TikTok Is Helping Diverse Students Break Into Songwriting With a New Summer Songwriting Academy
Arts and Culture

TikTok Is Helping Diverse Students Break Into Songwriting With a New Summer Songwriting Academy

(Image: TikTok)

TikTok announced earlier this week that it is launching the Summer Songwriting Academy, a program to help students with less access to resources find the words and the platform to express the experiences and the inequalities of their communities.

Talented musicians have organically been using the social platform to share songs that have a positive impact on people in their community. TikTok states that it is committed to amplifying that impact and has made an agreement to partner with the nonprofit After-School All-Stars, as well as with music publisher Sony/ATV and Syracuse University’s Bandier Program to launch the inaugural Songwriting Academy. 

According to the press release, “The Songwriting Academy allows All-Stars students the chance to showcase their unique voice and perspective through the creation of original lyrics honed with the mentoring and coaching of industry experts. Students will work through a curriculum designed by The Bandier Program that will cover music theory, use of technology, and the business of the music industry.”

“To celebrate the Songwriting Academy, we’ve invited notable friends from our music community to share their personal success stories: Timbaland, Jozzy, Tiagz, Jack Harlow, JetsonMade, DJ Dahi, Ilsey Juber, Tainy, Anitta, Melanie Martinez and Mikey Keenan.”

According to Rolling Stone, Danny Gillick, TikTok’s senior manager of music content and label partnerships, came up with the idea after working with After-School All-Stars on COVID emergency food programs. 

“We set out to build a program to give students from underrepresented communities the opportunity to be heard and to connect with like-minded individuals in the creative community,” Gillick said in a statement. 

The program, which started on June 24, will allow artists to go LIVE each week for the next four weeks to share their content based on stories and their creative processes around some of their biggest recordings. In-app, TikTok will feature the hashtag #BehindTheSong on its Discover page for the music community to share their talent and creativity. 

“Music has a rich history in speaking out against injustice and speaking up for the rights and freedoms of all people,” said After-School All-Stars Executive Vice President of Programs Carlos Santini in a statement.

“Our after-school programs sit in the very cities that have experienced the inequities brought by COVID-19 and the ongoing racism that has yet again been exposed through police brutality and the death of George Floyd and many others in the Black community. Our collective voice will be heard in a bigger way because of this amazing collaboration.”

To view and experience the live streams, viewers can tap the TikTok Summer Songwriting Academy banner in TikTok’s Discover page or go to @afterschoolallstars on TikTok.