SummerSongs West 2014
May 29th to June 2nd, 2014
Price: $499.00 (add $20.00 to price after 3/31/14)
(All cabins are shared with other people or you can stay in a hotel in Cambria for additional money.)
Plan to arrive by 3pm on Thursday and leave by noon on the following Monday.
Ready to Register? YES!
The 11th Annual SummerSongs West is a 5-day gathering for all who want to study music in a great camp that will take place at our California home, the spectacular Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria, CA, on May 26th to June 2nd, 2014. This coming June will see us at camp having a blast with our dear teachers and friends Penny Nichols, ,Dale Laduke, , Rebecca Troon and a host of great teachers with some nice guitar and songwriting coaching from our new pal Michael McNevin! We will be offering all-levels classes in songwriting, guitar, singing, harmony, performance, and more in addition to a full menu of concerts, coffeehouses, and song circles. Students and teachers alike will share songs, information, insights, trade stories and perform for the community we have grown to love. And it all takes place less than an hour north of San Luis Obispo, CA. Join us!
The instructors and classes listed below are for 2013. 2014 Class descriptions are being updated as they are recieved from the instructors.
Click on an instructor's name for a description of their classes.
Instructors & Classes
Look for updated course descriptions & more teachers in the upcoming months!
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Chord Theory for Great Melody Writing
“Learn to use chords that add new layers to your melodies. Do you feel stuck in the I-IV-V world? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use chords that allow your melodies to soar to new heights? After investigating the diatonic chords in a key, we will discuss when and how to use non-diatonic chords and other tricks to pump up emotional impact. We’ll also discuss how the melodies and chords work together in songs that you bring to class.”
Song Starting Workshop
With the idea of starting a separate song each day of camp, Severin will help each participant dig deep to get those gems that are waiting inside each of us. There will be creative writing exercises as well as melody-writing and harmonizing exercises. And each day there will be handouts with ideas from many of Severin's favorite teachers. For the student that attends everyday, that's the whole enchilada.
Severin's Staff Bio
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Basic Piano and Music Theory for the Theory Challenged
(It's simpler than you think!)
Dale LaDuke has spent over
25 years teaching piano and music theory and has had some real revelations
recently on the simplicity of the subject which he is willing to share with
anyone that has even a modicum of interest.
Piano for Songwriters
Sign up for a coaching session with Dale on how to enhance your songs with piano arrangements that compliment your writing. Want some help with your piano arrangement? Make a appointment to work with Dale and see what new ideas and ways of playing your songs arise. Recommended for our piano playing songwriters
(And: Harmony Singing with Pen and Dale)
Dale's Staff Bio
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Have you ever wanted to learn to sing in harmony better, how to do it and where it is appropriate in a song? You will have a chance to experience for yourself the fun and unique qualities of singing in harmony and how to begin to master the skills needed to sing in harmony well. You will learn listening techniques, how to recognize chordal relationships and how harmony fits into a melodic landscape. Don't miss the fun of singing in harmony with your pals at WinterSongs West! Taught with Dale.
Vocal Recording Technique
Here is the workshop you have been waiting for! A chance to work with one of the most experienced vocal recording artists around in a real studio environment on one of your own songs! Learn all about how to give your best performance on a recording, how to communicate with the engineer/producer, how to stay on pitch, how to keep breathing, how to deal with anxiety in the studio, how to evaluate your performance, how to choose the best performance and how the recording process works. Plus you will leave the workshop with one of the best performances on a CD that you have ever done! Taught with Micheal Capella.
Penny's Staff Bio
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INTRODUCTION TO OPEN TUNINGS ~ David
Welcome to the orchestra of your fingertips – six
beautiful, bendable, and RETUNE-able strings! We’ll start by changing one string
at a time and gain instant access to a road well traveled by the likes of Gordon
Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, and more. We’ll take a look at DADGAD and
”Open G” for starters, and the good news is you don’t have to be a guitar wizard
to take this class (but it IS helpful if you play enough guitar to negotiate
basic chord changes). Importantly, we’ll have fun doing this together, you’ll
love finding fresh voicings to some of the standard chords you’ve been playing
up til now, and you may fall in love with the guitar all over again.
GRAIN OF SALT ~ David Roth
Stuck somewhere in the middle? Here’s an interactive
and participatory workshop for any songs or parts thereof that you might
wish to have some input on. We’ll hear these songs-in-progress and become a
collective think-tank about what’s working so far and what might be improved
upon. It’s also an opportunity to hone your listening and feedback-giving
skills. as well as a chance to ponder the many elements - lyric, melody, rhythm,
chord progression, key, arrangement, etc. - that make a song click.
Working with Garage Band:
I will be teaching Garage Band recording class Once or twice during camp depending on interest
Plus I will be offering to make a demo recording for you at $30/hr, There will be Six (6) 1 hr slots available during camp, scheduled around my commitments above and other classes I want to attend. If there is more interest I will do more if we can find the time. Each one hr slot will consist of 50 minutes of recording time and 10 minutes to mix & bounce and make mp3s. I would request that students bring flash drives to camp to load mixes on. I might bring some cheap ones I could sell them at cost. Burning CDs is making less sense these days.
In addition: I will be provide recording support for vocal recording technique class with Penny one class each day of camp
Rebecca will be teaching a Co-Writing
class at SummerSongs West and it will be a hands-on writing class
with each student having an assigned collaborator, like I had with Rory
when we wrote Beautiful World. If you have ever wanted to explore the
world of co-writing, this class will be an excellent way to start!
Groovin with Troon:
with Troon is an improvisational, experiential, playful workshop designed to
give you sure-fire ways to connect with your inner songwriting source – which
is limitless and infinite. Whether you think you have no rhythm, or feel bogged
in a rhythmic rut of your own making, Rebecca’s delight is to set you free! She
can take people who perceive themselves as rhythmically challenged, and turn
them into rhythmic egg-shaker, foot-stomping, body-swaying groove-masters.
Troon invites you to join in one of her favorite conversations by finding what
inspires us and how we connect with our muse. She facilitates the care and
nurturing of our creative souls and finds ways to have fun while doing it!
Rebecca's Staff Bio
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Writing from the Soul...what am I really trying to say?
class is an inquiry in which we discuss the reasons we write. we will
acknowledge the transmuting ability of the artist to reflect and
the deeper messages of the unconscious...examine the connection
makes between our soul's deeper veins of " knowing " and our
writing and how
to keep this connection open and flowing.... why this
is important and how
this work transforms us and affects our audience.
Joy On Stage!
to find your calm and peaceful center in the eye of the storm....in the eye of
the energy of expression.
to claim space on stage and be in the beautiful and exciting moment of
performing. Exploring the world of "owning it"!
being your authentic self and in the flow with an audience.
your inner strengths to savor the moment so you can perhaps remember your
performance instead of the memory being erased by nervousness.
and Sloan will provide a safe and supportive atmosphere all around
selection, intros, elements of taking care of yourself on and off stage, tools
for preparing, practicing, facing and engaging happily with an audience.
gonna talk a little everyday and check in with what you need.
gonna get everyone up on stage. We're gonna have fun.
Singing with Your Heart, Soul & Body
Singing is fun! Inside each of us lives a beautiful and unique instrument!
In this workshop, we will move our bodies, soften our hearts, open our mouths and let our voices out to play!
We will use a combination of vocal warm-ups and work-outs, to help relax and strengthen the voice...making it more flexible and reliable. Individual attention and support is offered to each person in class as well as for the group as a whole.
Find Joy On Stage!
How to find your calm and peaceful center in the eye of the storm....in the eye of the energy of expression.
How to claim space on stage and be in the beautiful and exciting moment of performing. Exploring the world of "owning it"!
Experience being your authentic self and in the flow with an audience.
Releasing your inner strengths to savor the moment so you can perhaps remember your performance instead of the memory being erased by nervousness.
Teresa and Sloan will provide a safe and supportive atmosphere all around performance.
Song selection, intros, elements of taking care of yourself on and off stage, tools for preparing, practicing, facing and engaging happily with an audience.
We're gonna talk a little everyday and check in with what you need.
We're gonna get everyone up on stage. We're gonna have fun.