The Beat: Deerfield High School’s Songwriting Club


Sam Brody-Goldberg

Hannah Cohen, Junior in the Songwriting Club, performs at STUNTS.

Zach Stutland, Staff Writer

At a school full of talented students with extensive work in the fine arts, DHS Songwriting Club gives its students, and any others looking to join, many opportunities in the field of songwriting and composition. The club meets after school on Tuesdays at 3:30 and teaches students about reading, playing, and learning to write music. Club members can dive into the techniques of their favorite artists and learn from professional songwriters in the music industry. Students can also be found studying and rearranging the melodies and lyrics of their favorite pieces, just one of many engaging songwriting activities the club offers.

Junior Hannah Cohen spoke about how the club will soon be working with Cate Stevenson, a 20-year-old aspiring songwriter who will be speaking with the club and its members. After dropping out of college, Cate began pursuing a career in music as she began to tour. Cate came into DHS choir classes to perform for which prompted the songwriting club to reach out to come talk to the club.

Mrs. Akers, the Songwriting Club’s Sponsor, expressed that the club is very important to her. She explained that, although the club has never been a formal organization such as a club like DECA, it is still “an opportunity for kids to collaborate and share ideas.” Mrs. Akers recalled how students such as Songwriting Club’s founder Xander Ambrose, who have gone on to graduate from college and pursue their own careers in songwriting. Although Mrs. Akers notes how the club has never featured any formal recruitment, certification, or, to an extent, teaching, she has always supported it for its opportunity for aspiring songwriters to share ideas. 

Akers also spoke on what inspired her to start the club. She mentioned Ross Golan, a DHS alumnus, was one of the top pop songwriters according to a 2016 Billboard report, and has a writing credit on Flo Rida’s track “My House.” Golan’s work inspired the likes of pop writer Jerry Silver as well as Danny Abosch, who wrote the music and lyrics to Goosebumps The Musical. “What inspires me is that you just need to be there to give a kid a chance to express themselves with people where it’s not risky, kids that wanna do it really want to,” said Mrs. Akers. 

Thanks to the DHS Songwriting Club, students have been able to share and develop their songwriting talents. Former students such as Xander Ambrose and Hannah Heil, who  Mrs. Akers explained “have gone on to be talented composers,” as well as the club’s current leaders, Sophia and Hannah, have provided the club with promising compositions. “There’s a lot to be excited about,” Mrs. Akers told us.