Songwriting Tips, News & More

Top 10 Songs Remembering John F Kennedy

Posted by Jessica Brandon on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @09:42 AM

By Jessica Brandon

Top 10 Songs Remembering John F Kennedy

Where were you on November 22, 1963? I wished I can say where I was, but I wasn't born yet. However, In remembrance of the sad day 50 years ago when John F. Kennedy was assasinated, here's a look at 10 Songs remembering John F. Kennedy, some songs are also honoring the late president:


"Life in a Northern Town" - Dream Academy (1985)


"The Day John Kennedy Died" - Lou Reed (1982)


"Sympathy for the Devil" - The Rolling Stones (1968)


"He Was a Friend of Mine" - The Byrds (1965)


Bob Dylan, 'Chimes of Freedom'




"Civil War" - Guns N' Roses (1990)


"Brain of J" - Pearl Jam (1998)


"Born in the 50's" - The Police (1978)


Otis Spann, 'Sad Day in Texas'


The Beach Boys, 'Warmth of the Sun'


Do you have a song Remembering John F Kennedy? If so, we would like to hear from you, please post your YouTube or Soundcloud URL in the comment box.


For more information on the USA Songwriting Competition, visit:



Tags: Song writing, Songwriting, Bob Dylan, John F Kennedy, jfk, Dream Academy, songs about jfk, The Beach Boys, Otis Spann, Pearl Jam, Lou Reed, jfk songs, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Guns N' Roses

Songwriters For Typhoon Haiyan Survivors

Posted by Jessica Brandon on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 @02:49 PM

Songwriters For Typhoon Haiyan Survivors

The world's leading Songwriting Competition - USA Songwriting Competition launched a campaign "Songwriters For Super Typhoon Haiyan" on Saturday. Millions of people in the Philippines need our help. The massive storm has caused catastrophic damage throughout the island nation.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and are in urgent need of food, water and shelter.

USA Songwriting Competition and Mercy Corps has launched immediate relief efforts to help meet these critical humanitarian needs of survivors and is accepting donations to help survivors.

Let's join us in supporting this important work. Together, we can help families devastated by this disaster survive and rebuild their lives. Information:

Tags: songwriter, song writer, Typhoon Haiyan, Survivors

Music Industry's Top 10 Music Colleges

Posted by Jessica Brandon on Tue, Nov 05, 2013 @12:08 PM

The Hollywood Reporter released a ranking of America's 10 Best Music Schools last week based on a survey of academic and entertainment insiders - including composers, arrangers, music supervisors, editors and engineers. In reverse order, they are:

10. Royal College Of Music (London, UK)
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, England. The college regularly ranks as one of the world's leading conservatoires.
Notable Alumni: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Julian Bream (One of the Greatest Classical Guitarist of all time), James Horner (Composer for "Titantic"), Gustav Holst, L.A. Philharmonic CEO Deborah Borda

The California Institute of the Arts, colloquially called CalArts, is a university located in Valencia, in Los Angeles County, California. It was incorporated in 1961 as the first degree-granting institution of higher learning in the United States created specifically for students of both the visual and the performing arts. It is authorized by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) to grant Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in the visual, performing, and as of 1994, literary arts. The Herb Alpert School of Music was accredited in 2009 to grant a Doctor of Musical Arts.
The school was founded and created by Walt Disney in the early 1960s and staffed by a diverse array of professionals. The institute was started as Disney's dream of an interdisciplinary "Caltech of the arts." CalArts provides a collaborative environment for a diversity of artists. Students are free to develop their own work (over which they retain control and copyright) in a workshop atmosphere, as respected members of a community of artists in which authority is constantly tested and where teaching works through persuasion rather than coercion. Intercultural exchange among artists helps in practicing and understanding of the art making process in the broadest context possible.
Notable Alumni: Jeremy Wall (of Spyro Gyra), Ravi Coltrane, The Airborne Toxic Event's Noah Harmon

The New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, Massachusetts, is the oldest independent school of music in the United States.[3]
The conservatory, located on Huntington Avenue of the Arts near Boston Symphony Hall, is home each year to 750 students pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies along with 1400 more in its Preparatory School as well as the School of Continuing Education. At the collegiate level, NEC offers the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts, as well as the Undergraduate Diploma, Graduate Diploma, and Artist Diploma. Also offered are five-year joint double-degree programs with Harvard University and Tufts University.
Notable Alumni: Neal E. Boyd (Top winner of "America's Got Talent), Cecil Taylor, Sarah Caldwell

All students attend on full scholarship and admission is extremely competitive in the Curtis Institute of Music. It is a conservatory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., that offers courses of study leading to a performance Diploma, Bachelor of Music, Master of Music in Opera, or Professional Studies Certificate in Opera.
Notable Alumni: Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, James Adler, Lukas Foss (USA Songwriting Competition Finalist, 2004)

The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development is one of 18 divisions within New York University and is the oldest professional school of education in the United States. It was known as New York University School of Education till 2001.
Notable Alumni: Elmer Bernstein, Wayne Shorter, Alan Menken

The Eastman School of Music is a music conservatory located in Rochester, New York. The Eastman School is a professional school within the University of Rochester. It was established in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.
Notable Alumni: Renée Fleming, Ron Carter, Jeff Beal

UCLA has departments of Ethnomusicology, Music and Musicology
Notable Alumni: John Williams, Randy Newman, Angel Blue

Known as the Granddaddy of all music colleges in America, The Juilliard School located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, United States, is a performing arts conservatory which was established in 1905. It is identified informally as simply Juilliard and currently trains about 800 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music. It is widely regarded to be one of the world's finest and most prestigious arts programs.
Notable Alumni: Barry Manilow, Henry Mancini, Miles Davis, Philip Glass, Nina Simone, Marvin Hamlisch, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Giacchino

The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, founded in 1884 and dedicated in 1999, is one of the premier[citation needed] music schools in the United States. Founded only four years after the University of Southern California itself, the Thornton School is the oldest continually operating arts institution in Southern California.[1] The School is located in the heart of the USC University Park Campus, south of downtown Los Angeles.
Notable Alumni: Jerry Goldsmith, Marilyn Horne, Marco Beltrami


Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known primarily as the world's foremost institute for the study of jazz and modern American music.
Notable Alumni: Quincy Jones, John Mayer, Branford Marsalis, Al Di Meola, Melissa Etheridge, Keith Jarrett, Claude Kelly, Diana Krall, Paula Cole, Howard Shore


For more infromation on the USA Songwriting Competition, visit: 




Tags: Berklee, Music Industry, Top 10, Music Colleges, USC, UCLA, Juilliard, Curtis Institute

Musicians: 7 Steps to Creating a Perfect Music Page for Your Website

Posted by Jessica Brandon on Tue, Nov 05, 2013 @11:26 AM

7 Steps to Creating a Perfect Music Page for Your Website

by Dave Cool 


 Music Play Button

When it comes to having music on your website, installing a site-wide music player or embedding a player on your Homepage just isn’t enough. Remember, your website is your main hub on the Internet. If there’s any place that fans should be able to find all of your music, lyrics, and some free downloads, it’s on your own website.

Create a dedicated Music page as part of the main menu on your site, then follow these 7 steps to give fans a great experience, plus collect emails and generate sales in the process:

1. Have a PLAY button

It sounds obvious, but we still come across band websites where there isn’t a single play button. Don’t simply post the image of your album cover with a purchase link. Let your fans preview all of your songs, including at least 2-3 full songs. Your website isn’t the iTunes store, give fans something more than they would get anywhere else.


2. Offer Free Digital Downloads

Speaking of giving more to your fans through your website, offer a free downloadable song on your Music page. Even better than that, offer free songs in exchange for their email address. Getting a fan’s email is worth much more than getting $0.99 for a song download. That way you can keep in touch with them over the long term to let them know about upcoming shows, new music, new merch, etc.


3. Have Digital Downloads for Sale

Don’t simply send fans away to iTunes to buy your music. You should have ecommerce setup on your own site where you can offer digital downloads for sale. This way you get to keep the majority of the money, plus collect their email addresses (shameless plug: with Bandzoogle’s Album feature, you can offer downloads for free, pay-what-you-want, or set the price, and you keep 100% of any sales).


4. Have Physical Option(s)

Don’t believe the hype, there is still a demand for physical merch. Pledgemusic revealed that 82% of the pledges are going to physical product. So besides digital music, you should also offer physical options for your albums.


Signed CDs and special edition vinyls are great for your super fans who want a little something more. (shameless plug #2: with Bandzoogle's Store feature, you can offer physical merch for sale, and again, keep 100% of the sales, $10 million and counting).


5. Include Lyrics

Did you know that people search for “lyrics” just as much as “sex” on Google? With digital downloads and streaming, gone are the album/CD jackets with lyrics, but clearly fans still want to see the lyrics somewhere. So on your Music page, be sure to also include lyrics for your songs.


Another option is to create a “Lyrics” submenu page for your Music section and post all of your lyrics there. Just make sure that fans can find them on your website.


6. Add Album Info & Description

Another important element to add to your music page is info about the albums/songs. When/where was it recorded? With who? What was the inspiration behind the creation of the album? How was the experience? Why are you excited about it? Give your fans some context, let them read the story about your music while they’re listening to it, it might help inspire them to buy it.


7. Offer Other Purchase Options

Although you should emphasize selling music through your own website, some people simply prefer to buy through stores that they’re familiar with. So at the bottom of your Music page, include links to stores like iTunes and Amazon, but don’t bring more attention to them than that.


Some artists have large calls-to-action sending people directly to iTunes to buy their music, but again, your focus should be on selling directly to your fans and getting most of the money, and more importantly, collecting email addresses to stay in touch with those fans.


This is a guest post by musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle. With Bandzoogle, musicians can easily build their website and manage their direct-to-fan marketing and sales. For more website tips, check out their blog and follow them on Twitter at @Bandzoogle

For more information on the USA Songwriting Competition, visit:

Tags: Create, music page, musician page, Digital Downloads, CD