WinterSongs West 2014
Thurs., Jan. 16th to Mon. Jan. 20th, 2014
Cost: $499.00 until 12/1/2013 then $529.00
(no private rooms)
Plan to arrive by 3pm on Thursday and leave by noon on Monday
Ready to Register? YES!
Wintersongs West is a 5-day gathering for songwriters that will again take place at our new California home, the spectacular Camp Ocean Pines overlooking the Pacific in Cambria, CA, on January 16th to 20th, 2014.
We are so pleased to have the legendary guitarist and songwriter Rick Ruskin, the fabulous Honeysuckle Possums, and our new pal Michael McNevin joining us at WinterSongs West! Also old favorites: Dale Laduke, Severin Browne and Penny Nichols, will be offering an all-levels buffet of classes in songwriting, guitar, singing, harmony, piano, 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. Join us! And don't forget - the students bring a wealth of information and experience too, so be prepared for lots of great information-swapping! Class descriptions and bios are being added as I recieve them!
Click on an instructor's name above for a description of their classes.
Instructors & Classes
The Honeysuckle Possums:
Join Nicola Gordon, Susan Marie Reeves and Rebecca Troon of the beloved Central Coast group The Honeysuckle Possums as they demonstrate how...
Three Heads are Better Than One!
The Possums will present this three day workshop on how to form a cohesive and fun group. This is a workshop designed to lead you through the process of choosing partners, co-writing a song together, creating harmony parts for your song, arranging and performing your song. This all leads to having a song ready for your group to play for the student coffeehouse on Sunday night!
This will be a three-day process so we strongly encourage you to come for all three days and bring your favorite co-conspirators to the party.
- Friday: Group co-writes
- Saturday: Group harmonies
- Sunday: Arranging and Performing
New songwriting classes with Sev in the works!
[ Back ]
Even have trouble coming up with ideas for songs? Feel like you write the same thing over and over? In this class we will experiment with fun ways to come up with ideas and to develop them. If you feel stuck in any way with your songwriting flow, this class will teach you ways to move more gracefully through and actually have fun with it.
Songwriting on the Ukelele: How to get creative with it.
We all know ukulele is the newest fad. Are you ready to dive into this amazing gem? Bring a ukulele and yourself to class, that's all you need. No matter if you've just started or have some experience under your belt, we will open new and mind-bending doors to creating ukulele songs.
[ Back ]
Harmony Class with Penny
Basic Piano and even more Basic Music Theory
(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.
Dale's Staff Bio
[ Back ]
Storytelling - Mining Your Past, Mining Your Present:
What makes a song special, memorable, a keeper? Verse, chorus, bridge, and melody are the basic building blocks. But for many songs, it is the story in the lyric that makes it special. As storytellers, we'll explore songwriting angles, blend short fiction techniques with other songwriting and storytelling tools to mine your past, mine your present. Turn the details of big or small life experiences into song fodder, it's just a matter of spotting the story and deciding how to tell it.
Guitar - Alternative Tunings! (more to come)
[ Back ]
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!
Vocal Recording Technique with Penny and Ed Tree
Here's 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! Penny Nichols is an award winning, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter and vocal arranger. She has recorded and toured with everyone from Jackson Browne to Jimmy Buffett and has a doctorate in Education (psychology of music) from Harvard University. Penny is the founding director of SummerSongs and the guiding force behind the SummerSongs community of songwriters that now reaches from coast to coast. For more info on Penny visit: www.pennynichols.com
Singing with Style and Precision
Penny will be teaching basic singing skills for anyone who would like to explore singing in a relaxed and friendly setting. You will learn exercises to relax your body and prepare for singing, to work with pitch perception and tone as well as exercises to strengthen your voice and to use your body to resonate sound. You will leave with a whole new set of tools to help you become the singer you want to be!
[ Back ]
Susan Marie Reeves
Full on Fearless Songwriting, Performing, & Promoting
Students will identify personal fears in regards to songwriting, performing, & promoting their own music. Each day in class we will focus on one aspect (i.e. fearless songwriting), and learn how to overcome fear, thereby, allowing us to be fully engaged with our true authentic self, as our music flows thru us.
[ Back ]
Establishing a Good Groove with your guitar
Adding Dimension to Your Guitar Accompaniments
(details to follow)
[ Back ]
Vocal Recording Technique class with Penny
Songwriting- Individual one-on-one coaching sessions with Ed, all levels welcome!
One Day Workshop: How to be a back-up musician
Learn the tricks of the trade, and amaze your friends by playing along on their tunes! This class will be held one afternoon, check schedule for details
WinterSongs West Song Demos
Producer, engineer, and studio guitarist Ed Tree will be offering his services to campers for recording their song demos. We'll be recording on Pro Tools. You will have the option of doing a simple song demo, or creating the basic track for a fully produced recording completed at Treehouse Recording in San Gabriel, CA.
The cost for recording at WinterSongs (including any of Ed's services on guitar or bass) will be $30.00 for a 75-minute session.
Playing Well with Others
In this class we'll explore techniques for playing along with other musicians. You don't have to be a virtuoso to contribute. Whatever your level of expertise and whatever instruments you play, we will look at some ways that you can play will with others. Let's make some music together and have some fun. Playing along has been a joy to me for many years, from backing up Rita Coolidge, Spencer Davis, Jimmy Buffet, Aaron Neville and even Penny Nichols, to sitting in with friends, it's always fun.
[ Back ]
Friday:Transform your Thoughts: Transform your Experience:
Learn to create new ways of thinking in the area of music, performance, writing and success. This will be a Journaling process, so bring a journal and be prepared to let go of old ideas that no longer serve you.
Saturday: Banjo Basics
Come and try out the banjo and let Rebecca gently bring you over to the dark side! This will be a beginning banjo workshop to learn tuning, chords basic frailing, claw-hammer and right-hand picking techniques. Rebecca will bring a few extra banjos for those who don't have one of their own.
Sunday: Rhythm, Writing and Your Right Hand
Let the groove queen teach you her right-hand guitar method for finding your groove, writing, and adding interest to your guitar accompaniments. Bring your guitars!
Rebecca's Staff Bio