A new, high school songwriting club hosted by Quadio, a music streaming platform designed to foster community in the music space for college-aged students, is now giving high school students a taste of what real-world songwriting circles are like. Belmont’s own Chelsea Kent, adjunct professor and founder of Worktape Junkie Management, and Miranda Martell, chief growth officer of Quadio, have partnered to launch the program and create curriculum to support rising musicians and give them a platform to collaborate, create and discuss with other songwriters across the country.
Martell explained, “We started Quadio to champion the college creative community and to help artists connect with one another — our tagline is ‘make music. make friends.’ So we’re constantly striving to further that community connection and to foster collaboration.”
One of the main ways Quadio supported musicians prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was by hosting large events and booking college talent. However, when events began getting cancelled due to the pandemic, the organization decided to adapt by creating this six-week, virtual summer session where students could connect with others, hear from guest speakers and share their work with other songwriters. Martell quickly reached out to Kent to make this happen.
Kent said she was inspired to join forces with Quadio because of the shared mission “to create a safe and inclusive space for high school students to develop their songwriting skills while building a community of friends during this new normal of virtual learning.”
“The High School Songwriting Club provides a writer of any experience level the opportunity to connect with the industry and peers safely from their home,” Kent explained. “As a Belmont Songwriting alum and industry professional, I am always asking myself, ‘How can I give back and how can I do better?’ This program answered both of those questions for me.”
The purpose of this program is to build the foundation of songwriting for high school students. The summer songwriting club for college students hosted 100 students globally and was successful enough to inspire the Songwriting Club to host a similar event this fall. Shifting the program into more of an educational format, the club strives to provide attendees with an extracurricular activity to safely connect with others with similar passions while most in-person extracurricular activities continue to be canceled.
This fall, the program will explore each letter of the word ‘create:’ each week students will learn about a new skill set for songwriting: create, repeat, evolve, artists, team and encore. Belmont songwriting faculty Drew Ramsey and James Elliot are part of the program’s “pep rally” which is essentially a moderator training session. They will be teaching songwriting essentials to the Quadio team. The curriculum will also include prominent guest speakers from the industry who will give advice on how to connect with other songwriters.
The program takes 100 students over Zoom to listen to a guest speaker and from there, students will be split into breakout groups to collaborate, share their creativity and improve their songwriting technique. Students will be given a prompt each week that they can then elaborate on, free to create music with little stress. As Kent explained, the club’s curriculum is both instructional and interactive. “CREATE develops each student’s songwriting fundamentals. The goal is for them to discover their creative selves in the songwriting prompts and exercises.”
The Songwriting Club allows students to explore their passion for songwriting in an educational format, which is helpful for students who are considering enrolling in a songwriting program in college. Kent and Martell said the goal is to make parents and students comfortable in pursuing a career in songwriting while also providing students with connections for jobs beyond college. Luckily for Belmont, students will have heard from Belmont faculty and will have a great “pipeline,” should they decide they want to pursue a collegiate songwriting program.
This fall, the club runs for six weeks from September 17 to October 22. For more information or to sign up, see Quadio’s High School Songwriting Club website here.