ICMP students and alumni return to Nashville

Learn all about the ICMP songwriting community's latest trip to ‘Music City’...



If anywhere in the world is the home of songwriting, then it’s Nashville, known as the 'Music City' and the birthplace of country music. 

Each year, our students and alumni are invited to experience the city’s vibrant musical community firsthand through a trip organised by ICMP’s Songwriting faculty and led by Sophie Daniel’s, ICMP's Head of Songwriting. 

This year saw Sophie and Ben JonesBMus Popular Music Performance Programme Leader, make the journey across the Atlantic for the Tin Pan South Festival. 


The ICMP party numbered 20 went on the trip which is annually open to students and alumni.

Activities on the trip included:

  • Played their songs live at gigs and open mics
  • Networked, played and wrote songs with students from MTSU and Belmont - (the two big songwriting programmes at universities in Nashville)
  • Recorded songs in the studio with producers and arrangers
  • Co-wrote all day at a Nashville style studio event
  • Listened to and met and networked with the world's best songwriters at multiple events
  • Visited iconic studios and venues
  • Had talks and Q&A sessions with multiple hit songwriters


ICMP alumna Jessica Sharman, now an acclaimed songwriter in her own right, performed at the event and met with students.

She hosted a brunch where students had the chance to ask questions about the industry, then go to watch her perform at the festival.

Jessica's songwriting credits are numerous and include making country music history with country artists Ward Thomas whose second album ‘Cartwheels’  went straight to the top of the UK charts.


Sophie gave a guest lecture at Belmont University in Nashville to songwriting undergraduates in the iconic RCA studio on her research exploring 'Why We Write Songs'.

Commenting on this year's trip, she said: "As ever we had a transformational week in Nashville, the town where songs are the strongest currency and where everyone you meet is a songwriter. We attended Tin Pan South, the ultimate inspiring songwriting festival and this year the schedule was packed and we wrote more than ever."

We also heard brilliant songs played and learned the writing process behind them from the world's top writers as well as attended showcases from new records coming out and the writing and production team behind each presenting their vision."


Freya Everest, ICMP alumna, has taken part in the trip twice, describing it as "life-affirming both times".

Freya said: "This year I met Roger Cook, a man who has dedicated his life to song writing and has racked up a super impressive catalogue along the way, including the infamous Coco Cola jingle ‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke’."

"As an artist and songwriter myself, listening to this accomplished writer talk about his journey and career was totally invaluable."

This Q&A was just one highlight from a week packed with opportunities and adventure. I always leave with a refreshed sense of ambition and confidence in my own songwriting. If you can do it, go."


Tutor Ben Jones had the opportunity to simulate the recording process of a professional studio by offering students a one hour session to record and arrange one of their tracks.

Commenting, Ben said: "I worked as MD and bassist for the day alongside Ben Meyers on guitar and drums and our fantastic producer, Greg Bieck (Little Big Town, Barbara Streisand, Destiny's Child)."

"It was an incredible opportunity for students to witness and experience the speed and work level required in this area of the music industry and we managed to leave the session with six sensational tracks from six incredible artists." 

For me, it embodies the perfect union of education and industry that ICMP is known for, and we will be looking to make it a staple part of the Nashville experience going forward."


Learn more about ICMP's network of international partners and how this creates opportunities for our students and alumni.

Write songs that last for generations

A great song can become truly timeless, remembered for generations as part of the world’s cultural legacy. Whether you want to craft a killer melody or pen poetic lyrics, our tutors will teach you everything you want to know, including all the production, performance, professional and entrepreneurial skills needed to ensure that your unique creations get the recognition they deserve. You’ll also benefit from A&R-style critique sessions, collaborative opportunities, access to fully equipped live rooms, recording studios and tech suites, and a community of inspiring contacts and friends.

To catapult your songwriting and music career to a whole new level, email our friendly Admissions Team at enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Songwriting courses
by ICMP staff writer
April 19, 2023
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