Song writing with Alan Penman


Offered to upper primary age,  song writing workshops in East Lothian  continue to be very popular, with cross curricular themes in literacy, music, team building, and much scope for pupil led content/structure.

Click the link to view a short video of Song Writing during the Haddington 700 festival.

Alan Penman works with a whole class supporting them in creating and recording an original song. The class learns about the creative process of writing music and lyrics in an enjoyable and creative way. This activity aims to widen pupils’ musical, emotional, and creative experience.

Taking his cue from the children themselves, Alan makes use of a professional laptop digital studio to produce and record their work. At the end of the workshops the pupils have created a  professionally recorded CD/mp3 of their own composition.

These workshops boost confidence, encourage teamwork, and shared decision-making. They perfectly relate to the Curriculum for Excellence, but most of all they are great fun! The recordings are  sometimes used by the schools to present the work of their P7’s and for events and festivals.

Examples of possible  school workshops:

  • Songs relating to a particular curriculum led topic
  • Children write a song they can perform as their own imaginary pop group (they could also design the whole look of their band, costumes, CD sleeves and created an imaginary tour schedule, as part of their cross-curricular learning)
  • Songs for special occasions – eg the centenary of your school, an event the school or class would like to celebrate etc..  (This year YMI will collaborate with Haddington 700, and Robert Louis Stevenson anniversary events and the relevant schools will work around these themes).

Click here for some examples of songs written by East Lothian schools.

Click here for photos.

Click here to hear the songs that King’s Meadow P7 classes wrote and performed for Haddington 700 on 2nd November 2018.

The YMI Outcome for this project will be:

  • Young people develop their music and music making skills