International Songwriting Camp – round-up by Lauren Rycroft

By Lauren Rycroft


In November 2017, BA (Hons) Music (Popular) student Lauren Rycroft along with four fellow LCoM undergraduates; Henry Bateman, Tamzene Allison-Power, Will Pollard, and Ingrid Schwartz, travelled to Haarlem, Netherlands for the International Songwriting Camp. Here Lauren gives us a round-up of their week working alongside fellow songwriters and musicians from around the world.

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DAY 1:

We arrived in Haarlem last night, and this morning we were given our own bicycles to get around and explore! We spent most of the day looking around Amsterdam, before the writing and music making begins tomorrow.  

After a crazy day of sightseeing and sample cheese tasting, we met the rest of the camp participants over a BBQ. We made new friends from all over the world, thanks to free burgers and beers (and a shared passion for writing for songwriting of course!)

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DAY 2:

This morning consisted of socialising with our new friends and filling up on the breakfast buffet to prep for the cycle to work. At 9am sharp we all left in a mass group of 50, Haarlem didn’t know what had hit it!

Our first proper day of the songwriting camp was jam-packed full of activities. After meeting our groups, we chose our pitches and made a start on creating. We also had a masterclass with Berklee College of Music’s Bonnie Hayes, who taught us how to make the most out of collaborating.

We decided to celebrate a successful first day (and Halloween) with a tasty Italian and some music at a famous local jam bar. Lots of fun!

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DAY 3:

We’ve all been hard at work today! My team’s song is shaping up nicely, having got the vocals and track down. It has been great exploring Conservatorium Haarlem, it’s huge and the facilities are great.

We honestly do more than eat and drink, but it’s Henry’s 21st birthday so of course pizza and beers are in order! The celebrations are a welcome relief from the mid-week busyness.

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DAY 4:

My group spent most of today and this evening finishing off the track and making it the best it can be. Nerves and excitement can be felt across the conservatoire, as everyone has been racing to finalise their song for the big day tomorrow.

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DAY 5:

THE BIG DAY! We made our way to the beautiful Philharmonie Haarlem, where everyone’s songs were played to a panel of judges from major and indie record and publishing labels. Every song was incredible - and a few lucky groups even went away with the promise of their songs being pitched to artists – success!

We said goodbye to our new international friends, which was sad… but now it’s time to get back to Leeds and take on board everything we have learnt at the International Songwriting Camp 2017!

By Lauren Rycroft

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