-left option), click on People and search for SOTC

9.  Here you can select music you would like to use for your song, if you click the download symbol it will take you back to your workspace where you can get started

Submit entry via Trackd by clicking on Share and then ‘share by email’ and send to Unclick ‘post to stem’ to keep your music private. If you post to feed you have two options:

1)  Post as stem (green button) – people can hear and add to your song

2)  Unclick post a stem (button turns red) – people can just hear your song and like it!

If you have any special educational needs you would like our judges to be aware of, please make a note in the body of your email.

Alternatively attach your entry as an MP3 or MP4 on an email to

  • The email must include the following: Name, Age, School, Song Title
  • If you have any special educational needs you would like the judges to be aware of, please include details in your email

The competition is open to all children aged 9-16 and is free to enter.  The songs will be judged by a panel of music professionals. No cash or prize of monetary value will be awarded. All writers will retain the rights to their original material - with the exception that a submission will grant a license in perpetuity to SOTC to exploit the song (meaning if you submit a song, we can play it…and if it makes any money, you will be paid accordingly). Parents must submit songs for children under 13. If entering music as a group there must be a lead collaborator who will submit on behalf of the entire group.  We would encourage teachers to manage their school’s SOTC profile.

Songwriting tips from our Artist in Residence, Marty Longstaff of The Lake Poets.

  • THEME - Think about something that you care about, that has moved you or that you want to raise awareness of.  For example, you might care about animal welfare, or you might have been moved by a sad story you read about someone during the First World War. When you have a theme that you hold dear to you, words come easily.
  • IMAGINATION - Your imagination is a powerful tool and to write a good song you need to use it. Try to think a little differently to others and see different takes on things. If your songs theme is about a soldier, try to think about what he is thinking and feeling, or what his family back home are thinking and going through. Put yourself in the shoes of another and dream.
  • STYLE - Pick a style of music you like and then write a song like that. You might like sad mellow piano songs, or loud noisy guitar songs. You might like happy, bouncy pop music, or heavy, rhythmical hip-hop. Once you have style in your mind the process of getting a 'feel' for your song comes quickly
  • WORD POWER - Use tricks and techniques you know from English class such as rhyme, alliteration, metaphor, and simile to add flavour to your writing. Be descriptive, contrast and compare, make full use of adverbs and adjectives, and get your point across as concisely as you can. You don't have long in a 3 minute song to make a point, and these features of language help your words stay in the mind of the listener
  • HAVE FUN – Song writing is meant to be fun, it's meant to be expressive and it's meant to make you feel good. If you aren't having fun, step back and look for another route to get where you want to be. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to being yourself and saying how you feel about something. Now get writing!


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