This year’s October ‘song week’ was centered around the topic of resilience. All of the students were split into groups and given the task of writing two songs in one week based on this topic. There were two performances at the end of the week and the audience were asked to vote for their favourite songs. 

I have been working at Orpheus for over two years as corporate partnerships fundraiser and during my time here I have been involved with the staff band. I was lucky enough to be asked to be one of the tutors for this year’s song week and I jumped at the chance. In my spare time, I have been writing songs for a number of years both with my band and on my own so I had some experience to lean on but I had never had the opportunity to work with the students for an extended period of time. I was full of nerves and excitement going into the week but my main concern was that I didn’t want to let anybody down, both our talented students and my colleagues that had shown faith in me to be able to deliver. In truth, I need not have worried! My group ‘Electric Resilience’ were an absolute joy to work with and we all collaborated so well to produce two songs that we were all really proud of.

On the first day, we listened to some songs that featured the theme of resilience and then we spent some time talking about what it meant to us and even sharing stories of our own personal experiences. To a songwriter a blank sheet of paper can be a really daunting thing so I was keen to get things kicked off, but where to start? As we were discussing the topic, Charlie said “nobody’s perfect” and that was it, we were away!

Our second song had to be about a public figure who has had to be resilient in their lives and my group decided we would write about the author J.K Rowling. We did some research into her past and discovered that she had struggled with her mental health, being a single mother and not being taken seriously as an author before writing the Harry Potter books. We decided that we wanted to use some of the themes of the Harry Potter stories in our song including a fantastic reference to the ‘Dementors’ signifying her battle with depression.

We worked on our two songs throughout the week and by the Friday we were rehearsed and ready to go. The performances were great fun and although we didn’t end up winning, we were all immensely proud of what we had produced.

Working with my group for the week was one of the best experiences I have had in my life, it left me feeling inspired and made me even prouder to be a part of Orpheus than I already was. I went in hoping that I could teach the students a few things but really, they taught me more than I taught them and I feel much more resilient for it!