Sophie Daniels is Head of Songwriting at ICMP where she founded the songwriting provision in 2005, and where she currently leads and teaches on The Masters Programme. Previously, Sophie held roles at The BBC, Sony Music and Syco, working in music business and music TV. At ICMP, Sophie designed the songwriting non accredited provision, the professional diplomas, a BA and now the very popular and highly regarded MA Songwriting. She has also taught at many different music and music theatre schools and universities around the world and her key teaching interests are; Creative process for songwriting, Songcraft and Lyrics. Her key research interest is; Therapeutic applications for songwriting.
As a professional songwriter, Sophie travels to Nashville regularly and co-writes with singer/songwriters in Folk, Pop and Americana.
In 2018, Sophie appeared at the Houses of Parliament and thus began performing as singer/songwriter ‘Liberty’s Mother’, which is a live music and blog project, with a not for profit EP. Developing that project has led to increased social awareness and promotional work for the APPG for Baby Loss Awareness and working with several Major UK Charities including Tommy’s and Sands.
Sophie holds professional memberships with PRS, ASCAP, NSAI and The Ivor’s Academy and is also a Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, an External Examiner for Post Graduate Study at Leeds College of Music, and a Board Director of the new UK Directory for Women in UK Music, ‘The F-List’.
Sophie’s songwriting graduates include artists such as; Daughter, Bears Den, Richard Fairlie and Denai Moore, and Writer/Producers such as; Jordan Shaw, Kaity Rae and Jessica Sharman.
“Over the last 15 years, I have been a leader in innovation in Songwriting Tuition. For the most part this has been driven by my own desire to learn about and teach advanced songcraft as it applies to contemporary and conventional song form. Nowadays my interest is in applying this experience via a more ‘big picture’ methodology which supports songwriters and musicians to manifest their intentions through a creative process and to fulfil their desired outcomes.
While an advanced understanding of songcraft is vital to my coaching practise, my overriding desire is to work with each individual in depth and to help them understand and develop their individual creative motivations, to unlock their potential and to throw off the shackles of unfounded beliefs. This allows them to access the unique and exciting work within them. We work on unfounded beliefs and fundamental questions that are not only about what is ‘the right way to write songs’ but ‘what a song is’ ‘what a song is for’ and “what can a song do?”
I have found that looking in detail at our work from a coaching perspective in this way – ‘why are we writing this song?’ – allows all the smaller decisions about ‘which word or melody works best here?’ or ‘do we need a chorus’ to simply drop into place naturally.”
Mo is a highly qualified programme director, coach, leader, writer and performer with a lifetime of experience in the arena of transformational coaching as well as storytelling, ethnography and auto-biographical theatre. Mo holds a BA in Psychology and Anthropology, an MSc in Clinical Psychology, an MA in Creative Conflict Transformation through the Arts and a number of other qualifications and training positions including 7 years as a programme leader for Landmark Education (Now Landmark Worldwide. He is currently completing a PhD in auto-biographical theatre researching the transformational potential of one person live on stage sharing their personal story.
Mo works for larger organisations facilitating leadership, coaching and team development programmes. His clients include the NHS and local government. He has clocked up more than 10,000 hours of individual, family, couple and group coaching and supervision, and over 25 years of facilitating groups and supporting individuals to find their own voice, self confidence and self expression.
Mo contributes as a guest lecturer in clinical psychology and transformation and creative coaching at several Universities including; Bristol University, Exeter University and Plymouth University. As a regular contributor to the London ICMP Masters in Songwriting Programme, Mo regularly works with post graduate students as well as well-known songwriters, artists and music professionals such as: The award winning performer, songwriter and record producer Catherine Davies (aka The Anchoress) and Americana Artist Hannah Rose Platt. He also coaches the creative and leadership team at ICMP on an ongoing basis.
His book ‘Tao – The Narrative Way’, is published on Kindle.
“I have been at the forefront of coaching since its inception in the mid 1980s, most particularly in the transformational coaching movement, and have coached over five thousand people either individually, in groups or on self-transformation programmes.
I believe that coaching is one of the single most powerful processes ever devised for releasing individual human potential, imagination and creativity. People talk about coaching as a journey of discovery. I think about it as a special kind of journey, a sacred journey, with a hallowed purpose, more akin to a pilgrimage. There is no true destination because you never reach the pinnacle of your dreams and commitments; not because you fail, but simply because your aspirations and intentions carry you ever forward on your quest for wholeness and freedom. The people involved are companions on the path. The coach is not the expert but a co-traveller, a co-explorer, a co-researcher, not an authority.
I view the coaching journey as essentially collaborative. This is expressed in the words of the Aboriginal Australian teacher and artist Leela Watson who aptly said “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Jonathan has over 15 years’ experience as a songwriter and recording artist. He is currently working as a standalone songwriter on a range of artist projects. He is also an established songwriting tutor and coach, with a primary focus on lyric writing and artist/writer development.
Jonathan is a senior member of the songwriting faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, where he has been integral to the design, management and development of songwriting education for the past 10 years. He is the Associate Dean for Academic Development and, as a member of the senior academic and executive leadership teams, is responsible for the growth and improvement of ICMP’s highly practical and entrepreneurial approach to music education.
Jonathan has run songwriting workshops at music institutions across the UK and Europe. He is currently working as a mentor on the Ivors Academy & Help Musicians Co-Pilot scheme.
You can hear Jonathan’s songs at jonathanwhiskerd.com.
My core values are centered around partnership and empowerment: these are integral to my cowriting, teaching, coaching and leadership practices. In these roles, I have worked with hundreds of writers and artists of all ages and career stages. I am committed to cultivating supportive, ambitious communities of creatives, which encourage creative risk-taking, self-reflection, ownership, accountability and continuous self-development.
I recognise every interaction – conversations, writing sessions, meetings, classes – as an opportunity to create and hold space in which individuals can challenge and resource themselves, so that they can authentically develop experience that equips them for creative and professional success.
As a leader, I have 15 years’ experience of supporting and developing creative music professionals in both the charity and education sectors as well as, of course, the music industry. I am absolutely committed to In The Blood’s values of equality, compassion and empowerment; and I believe that these values are crucial to our rapidly-evolving creative industries. More than ever, creatives need to work together to remain ambitious, focused and resilient.