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What is Shake It Up?

Shake It Up is an annual competition run by the Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) which enables schools to make copies of sheet music, or any rearrangements they like! The competition started in 2017-18 and received a passionate and enthusiastic response from music teachers, music hubs, and schools. The competition launches at the beginning of September and finishes in spring: keep an eye on this page, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to stay in-the-know for this year's Shake It Up!

Shake It Up competition overview

2019 Entry Criteria Checklist 

To be eligible to win cash for your school you need to be able to say 'Yes' to the following:

  1. Is your school covered by the Schools Printed Music Licence?
  2. Is your entry an arrangement of a published music score that you own?
  3. Are you submitting a written arrangement?
  4. Can your student(s) perform the arrangement (we will ask for a recording if your entry is shortlisted)?

If you can say 'Yes' to all the above you are good to go! 

Are you ready to Shake It Up again?

Shake It Up new logoShake It Up is back for 2019 with a brand new look but the same excellent cash prizes up for grabs! If you feel like winning hundreds of pounds for your school's music department, all you have to do is submit a music or choral arrangement you've made for your pupils to perform in a school activity. This could include music lessons, school performances, or school groups/bands.

The good news is that most schools are already covered by the Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML). If you are at a state-maintained school in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you are already covered. If you are at a state-maintained school in Wales, you may be covered - contact your local authority to find out if they have opted to take the licence on your behalf. If you are at an independent school and aren't sure if you're covered, you'll need to contact the relevant association for your area. You can visit our Schools Printed Music Licence page to find out more about how the licence works.

It's time to make the music your own!

Shake It Up will launch officially at the start of September! In the meantime, you can follow us on social media and start thinking about which arrangements you have that could win cash for your music department! The prizes for this year's competition are:

  • £700 cash for the winner, to spend on music resources for his/her school
  • £400 cash each for two runners up, to spend on music resources for their schools

You can tide yourself over in the meantime by having a look at our 2018 Recap below, or getting in touch with us if you have any questions!

How to enter Shake It Up

Shake It Up 2019 is officially open for entries! If you've got an eligible instrumental or choral arrangement or think making one sounds like the perfect challenge for your pupils, it might win your school hundreds of pounds! Entering the competition is simple: you can either post us the entries or email us at

If you want to reach us by post, entries need to go to: Shake It Up competition, Copyright Licensing Agency,  5th Floor, Shackleton House, Hay's Galleria, London, SE1 2HX.

Important documents

Click here to download the full Competition Guidelines, which have everything you need to know about the competition, how we treat your entries, and how the judging and prize-giving works.

Download and fill in your Entry Form here; remember to include this with your arrangement when you enter!

Shake It Up 2018: Recap

The very first Shake It Up competition invited music teachers from all over the UK to submit their music or choral arrangements. Our five star judges were then on-hand to whittle the entries down to a shortlist of just five - not an easy task! 2018's judges were:

  • YolanDa Brown, premier saxophonist and composer, the first musician to win a MOBO award for 'Best Jazz' in two consecutive years, and recently appointed Chair of Youth Music; 
  • Chrissy Kinsella, CEO of the London Music Fund and a mentor for Arts Emergency; 
  • Alex Stevens, Editor of Music Teacher magazine; 
  • Richard King, CEO of Faber Music Ltd and Chair of PMLL;
  • Jane Dyball, CEO of the MPA Group of companies.
  • The panel was also joined by Sarah Brear as CLA's representative. Sarah is CLA's Development Manager for Education and was formerly Copyright Manager at ABSRM. She has a music degree from the University of York and sings with several vocal groups. 

CLA's Alexandra Reed wrote an excellent write-up of the competition and its awards ceremony. The stars of the show were our shortlisted entrants:

  • Winner: Iain Wilkinson, Keswick School, for his arrangement of 'I Believe in Father Christmas'
  • Runner Up: Ian Raisbeck, Sandbach School, for his arrangement of 'Olympic Fanfare'
  • Runner Up: Peter Desmond, Welbourne Primary School, for his arrangement of 'Happy'
  • Sarah Fletcher, Our Lady and St Chad's, for her arrangement of 'I Giorni'
  • Frazer Hinchley, Croft Primary School, for his arrangement of 'Eye of the Tiger'
  • James Stevenson, North Oxfordshire Academy, for his arrangement of 'Float On'

YolanDa Brown giving an excellent introduction on the importance of printed music

Shake It Up judge YolanDa Brown announced the winner and runner ups. She also gave a passionate speech on the importance of music education to young people.

The awards ceremony had plenty of attendees

Everyone at the ceremony had a selection of drinks and canapes to help themselves to while getting to know each other, as well as a student jazz duo to provide live entertainment.

YolanDa announced that Iain Wilkinson had won first place

Iain Wilkinson was announced as the first ever Shake It Up winner, meaning Keswick School would receive £700 for music resources!

All in all, it was an excellent evening that we hope to see repeated (or even, somehow, surpassed) next year! The dedication and passion that all our entrants and judges showed towards music education for young people only emphasised the importance of the SPML. We hope that everyone who entered the competition this year will do so again next time.


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