Play It Strange – Our Songwriting World

Student competitions and scholarships

Posted: 04 June 2019
Notice reference #: 1H9uip

Young NZers find in songs a means of expression that is like no other. Their words speak to us of love, regret, joy, loss, celebration, despair, pathos, reward, rejection, perfection and more. You get it. And those words merged with the music they bring from empty space bring songs into our sphere for us to savour and delight in. But it’s bigger than that.   

Songs written by young NZers forge a communal strand, a national voice, a summation of who they are and with that, it’s clear that they are telling us who we are. Listening to the hundreds of songs that we receive at Play It Strange is like opening a window into the hearts and minds of our youth. And there is much to learn.

Established in 2003, Play It Strange exists to provide pathways of creativity through songwriting – also the recording, performance and celebration of those songs. We have a number of programmes and competitions in place to achieve these goals. 

There are:

  • Songwriting competitions from where those judged as finalists get to record their songs in professional studios to be released on a digital album. A minimum of 45 a year. Annual Awards include: First Place Award, PwC School of the Year Award, Junior Maioha Award and David Richwhite Lyric Award
  • Song-based programmes and informative avenues such as The Professor Pattison lyric masterclasses, and concert, such as We Are One and Band of Strangers.


Further information

Contact: Mike Chunn

 (09) 377 7919