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A note from Sage

Summer School News: Registration is open! And, the age ranges for Emma’s (poetry, memoir, and story writing), Conner’s (playwriting) and Jane’s (creative food writing) classes have all been lowered from 11–14 to 9–14. You can register for these classes and more here.

Hello, readers of Stone Soup!

I’m Sage, a current Stone Soup intern, and I am writing today to remind you that Stone Soup publishes original musical compositions on its blog, and to encourage you—whether or not you have experience composing—to consider trying to make and record your own song.

When I was nine, I decided to write a group of songs as a present for my cousin’s birthday. I had composed little pieces here and there before, but this was probably the first time I had actually set out to create my own music. It was an amazing experience! I assembled a group of family and friends: my brother, his violin teacher, and my mom’s cousin. They played various instruments while I played the piano and sang. I loved being able to “conduct”—directing everyone when and what to play.

Even though composing music can seem intimidating, I encourage all of you to try! And if it’s possible, I would highly recommend collaborating with other people when you compose music. It’s so much fun, and there are so many more options and possibilities for your songs.

A few things to keep in mind as you sit down to compose:

  1. Songs don’t have to have lyrics to convey messages or tell stories. In fact, sometimes purely instrumental songs give a sense of emotion better than words ever could. The theme music in movies is often wordless, and yet it can evoke fear, glory, sadness, and many other feelings. For instance, the theme song to the movie Jaws totally makes listeners on edge and fearful. The music sets the scene for a villain to appear and pounce on the protagonist—a kind of foreshadowing without any writing involved!
  2. When you’re composing music, try to think about the goal of your song. What do you want your listeners to take away from it? Do you want to write an eye-opening song or just a fun, danceable tune? Of course, sometimes you just want to mess around with notes and melodies—and that’s perfectly fine too, especially if you’re new to this! But if you’re really trying to impact somebody with your song, keep your ultimate goal in the back of your mind.
  3. If you want to compose a piece but don’t know where to begin, something I find really helpful is a theme. For example, when I was writing the songs for my cousin, I had to write them about topics she would find interesting, such as herself and our family. Her birthday also served as a deadline to keep me motivated.
  4. Finally, COVID-19 has limited us in many ways, but it has also made us more aware of ways to virtually connect. This is a great time to compose music with a friend who lives somewhere distant! If you’re a writer, team up with somebody who plays an instrument—you could write lyrics, and they could write the melody! Again, collaborating on compositions is such a fun way to socialize.

There are so many different types and styles of music; I truly believe there is something for everyone. Hopefully, you feel inspired to start or continue creating your own music and share it with the world. And remember, if you like what you create, we encourage you to submit your work to the Stone Soup Blog.

Have fun composing!

Book Contest 2021

For information on submitting to the Stone Soup Book Contest 2021, please click here.

To submit your manuscript, please visit our submittable site.

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

Young Blogger Leah Musak wrote a stunning poem, “Broken America Must Rise.”

Young Blogger Madeline Cleveland reviewed Ivan Doig’s 2006 historical fiction novel, The Whistling Season.

Young Blogger Dylan Scrivener wrote a beautiful story composed mostly of dialogue, “Tig and Lomster.”

Aditi, 12, wrote a poem about hope for a new beginning.

Tarin, 13, drew a beautiful depiction of COVID's impact.Writing classes and Book Club

Writing classes and Book Club

Are you looking for classes to inspire, improve, and practice your writing with great teachers and a group of like-minded young writers and readers? Join us! We do charge fees for our clubs and workshops, but we try to keep them as low as possible, and we offer discounts to subscribers and scholarships to students who need them. Contact us at education@stonesoup.com with any questions.

Writing Workshop: we have two writing groups for spring/summer that meet via Zoom every Saturday except for William's class that does not meet for the last Saturday of the month. Come write with us and share your work with your peers. Find out more and register for a workshop at Eventbrite. To see some of the great work produced by current workshop members, read contributions published at Stonesoup.com, or join us at one of our free public readings!

Book Club: a book club for writers that meets via Zoom on the last Saturday of every month. Find out more and register for book club at Eventbrite. Check out which books we are reading on our website.

Young Author’s Studio Summer Camps: we are offering a wide range of classes through the summer jointly with the Society of Young Inklings. Each camp runs for two hours per day, Monday through Thursday. All details and bookings via Society of Young Inklings.

Eli NimchonokFrom Stone Soup
November 2020

The Mental Mind Music

By Eli Nimchonok, 6 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

The mind is birthed in the day
but in the night it is silent

Every day the mind has a memory
and removes the math

When the mind music comes
you hum.

Read work from our current issue.

Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's Advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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