THE STRANGEFISH SONG COMPETITION

for UK Primary Schools 2017

This is Zara.

She’s a professional Composer, Musical Director, Writer and Music & Theatre Educator.

She’d really like to have a quick word about an exciting competition she thinks you might be interested in, if you’ve got a minute (and it’s literally a minute, promise).

Press play, and she’ll fill you in!

Questions?

No problem. Just click on the little plus button in each question box and the answers will be revealed!

WHO CAN ENTER THE SONG COMPETITION?

If you are a Primary School based in the UK with a group of students you’d like to take through this process who are between Year 3 & Year 6, then this is the place for you.

If you teach on an International School Primary years programme and would be interested in purchasing access to the Creative Clubhouse, please drop me a line. Entry to the competition is, however, restricted to Primary Schools in the UK (Sorry about that!).

ARE THERE SPECIAL AGE CATEGORIES?

No. The judging parameters we set up for this competition will all be based around creativity, imagination and approach rather than things like musical ability, literacy or speed of learning, which completely levels the playing field. In fact, we won’t even need you to let us know which age group you are working with at all. Of course those things are important, but simply by taking part in processes like this, all those skills are automatically enhanced and developed anyway – it’ll happen without anyone even noticing!

ARE THERE ANY OTHER ADVANTAGES TO THE NO-CATEGORY THING?

There certainly are! You might, for example, be a school with a choir that’s made up of children from across all the year groups – this happened with one of my projects featured in the film below. This means that you would be able to work on this project with them as a whole group which, aside from being really fun, makes space for that rare occurrence, where your students get to work collaboratively on creative work with people outside of their own age group.

WHO'S GOING TO DECIDE IF WE WIN?

I have selected a very exciting panel of specialist industry judges who are going to help me finalise the shortlist from all of your entries. You’ll be introduced to them in the Clubhouse over the next few weeks, as they’re all very excited to pop in and say hello, so keep an eye out!

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFO ABOUT ZARA?

Well, if you scroll to the bottom of the page, there’s a green link button which will take you to the important stuff, like my education work credits and so on, and just before that there are a couple of short videos along with one or two lovely words that some very nice people have said about working with me.

But if you want to know even more than that, you’re in the right place as you are already on my website so if you follow the page links** at the top you’ll be able to have a good ‘ole nosey around to your heart’s content!

**To get back here, there’s a special menu in the footer section at the bottom of each page. Or just use your browser back button.

IS THERE A FEE TO ENTER?

There’s a small one-off administrative entry fee of £10.65 per school.

Excitingly though, this will grant you unlimited access to the Creative Clubhouse, which is our special private members area. Your payment transaction will automatically generate your log in details, giving you instant access to loads of cool resources, freebies, tips and tricks, as well as everything you need to know about how to submit your entry.

As a special bonus, you will be able to send in an optional extra competition entry for free. So if you have two groups or two classes who have different ideas, or who are working on specific projects, then you can take full advantage of the opportunity to involve all of them at no extra cost.

Sidenote: I’m sure you can understand that this small charge is really just to support the administrative and running costs for the project – I promise I’ve tried to keep it as low as I possibly can. And I hope you’ll agree that with all that’s on offer it’s excellent value for money.

WHAT'S THE GRAND PRIZE?

The winning group will receive:

  • Their own original song, created from their ideas.
  • A full piano vocal score (via pdf download).
  • Instrument parts (if required), fully scored (pdf download).
  • Easy-to-use teaching and rehearsal tracks (mp3 downloads) with melody lines, harmony and/or counterpoint parts highlighted.
  • Fully orchestrated backing track for performance (which will also incorporate any bespoke arrangement requests they have surrounding any live instrument requirements).
  • Their song will be published for sale so that other schools and children can have access to material written by children for children.
  • Their school will receive a royalty commission for any sales that are generated.
  • They will also get to design the cover artwork for the finished track.
  • Finally – they’ll win an exclusive half-day workshop with me in their school (on anything they want!)**

**You can’t actually book me for this sort of work any more, so that bit of the prize is a total one-off!

ARE THERE ANY OTHER PRIZES?

Yes! There will be five runner-up groups who will each receive:

  • Their own original song, created from their ideas.
  • A full piano vocal score (via pdf download).
  • Easy-to-use teaching and rehearsal tracks (via mp3 downloads) with melody lines, harmony and/or counterpoint parts highlighted.
  • Fully orchestrated backing track for performance (via mp3 download).
  • Their song will be published for sale so that other schools and children can have access to material written by children for children.
  • Their school will receive a royalty commission for any sales that are generated.
I DON'T REALLY HAVE TIME - IS THERE A LOT TO DO?

This is the good bit: Because I completely understand the incredible demands that are constantly placed on your time, the last thing I want to do is make that worse, so, with that in mind, all you will need to send me is one page of words, one page of pictures (uploaded to an online form) and an optional one minute of video (via private youtube link – I’ll explain how, if you don’t know, so don’t worry).

AND you will have between now and Friday 1st December to do it!

And in terms of what those words, pictures and videos need to contain, there are a few parameters, but all will be revealed once you’re in the Clubhouse. What you definitely won’t have to send me, however, is any sort of fully structured song lyric, or any completely formed piece of music – those things are going to be asssigned to my department. All I want from you guys is IDEAS! Easy!

So basically, all I want you to do is spend the next few weeks, generating as much creative stuff as you can, whenever you can, and then at the end of November, decide, with your group what your favourite ideas are, collate them, send them in. That’s it!

 

WHAT ON EARTH IS STRANGEFISH?

Strangefish Creative is the name I use for all the production, video, media, online, music, arts and creative projects that I produce myself. It’s sort of the way I separate my ‘in-house’ stuff from my other professional theatre/arts engagements and commissions, if that makes sense. Since it’s also where my publishing store is eventually going to be hosted, I thought it made perfect sense for this particular project to be a Strangefish one.

SO ISN'T THERE A STRANGEFISH WEBSITE?

Because I want you to have instant access to all you need to know about me and my work before deciding whether or not to sign up, I decided to put the page on my personal website so that you don’t have to do loads of clicking back and forth, because, well, that’s really annoying isn’t it?

Sidenote: Also, the Strangefish Creative website is currently in the midst of a lovely little makeover (it’s a virtual building site over there!), so at the moment the view’s much nicer over here at zaranunn.com!

WHAT'S THIS CREATIVE CLUBHOUSE?

The Creative Clubhouse, is our special private members area.

Here you’ll be able to find answers to all the whats, wheres and hows of regarding the competition itself.  More excitingly though, you’ll have unlimited access to a tonne of resources directly from my bag of tricks that will be packaged in bite-sized chunks so you can absorb it all gradually and dip in and out whenever you like, without ever taking too much time out of your day.

These will include things like: idea, story and music generating exercises, workshop and project plans, videos, music files, case studies, and more. This resource pot will be topped up with new stuff every week or so, right up until the closing date.

In other words, it will contain all the things you will need to help generate your competition entry. How cool is that?

 

HOW LONG CAN I USE IT FOR?

The Clubhouse will be open until the end of February 2018, so you’ll have plenty of time to take your pick of the goodies and download anything you want to keep for use in the future.

 

I'D LOVE TO ENTER MY SCHOOL, BUT HAVEN'T THE FIRST IDEA WHERE TO START!

Don’t worry about a thing! You’ll find heaps of ideas in the Clubhouse to help you get started and I’m also going to run a couple of special CPD sessions for teachers (one up North, one down South!), where I’ll take you through a condensed version of one of my devising song workshops (which will be a lot of fun), so you might want to sign up for one of those.

CAN WE BE A MEMBER OF THE CREATIVE CLUBHOUSE AND NOT ENTER THE COMPETITION?

You certainly can…but do you really want to? Where’s the fun in that?

As I said, the second your admin fee is processed, you’ll be a member of the club, so it’s entirely up to you what you take advantage of. There’ll certainly be plenty of useful stuff to cherry-pick from even if you think the competition itself is not for you.

Although… I’d really, really love it if you had a go anyway! Can’t hurt can it?

And the best thing is, because you’ll get to design your approach, there are none of the normal scary or intimidating rules to contend with.

Go on… give it a go…you know you want to…

OK, I'M INTERESTED. WHAT NOW?

Easy. See the big green ‘Sign Me Up!’ button?

Give it a little click, follow the instructions – and Bob’s your Uncle!

I’ll see you inside! Hooray!

P.s. There’s a bit more info below it though, if you want to see more, and don’t worry – there’s another green button at the bottom of the page!

COMPETITION CLOSING:

Day(s)

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Hour(s)

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Minute(s)

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Second(s)

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY (SONG COMPETITION)

Strangefish Song Competition Closing Date: Friday 1st December 2017 (23.59)

Strangefish Song Shortlist Announcement: Friday 12th January 2018

Strangefish Song Finalist Announcement: Friday 26th January 2018

Strangefish Song Grand Prize Winner Announcement: Friday 2nd February 2018

CPD BOOKING CLOSING:

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY (CPD TEACHER WORKSHOPS)

Earlybird booking for Teachers’ Worksho: NOW OPEN

Earlybird booking for Teachers’ Workshop closes: Friday 29th September 2017  **EXTENDED**

NOW CLOSING:  WEDNESDAY 4TH OCTOBER (23.59)

Full price booking for Teachers’ Workshop closes: Friday 27th October 2017 (23.59) (or until all places are filled)

Teachers’ Workshop 1 (London): Tuesday 7th November 2017*

Teachers’ Workshop 2 (Leeds): Thursday 9th November 2017*

Sidenote: When you fill out your registration, you’ll be asked to tick a little survey box to let us know if you’re interested in taking part in the Teacher Workshop (it’s just a quick ‘yay’ or ‘nay’). Early-bird bookings are now open until Wednesday 4th October, with full-price booking subsequently open until 27th October, but final confirmation of the venues will only happen when/if we reach the minimum of 9 participants needed in order for the sessions to actually take place. It would be great, therefore, if you could register your interest sooner rather than later! It’ll be a fun one, promise! (There is more info about these sessions once you’re inside, if you’re not quite sure).

Further info, testimonials and contact

This is a short film about one of the bespoke projects I was commissioned to deliver a few years ago. It formed part of a collection of work I put together between 2008 and 2010 under the name ‘Idle Chatter Theatre Company’.  It’s a devising model I’ve used repeatedly in my work over the years, and hearing directly from the children and teachers about their experiences will give you an insight into the effect working with these kinds of processes has on everyone involved.

I’ve included this film here to give you an example of some of my writing for children. It was actually selected for competition in the Little Angel Theatre ‘Puppets on Film’ film festival back in 2012. The difficult (and slightly delayed) second track follow-up is due for release in 2018 (we promise, don’t we Simon?)

What Zara does so brilliantly is to somehow put people at their ease whilst pushing them further than they ever thought they could go. I’ve heard singers go from making a timid cackle to belting out a gorgeous harmony over the course of one session. And everyone who takes part can feel that change too.

Joyce Branagh

Director, Writer

Zara Nunn can take a room full of varied talent, skills and interest and harness it into gold – she’s the Rumpelstiltskin of singing!

Sherri Sutton

Stand-up Comic, Writer, Theatre Educator

Zara has an extraordinary talent for getting non-singers singing. She has given hundreds of our students the confidence to sing in public as well as to write and perform their own material.

Dr. Gareth White

Senior Lecturer in Applied Theatre and Community Performance, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

Zara’s creative energy is contagious, as is her love of music. Working with her allowed me and my students the opportunity to push ourselves in creating, rehearsing and performing pieces of music in a short span of time…and loving it!

Alan Hayes

Drama Coordinator, The International School of Brussels

For a little look at my Visiting Professional & Education work credits follow this link. Because there are quite a few, the page will open in another tab, so you don’t lose your place.

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