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Music: Count Us In schools songwriting competition

16 Dec 2014

Music Count Us In is Australia’s biggest school initiative, with more than 500,000 participating students from over 2,100 schools nationwide. Every year, more and more students enter the Music: Count Us In Songwriting Competition in the hope of being chosen to collaborate with a well-known Australian musician and co-write the song that stops the nation. The 2015 competition is now open, with entries closing on 20th February 2015. Teachers can download the Songwriting Brief and circulate it among their students so that they can get to work on their entries over the Summer break!

Students are to work to the Brief and submit a song that would be great for half a million kids to sing. A panel of songwriters and music educators then select the best students for our Songwriting Workshop in March. Students are flown to a capital city for a one day songwriting workshop in which they work with a mentor to write the song.

For many students, especially those living in rural areas, having the opportunity to attend a musical institution or receive music lessons is practically impossible due to the cost of lessons, the availability of a teacher, the high cost of transport. I used to travel a 100km round trip once a week for a half hour guitar lesson and found this an exhausting experience. That is why programs such as Music: Count Us In are extremely important for the development of musical abilities in all children and the encouragement of participation for all in Music.
– Emily Claxton, Music: Count Us In Songwriter 2014


Music: Count Us In is run by Music Australia and is funded with the support of The Australian Government.
Every year on the same day, at the same time, half a million Australians sing and play the same song together.

Send us a song you have written that’s catchy, optimistic and upbeat. A small group of talented students will be selected for a songwriting workshop with a high-profile Australian musician, where they will write the 2015 song.

Song submissions due: 20th February 2015.

Download the Songwriting Brief

About the Music: Count Us In Song

The final song will be learned and performed by students of all ages and abilities. It must be positive, inspiring and easy to learn. It can be in any style or genre, just remember it’s got to appeal to MANY different singers and musicians in schools all over the country. Send us a submission that demonstrates your ability to write this sort of music.

Lyric themes

What would you like to hear 500,000 people singing about? You could write about issues important to Australia’s youth, such as diversity, community, being open-minded and supporting each other.

We also love submissions that talk about the value of music and education, songs about the joy of making music with each other!

Some important things to think about when writing your song

  • You may work on your own or with co-writer/s
  • Your song (or song idea) should be approximately 2-4 minutes in length
  • Keep the time signature straightforward eg 4/4, 6/8 or 2/2 etc
  • Write in beginner-friendly key signatures such as Cmaj, Fmaj and Gmaj
  • Experts tell us that a nine-note range is the maximum for most young singers
  • As a guide, use the D an octave above middle C as the highest note, with middle C as the lowest note. The final song will be written and recorded in a key that is appropriate for young children to sing
  • The song will be recorded by artist/s of Music Australia’s choosing
  • The song will be used for teaching guides and curriculum materials

Rules, payment and copyright:

  • You will be paid a fee for the use of your song in Music: Count Us In
  • All writers must be enrolled school students up to year 12
  • By entering the competition, participating in the workshop and accepting payment, you agree to Music Australia recording and using your song as the Program Song for Music: Count Us In 2015
  • You also agree to working with Music Australia to make any necessary changes to your song, with approval, to make it more appropriate for the Program

The winning writer/s will be introduced to an APRA|AMCOS memberships officer in their State or Territory, for a briefing on copyright and to supervise the registration of the winning song.

Entry details and upload instructions for your MP3 and lyric sheet are at

Submit Your Entry

Go to or contact or (02) 9519 9730 for all inquiries.


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