Indie star strikes chord with young South Tyneside musicians

Students at South Shields School work on their song lyrics with chart topping indie-star Rich Cottell.
Students at South Shields School work on their song lyrics with chart topping indie-star Rich Cottell.

A chart-topping indie singer struck a chord with South Tyneside students during a masterclass in music and melody.

Young musicians at South Shields School were inspired to put pen to paper to compose their own lyrics with the help of singer songwriter Rich Cottell.

We have a number of students within school who have an incredible raw talent

Mathew McGuire

Rich, who was a music teacher before breaking onto the indie-pop scene, has appeared on the BBC’s Spotlight television show and supported major artists including The Wanted and pop sensation Conor Maynard. 

Music teacher Mathew McGuire, who invited Rich along to the school, said: “This is the first song writing masterclass that we have held with our Year 9, 10 and 11 music students.

“I wanted them to understand how they could grow in confidence by expressing themselves through music and lyrics.

“Rich was amazing with them, working on words, rhymes, melodies and chords and in total they managed to create six songs, one from each group, which the students then performed with Rich accompanying them on guitar.”

South Shields School is in the process of establishing a growing music culture with the formation of a new school choir and school band.

An after school club also allows students to learn to play a musical instrument or take part in singing and song writing classes.

Mr McGuire, said: “We have a number of students within school who have an incredible raw talent, which if polished could take them a long way.

“There are a number of fantastic singers and passionate musicians who could go on to have great musical careers and I am looking forward to bringing all that talent together in a fantastic end of year show.”