Judges connect students' song to first prize

St Pius X Adamstown students with the $5000 songwriting prize cheque (MNnews.Today)

Talented students from a Maitland-Newcastle Catholic school won a national songwriting competition for a tune that encourages teens to put down devices and connect with loved ones. Source: MNnews.Today.

By Lizzie Snedden, MNnews.Today

St Pius X High School in Adamstown won the Australian Children’s Music Foundation’s Songwriting School of the Year award for 2019 for its song, Unplug and Connect.

The song impressed the ACMF’s judges, who said "it's such a beautiful song, the lyrics spoke to us."

The song was co-written by year 7 students Cooper Lloyd and Frankie Parris, who are in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese’s gifted education program, known as the Virtual Academy. As part of the Virtual Academy curriculum, students were tasked with developing a product that improved something in society that they felt strongly about.

Frankie and Cooper composed a song highlighting the impact that technology is having on their generation.

"We're trying to tell people to get off their screens, get outside and spend time with their loved ones for the benefit of their health," Cooper said. "There's a heap of technology, and people are glued to it.

"Every day we see people with headphones in their ears crossing the road not paying attention."

The pair said they were concerned about the impact this may be having on some teens' mental health, with a tendency for many to compare themselves to other people's digital media image.

"With social media, you can become trapped in a world where you think, 'Am I good enough?' "Frankie said. "It can be damaging."

The $5000 prize money was awarded to the school and will be spent on new instruments.

"The school gave a lot to us in the recording process and in support, so it's good to know they're getting it back with new instruments," Frankie said.

"We're very proud," Cooper said.


St Pius X awarded school national songwriting winners (MNnews.Today

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