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This ended March 15, 2012
DeoSound 2012 Songwriting Contest & Music Scholarships

Sing to the Lord a new song,
  for He has done marvellous things.

The DeoSound songwriting competition is back for spring 2012!

This year we have even more opportunities of special interest to younger writers: Music scholarships up to $1000. Entering is easy:

  • Compose an original Christian song, music + lyrics
  • Mark it Some rights reserved CC-BY-NC-SA, making your song free for non-commercial use with a Creative Commons license
  • E-mail your song entry along with a basic recording to Contest [at] DeoSound [dot] org

Then let God use your music to bring Life to the world!

Prizes or scholarships?

It may be a tough choice for this year's winners:

  • Up to $750 of recording studio time, plus sponsorship to attend the Songwriters' Boot Camp at the Christian Musician Summit in Buffalo, NY, or
  • A scholarship up to $1000 for you to further your Christian musical education.

If you choose studio time and the CMS, you'll get pro-quality recording for your song, plus the chance to get live in-person feedback on your song from label-signed Christian composers and performing artists at the spring Songwriters' Boot Camp. Read some of what last year's winners experienced, learning from both established and upcoming Christian writers and leaders such as Laura Story and Audrey Assad.

If you choose the scholarship, you can use the it in just about any serious way that helps you get better at writing and performing music to praise the Lord and bring good news to the world. Perhaps you're starting music studies at university or Bible college, maybe you're in high school and want to take a master class at a Christian music camp, or maybe you're a choir director expanding your music library: It's up to you.

Beyond the Glitz & Glamour

Of course every Christian that uses their talents to glorify God becomes a true winner.

The song God gives you may be just from your heart to his, and it will be that much more special because no-one else will ever truly hear it. Or God may give you a song that he intends millions to hum in their heads twenty years from now while they are heading to work. Christ's church also wins, both from music that blesses the church, and from encouraging more Christian musicians to use and share their composing talets.

What happens to any individual song may not matter in quite the way we think. Our job is always to be obedient, doing his will with the gifts that he has given us. God hasn't given us gifts only for a recording contract and a Cadillac. He may be doing something much more wonderful: Saving someone's soul. That soul he has in mind might even be your own. Do your part using your talents and sharing them with his people, and as with everything else, leave the rest up to God. He knows exactly where your talents fit in his plan.

How to Win

There aren't too many secrets! The judges look at lyrics, lyrics, music, originality, prayer, and lyrics. Lyrics are definitely high on the list, so let's start there.

Words God will use your music to lead others, so your music always needs to lead people in the right direction. That doesn't mean your music will necessarily be light and cheery - sometimes we learn more from examples of people that have made bad choices or faced very hard times. But our music, like our lives, should always be glorifying God and pointing people toward him. So make sure that your lyrics - even if they are challenging - are perfectly in line with superb guide God has given us in the Bible. Never pick just a single verse, make sure that whatever you say lines up with the whole passage, and with the whole amazing character of God that he's revealed to us.

Your song does not have to quote scripture directly, and it may be an advantage to avoid the Christian clich├ęs we sometimes fall into using. Your song might not even appear on first glance to be a 'Christian' song at all. But your songs need to contain Biblical truth based on God's word that will draw people to faith, strengthen people's existing faith, or challenge them to Christian growth.

Music God made you an original. Make your music original too. Create music in whatever genre you think is right for your words: Who do you picture listening to or singing your song? Whether it's choir or country, hymn or hip-hop, think of who God may be reaching through your music.

And remember: It may be possible to write a truly original worship song using those same chord progressions as 125 other worship songs, but it's not likely. If your song sounds pretty much the same as every other song in your worship services or on your local Christian radio station, you may be snuffing out that unique creative spark God wants to let shine out.

Prayer Everything good comes from God, and anything important needs to start with him. If you write and sing for the King of King's, that will show through in your music. Be open and authentic with God, he knows it anyway, but he wants to talk about it with you. If you are open and honest with him, that too will do wonders for your music.

Awards & Scholarships

  • First place: $750 worth of studio recording time, plus a free ticket to Songwriters' Boot Camp in May to present your song, or a $1000 scholarship to further your Christian musical education or service.
  • Second place: $350 of studio time, plus a free ticket to Songwriters' Boot Camp, or a $500 cash scholarship.
  • Third place: $250 of studio time to record your song, or a $250 cash scholarship.

Read the complete Winter 2012 Contest Rules here.

May God bless you with joy, fun and creativity as you use your talents to further his glory!

Is God waiting to use your songs to bring Life to the world? Here is your opportunity.

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