Annual Copycat Challenge bids to help teachers help music creators

The Annual Copycat Challenge encourages teachers to log music-related data, ensuring music creators are fairly paid when their work is used

A new initiative, the Annual Copycat Challenge, has been launched in a bid to ensure music creators are fairly paid when their work is used in schools.

The challenge will run from 20-24 June, encouraging teachers across the country to log their music-related data by way of a variety of prizes, including a chance to attend the Ivor Novello Awards (essentially, the Oscars for songwriters) in 2023.

The initiative is being organised by Every Copy Counts, the data collection strategy for the Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML).

“The SPML makes copying and arranging music for educational purposes a simple process,” said Abigail D’Amore, the music education consultant and Every Copy Counts director leading the campaign.

“This is hugely beneficial for schools, but, in order to comply with the rules of the licence, teachers are required to log the music they are using. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness, this data simply isn’t being captured effectively, resulting in hundreds of musicians suffering financial loss.”

Thus, the push to galvanise the mass inputting of sheet music usage data from schools across the country.

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“We know that teachers are under a huge amount of pressure and don’t have a lot of time, so the Annual Copycat Challenge is designed to be a fun way to help teachers ensure their school complies with the terms of the SPML while playing their part supporting the music publishing industry and enabling composers and songwriters to make a living from their art,” added D’Amore.

Participants are asked to collect data for each work used in school this year, specifically:

  • Composer or arranger
  • Title of work
  • Title of book
  • Music publisher
  • Print publisher

Anyone wanting to take part can sign up via this page on the Every Copy Counts website, submitting their data during the Annual Copycat Challenge. Help will be able from the Every Copy Counts team throughout the week, which will also see the launch of a free mixed-ensemble arrangement for schools by Bobbie-Jane Gardner, composer and teacher at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

“By logging their data,” said D’Amore, “teachers will gain access to a fun-packed programme of online events and interactive content, bringing together music creators, leading educators and industry experts to bring the world of printed music to life.”

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