Our Mission

Yosemite Songwriting Retreat celebrates the craft of songwriting and the art of performing original songs. Our mission is to support songwriters of all skill levels and genres, create an inspiring and supportive community and provide a safe space where individuals can express themselves through music.

We achieve this through classes, workshops, mentoring, performance and recording opportunities at a location that provides an environment conducive to creativity and relaxation.

We chose instructors that are not only great musicians but also gifted educators. These individuals bring diverse skills and perspectives to teach practical skills through stimulating curriculum. Previous instructors include Eliza Gilkyson, Laurie Lewis, Peter Rowan, Terri Roche and Joe Craven.

Any one 18 years old and over may participate.  Previous experience with songwriting is welcome but not necessary.

Schedule

The Yosemite Songwriting retreat is an intensive weekend of instruction with a variety of accomplished instructors. In addition to classes and workshops, there will be opportunities to perform and record your songs and sign up for mentor sessions with some of our instructors to get individual attention.

Retreat sign-in begins Friday, October 6th at 3:00 pm at the June Bug Café. Sign ups for open mic, recording and mentor sessions will be available at lunchtime on Saturday. We will have a short meeting at 9:00 Saturday morning at the amphitheater so all questions can be answered. Classes start on Saturday at 9:15 am.  The Retreat ends on Monday, October 9th after breakfast (last meal).

Performances

Instructor Concert. On Friday night after a wonderful dinner, you can sit back and enjoy the music of our instructors; Eliza Gilkyson, Joe Craven, Adam Burns and Gail Dreifus. This concert starts at 7:30. Admission is free if you’re registered for the retreat.

Open Mic. Saturday and Sunday night we will have open mic in the Bodie Room.  There is no requirement that you perform publicly but we encourage you to take advanteage of this opportunity to share your songs.

Jamming.  Jamming is fine anywhere before 11:00 PM.  Quiet hours at the Yosemite Rustic Bug Mountain Resort are dictated by their contract with the franchiser, which prohibits house noise after 11:00 pm. Therefore, we ask that you only jam in the Bodie Room after 11:00pm and keep the doors closed so those who wish to sleep can do so.

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Photo by Sharon McCarthy

Recording

As part of the retreat, we are offering you the opportunity to make a digital recording of a song you’ve been working on to share with your friends or family, or simply to make sure that you don’t forget how it goes! At various times over the weekend, you will be able to sign up for a 20 minute session with one of our recording engineers. These will be simple recordings of your voice and an instrument. In order to make sure everyone gets a chance to record, we won’t be able to make complex, multitrack recordings. At the end of the retreat, with your permission, we will make your song, and others, available for online streaming and download. Hear songs recorded at the 2015 retreat on SoundCloud..

The Venue

The Yosemite Songwriting Retreat will be based at the Yosemite Bug Mountain Resort in Midpines, about 35 miles from Yosemite Valley. The Yosemite Bug has a variety of accomodation options, a gourmet cafe and a wonderful spa with massage, saunas, hot tub, and yoga classes.

Once you have registered for the retreat, you will need to call the Yosemite Bug (209 966 6666) to book your accomodation. Visit the registration page to find out more about accomodation options.

As a participant you will be given discount coupons for the spa to use when you like. Visit the Yosemite Bug website for more details.

The Area

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Yosemite National Park is about 45 minutes away from The Yosemite Bug. You can drive there or take the bus.

The Merced River canyon is about 10 minutes from The Yosemite Bug. There you can enjoy beautiful scenery and cool swims in the river. Just ask and we will provide you with directions for the swimming holes that only the locals know!

The historic town of Mariposa is about 20 minutes from The Yosemite Bug. There you will find groceries, doctors, restaurants, museums, gas, and music venues.

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