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Song Seeds – Growing Music by Rosie Bans, Glasgow Walking Tour Blog

We’d like to thank our guest blogger, musician, songwriter and producer, Rosie Bans, for taking the time to write about Song Seeds, the songwriting retreat she set up with Becci Wallace and which now runs online, the next one is from 21st-24th September. Read on to find out more about this brilliant project.

a close up of food

Creatives working in captivity: has lockdown allowed us to be more connected than ever before?

I am Rosie Bans and I am one of the co-founders of SongSeeds Online Songwriting Retreats. These retreats provide a unique environment where established and emerging songwriters have the chance to share, collaborate, experiment and perform and we are delighted to have opened our digital doors this month to take applications for our first (of many!) songwriting retreats!

a person sitting in front of a building

Alongside my creative partner Becci Wallace I wanted to create a space for songwriters to connect and work together, particularly throughout lockdown. Myself and Becci have been both organizers and participants at numerous in-real-life writing retreats before and we both agree that they are powerful tools that can enhance your songwriting career. The community and personal connections you make on a retreat can last years and and ultimately make you a happier more rounded artist.

When lockdown descended upon us Becci quickly jumped on the idea of setting up a Facebook Group called ‘Songs From Lockdown’ where we invite songwriters to complete a task each week in order to keep creating music. The group grew rapidly and is now at almost 200 songwriters. It was also featured on BBC Radio Scotland on both the Janice Forsyth Show and Roddy Hart Show and was a key player in helping us secure a funding grant from Creative Scotland to formally launch SongSeeds. But the main thing was it proved to us that even an online environment can be a creative petri dish and along with community support, artists can still thrive even when in lockdown inside their homes.

Of course, not all artists are created equal with some having more means than others. Art should be accessible to all and not kept behind the barrier of money. Anyone wanting to participate in the arts should be able to do so and not dependent on their bank account or circumstance. SongSeeds made a point of being able to offer the experience of a retreat to songwriters at an incredibly low and affordable price, which is only happening due to the support we have gratefully received from Creative Scotland.

For younger, less experienced writers, namely 16 to 25 year olds, can apply for a fully funded bursary place and join us and the group of writers to participate and share as peers. Becci always says that “The craft of songwriting can provide insight into ourselves” which I wholeheartedly agree with.

There has been a huge surge of creativity as a response to how artists are feeling during the Covid crisis. Lockdown has hit the music industry hard which is why spaces and projects that are accessible, nurturing and developmental for artists are becoming more and more important. The irony is, the artistic community in Scotland may very well be more creatively productive that ever before, but with infrastructure, music venues and theatres, struggling what do we do with all this new and powerful work we have created? Where do we platform and share it? I think we have a very interesting and difficult few years ahead but I know people and I know artists, one thing they do best, together, they always make it work somehow!


SongSeeds Online Songwriting Retreats
Next retreat: 21st – 24th September 2020 (continuing to run every second month)
Taking place over Zoom
Price: £50 per person with 2 fully funded bursary places available
Apply for bursary place: