Songwriter’s Workshop

Tell Your Story. . . Sing Your Song

Songwriter’s Workshop

 The first Up with People Songwriter’s Workshop will premier this Fall 2018. All aspiring songwriters with unfinished melodies, playwrights, poets, or any one that appreciates the power of words, this workshop is for you. Regardless of the musical focus of the week, writers of any kind will gain tools to free their voice and enhance their creativity.

This week-long workshop will be tailored to instrumentalists, but any one will find tools that will aid in their creative writing process. Takeaways will include:

  • Tangible tools to spark writing.
  • At minimum a basic form of a song.
  • Constructive critique by instructors on the work.
  • The opportunity to showcase their new-work in a public setting.

About the Workshop

Discover tools to begin freeing your voice, telling your story, and putting your passionate ideas into words. Nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, your surroundings will provide you with a creative and safe place that will inspire your writing process. You will hear the historic events that have inspired many Up with People songs as well as the skills that will allow you to bravely immerse yourself in the art of songwriting.

 Workshop will include:

  • Uncovering Passionate Ideas – Where the Roads Come Together
    Introduction to several tools of writing to spark creativity and combat writers block.

    • Asking the “write” questions,
    • Living and writing in the moment
    • Poetry
  • Imagery – Musical Journey
    Imagination will be sparked as participants visit serene picturesque locations in the Shenandoah Valley including historic plantations, and churches, where freed slaves resided after the civil war. Locations where the power of music once fueled faith and fostered freedom.
  • Rhyme & Hook
    Exploration of the beauty of language, allowing powerful stories to be told through painting vivid images of human emotion with language. A good hook can be the lifeline to a successful song. Instructors will share tips on how to create an infectious hook that is attention-grabbing, and memorable.
  • 90 Minute Song (one day)
    Inspiration will be developed as you will write a song in class solo or with a partner using one of three very fun writing exercises learned during the week:  asking the “write’ questions, turning a poem into a song, and living and writing in the moment. Be prepared to have some songwriting breakthroughs.
  • Melody and Composition
    Clarification to answer the age old question of what came first, the words or the music. Merging, layering and connecting the words, the melody and the rhythm in your song.

 Open Mic/Jam Sessions will be held through out the week, featuring faculty, guest artists, and participants.

Friday night Showcase, “Wine and Rhyme” a night of  sharing week-long accomplishments. Providing a public showing of new-works.

The Artists

“The Colwell Brothers”  – Ralph & Paul

With stylistic origins in country and bluegrass, the brothers  won the citywide amateur contest and then became featured artists on radio and TV throughout the midwest. In 1951, they moved to Los Angeles and were signed by Columbia Records and were featured weekly on NBC TV’s “The Tex Williams Show”. They then spent 11 years traveling, learning music and writing songs in over 40 languages in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and South America. In 1965 they became the musical founders along with Herb Allen of Up With People. Paul and Ralph wrote the song, “Up with People”, and Paul was in charge of show concepts and original music for the group for the next 30 years. The music of the Colwell’s has entertained millions of people including popes, presidents, kings and queens and audiences of four Super Bowl Halftime shows.

Pat Murphy, an American musician, songwriter, record producer, entertainer and vocalist hails from Philadelphia. Murphy’s musical contributions are known worldwide, including his many years of composing, recording, singing, and playing bass with the international group Up with People. Pat and the band, Arizona recorded four albums for RCA Records and have also been seen in concert with such greats as Kenny Logins, Marshall Tucker, Fleetwood Mac and Peter Frampton. Murphy went on to write songs for Up with People throughout the 80’s and 90’s while his songs were being performed in many countries around the world – including the Halftime Show in 1986 at Super Bowl XX.

Program Details

Program Length: Five (5) Days
Program Dates: October 14 to 20, 2018
Program Location: Mountain Valley Meeting and Retreat Center, 3091 Ragtown Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802;
Registration Fee: $150 (non-refundable after 9/14/2018)
Tuition: $1,500 (includes workshop, lodging and meals)
Check-in: Sunday, October 14, 3:00 p.m. EST
Check-out: Saturday, October 20, 11:00 a.m. EST
Age Requirement: 21 years or older

Registration or Questions:

Click Here to Register.


Phone: 540.437.9844