Category Archives: Song Writing

Multi Award-Winning Songwriter for Britany, Kylie and Perry to Visit the Institute London

On Wednesday 13th March 2013 the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and BASCA will be co-hosting a Q&A with five times Ivor Novello Award winning songwriter Cathy Dennis, at the Institute’s state of the art campus in Northwest London.

Cathy has had huge success as both a performing artist and a songwriter. She has penned eight UK Number 1 singles, including “Toxic” for Britney Spears and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” for Kylie Minogue, and two in the US -“Before Your Love” for Kelly Clarkson and “I Kissed a Girl” for Katy Perry. Cathy also co-wrote the Pop Idol theme and many of the show’s contestants have recorded her songs, including Will Young, Gareth Gates and Clay Aiken.

Cathy will be revealing the secrets of her success at this special event, which is being held exclusively for members of BASCA and students of the Institute.

Songwriting BA Programme leader Sophie Daniels commented:

“We are very pleased to welcome Cathy Dennis to the Institute as part of our ongoing relationship with BASCA. Her huge experience and success as one of the UK’s best known songwriters mean that she can offer invaluable advice and inspiration to our students.’

For further information on the Institute’s courses and events, please contact:

Cathy Dennis

Avid Releases Latest Version of Sibelius First; The Fastest, Easiest Way to Write and Share Music

New innovative design, incredible included sounds and comprehensive sharing options make Sibelius First the premiere solution for beginning notation and composition

Avid® (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced the release of Sibelius First, the easiest and most intuitive way for aspiring composers, songwriters, arrangers and students to write and share music.

Sibelius First combines the Sibelius Student and Sibelius First notation products into a single easy-to-use, powerful, and fun music composition tool. The new Sibelius First takes advantage of the features introduced by Avid’s Sibelius 7, including a task-oriented UI specifically designed to guide you through the creative process, exceptional playback and sound quality, 64-bit technology and support for the latest operating systems—plus new video export functionality, online publishing, and direct sharing to YouTube, SoundCloud, and Facebook, and more.

Sibelius First’s standout features include:

  • Easy-to-use interface: Using Sibelius First is faster and easier than ever, thanks to a refined, task-oriented user interface that makes it possible to get great results without prior experience
  • Enter notes the way you want: Choose from scanning, transcribing, or MIDI import to quickly get your ideas into Sibelius First—now with full MusicXML interchange for transferring your music into and out of other applications
  • Exclusive Sound Library: Includes a premium sound library so you can hear your compositions played back in amazing detail on high-quality sampled instruments, and produce better quality exports
  • Full 64-bit support: Unlock the full power of your 64-bit computer, and directly address more than 4GB of RAM
  • Smart tools: no engraving or notation expertise required to get great results. Magnetic layout and dynamic parts make it easy to produce and tailor your scores to suit musicians of all kinds
  • Take your scores on the go: Sibelius First scores can be added to the score library on the Avid Scorch app (sold separately)
  • Exciting new social media and video sharing options: Users can easily export compositions as videos and publish their work to social media websites (YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook) along with traditional print, email, or audio exports

Availability and Pricing

Sibelius First software is available now for £99 GBP / €120 EURO and multi-seat 5 packs are available for £239 / €291. Current Sibelius First and Sibelius Student customers may take advantage of upgrade options for £29.99/€39.To learn more visit Sibelius online. For purchasing inquiries, please visit the Sibelius Store.

Institute Launches 2012 Shure Songwriting Award with Anna Calvi and BMI

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and Shure are delighted to announce the launch of the 2012 Shure Songwriting Award ( Also for the first time this year the competition will be supported by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). Previously judged by Amy McDonald, K.T. Tunstall, Paloma Faith and Everything Everything, this year’s competition will be judged by Anna Calvi.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Anna Calvi’s music accomplishments include being selected for the BBC’s Sound of 2011 list as well as gaining critical acclaim for her poetic filled album A Velvet Wall of Sound. This ultimately led to her Mercury Music Award and BRIT Award nominations. Her musicianship has been compared to the likes of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. Inspired by the films of David Lynch and Gus Van Sant, her music encompasses elements of mystery and cinematic effects which blends the sounds of flamenco, blues, rock and country music.

If you are a songwriter looking to make a career out of your talent, why not take part in this year’s award competition? First prize is a unique opportunity to attend, free of charge, the fantastic one-year Cert HE in Songwriting course at the Institute worth over £5,000! Studying at the Institute, you will be able to take part in regular live showcase events, professionally develop your talent and have direct access to leading industry professionals.

Institute director Paul Kirkham had this to say about the award: “We are delighted to once again be launching the Shure Songwriting Award supported by BMI. For many years now we have been committed to offering scholarships to the most talented and deserving musicians. This competition, and the course of study that the winners attend, has a fantastic reputation for developing successful songwriters and we know this year will be no different.”

To enter, all you have to do is upload an original song to the award website before 16th March 2012. You will then have four weeks to try and gain as many public votes as possible. Finally a combination of an expert panel of judges will select a top 8 and then Anna Calvi will be making her selection for this year’s winner!

This could be your chance – it could be your song chosen this year! For further details on entry guidelines, terms and conditions or for further information visit the award website, or contact the Institute directly on: