Songwriting Camp


Ages 11-18

June 11-16, 2018: Beginner to Intermediate

July 16-21, 2018: Intermediate to Advanced

Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Camp registration now open

$350 for current Museum members (family level membership and up)^^

$425 for non-members

$25 for scholarship recipients*


Please email camp@countrymusichalloffame.org with any questions.


Songwriting camp at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum offers a fun and unforgettable experience where budding songwriters can hone their craft, learn from professionals, and make new friends. Camp includes one-on-one mentoring sessions, instrument instruction, performance coaching, demo recording experiences, workshops led by special guests, and much more.Campers will also enjoy unlimited access to the museum galleries and participate in a group recording session at Historic RCA Studio B, located on Nashville’s Music Row. A showcase on the final day presents a culminating public performance featuring the songs created during the week.  ​

The June session is for beginner-to-intermediate level songwriters, ages 11 to 18. Owning an instrument or having musical proficiency is not required.

The July session, with added emphasis on recording techniques and co-writing, is for intermediate-to-advanced level songwriters, ages 11 to 18. Previous songwriting experience is required. All applicants to the intermediate-to-advanced songwriting camp must submit lyrics and a recording of one song they have written or co-written. A statement about the song and previous songwriting instruction is also required. See additional details below.

  • Beginner: A beginner songwriter has little to no experience writing songs but is eager and excited to learn and make new friends who share this interest.
  • Intermediate: An intermediate songwriter has some understanding of how songs are put together and has written a few songs but is eager to add knowledge and build confidence alongside new friends.
  • Advanced: An advanced songwriter has solid understanding of the fundamentals of lyric writing, including title, theme, verse, chorus, bridge, and rhyme scheme, and is ready to take their songwriting to the next level. In addition, the advanced songwriter meets at least one of the following criteria: 
  •           - has written numerous songs to date;
              - has or will have participated previously in a Country Music Hall of Fame songwriting camp (including the June, 2018 Beginner                 to Intermediate camp);
              - has received some formal songwriting or composition instruction elsewhere.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT SONGWRITING CAMP

Songwriting camp is a six-day songwriting- and music-intensive experience that will boost skills and build confidence. Led by museum educators, professional songwriters, and touring musicians, camp is centered around step-by-step songwriting instruction and daily, individual mentoring by experts in the music business. Camp concludes with a Saturday morning performance in the museum’s Ford Theater in which students showcase their songs for friends, family, and museum visitors. All students will record a demo of their song in our education studio and receive a recording of the Saturday performance. Songwriting camp instruction takes place in the Taylor Swift Education Center, located inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

CAMP ACTIVITIES WILL INCLUDE:

  • Step-by-step songwriting lessons
  • Creative writing exercises
  • Individual and small-group mentoring
  • Instrument instruction
  • Voice and performance coaching
  • A trip to and group recording session at Historic RCA Studio B, located on Music Row
  • Activities in the museum galleries
  • Workshop led by a special guest
  • Digital recording tutorial
  • Art making
  • Camper showcase in the Ford Theater

INTERMEDIATE-TO-ADVANCED CAMP ACTIVITIES WILL INCLUDE:

  • Exploration of the co-writing process
  • Recording and production technique sessions
  • Alternatives in songwriting exercises and approaches
  • Introduction to the business of songwriting and music publishing

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLYING TO IMMEDIATE-TO-ADVANCED CAMP ONLY:

  1. Please provide lyrics and a recording of one song you have written or co-written, and which you feel demonstrates your solid understanding of the fundamentals of lyric writing: title, theme, verse, chorus, bridge (optional) and rhyme-scheme. We will not evaluate the quality of your performance or of the recording, and you may submit a simple phone memo. If you are a lyricist and do not play an instrument, please feel free to sing acapella or to enlist the help of guest musicians. Similarly, if you prefer not to sing, yourself, you may enlist the help of guest vocalists. Do your best and remember that this application need only demonstrate your songwriting know-how, and not any performance or recording skills. 
  2. In a brief personal statement (500 words or fewer), please tell us about yourself. We’d like to know about the song you submitted – how, when, and why you wrote it – as well details about previous songwriting instruction, if any. What have you learned about songwriting, how, and from whom? Have you had experience co-writing songs, recording music, or with music production? What apps or software have you used, if any? Also, please tell us why you think you would do well in our intermediate-to-advanced camp (as opposed to the beginner to intermediate camp), and what you hope to gain.
  3. Please email all supporting materials (song lyrics, recording, and personal statement) to camp@countrymusichalloffame.org WITHIN ONE WEEK of registering for camp. Materials will be evaluated to determine the songwriter’s command of lyric writing fundamentals (title, theme, verse, chorus, and rhyme scheme) and interest in growing in the craft. Songwriters unable to submit their materials WITHIN ONE WEEK of registering, or whose materials do not demonstrate a level of proficiency appropriate for the intermediate-to-advanced camp session will receive a refund, or may elect to enroll in the beginner-to-intermediate camp session, space permitting. We will evaluate and respond to supporting materials within one week of submission. 

MEET THE 2017 MENTORS

HELPFUL INFORMATION

  • Monday – Friday, camp starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. and ends promptly at 4:00 p.m. On Saturday, camp runs from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The showcase will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the Museum’s Ford Theater. Friends and family are invited to a performance showcase. Space may be limited.
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended for walking and exploring the Museum galleries.
  • Snack breaks will be provided each day but lunch is not provided. Please pack a lunch. Box lunches will be available for pre-purchase.
  • Paper and pencils will be provided, but campers are encouraged to bring their own notebook, journal, sketchbook, iPad, laptop, etc.
  • Previous songwriting or performance experience, or musical proficiency, is not required for the beginner – intermediate camp. We ask all campers to arrive excited to learn, eager to meet and work with new people, and open to collaboration with fellow campers throughout the week. We also ask all campers to participate in the Saturday showcase.
  • Campers who play an instrument are encouraged to bring it with them each day. Instruments available for use through the museum’s education collection include acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, electric bass, lap steel guitar, mandolin, and ukulele. A keyboard is also available.
  • Space is limited. We are unable to hold space without a registration. We recommend registration to secure a spot in camp. A confirmation email will be sent upon receiving registration. Fees must be paid upon registration.
  • Cancellations with a full refund are available until May 1, 2018. 
  • Schedule and teaching artists subject to change. Songwriting Camp must have a minimum number of registrants to take place. If a minimum of campers is not reached, registered campers will be notified and a full refund will be issued.
  • Questions are welcome. Please contact camp@countrymusichalloffame.org 

SCHOLARSHIPS

*A limited number of needs-based scholarships are available that reduce the camp fee to $25. Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first served basis to campers who express a strong interest in songwriting and demonstrate financial need. Applications are available upon request at camp@countrymusichalloffame.org. Completed applications must be received by April 27, 2018 for consideration in the summer 2018 camp sessions. Scholarships for camp 2018 are made possible in part by the Heads Up Penny Foundation.

^^MUSEUM MEMBER REGISTRATION

To receive the Museum member discounted rate, your membership must be active at the time of registration and remain active throughout the entire selected camp session.