SongShop – a songwriting workshop for everybody!  


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  • 2 days – 2 hrs each day
  • Max participants 10 adults
  • Open to everyone. No songwriting, music-reading or instrument-playing experience necessary

Kathy Hussey




Day 1: Thursday, August 24th (2-4pm)

The first day, participants will suggest a song that they love – we will use these songs to learn about song structure and all the basics of what makes the songs we love so appealing to us. People listen differently: some hear the melody and rhythm first and don’t give much thought to the words; some understand every word the first time through and respond to the song’s lyrical message; some do a combination of those things. No matter how we listen, our favorite songs have some kind of lasting, emotional impact on us. We will discover that no matter what the genre of music, there are common threads in how songs have that effect on us, and learn how to apply that to our own writing.

There will be a thorough discussion of the “mechanics”: song form and structure, rhyme and meter, imagery, themes and universal ideas, just for a start.


Day 2: Friday, August 25th (10-12pm)
Something from Nothing – The Creative Process

The second day, those that have songs in progress that they’d like to share can bring their instruments, or recordings, or just lyrics, and we will provide input for each other on what is working, and possibly ways to adjust them so they have maximum impact!

When we play our songs in front of an audience, our family, or for the dog, we don’t tend to get helpful feedback; polite applause or even loud cheers, encouraging words from the spouse, “That’s a really good one, honey”, a tail wag from Fideaux. Those are welcome responses but they rarely provide any insight like, “That part where you changed the rhythm in the chorus was my favorite – maybe you should do that more.”, or “I felt lost in the second verse and I wasn’t sure what you were saying.” This group discussion is invaluable for getting real, in-the-moment reactions that will help to put that extra shine on your creations. (Those that don’t have works-in-progress will get just as much out of these discussions as those that do!)


About the Instructor:

Kathy Hussey is a Nashville-based award-winning songwriter, a seasoned performing artist, and a freelance educator, whose stated goal in life is to “inspire, enrich, and elevate” through the vehicle of songwriting. Since 1996, Kathy has written hundreds of songs with budding songwriters (from 8-80 years old) in programs across the country. She has been the director of Camp Summersong, Nashville’s songwriting camp for girls, since 1999. Her teaching credits include 18 summers on the faculty at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp in Steamboat Springs, CO (the oldest theater/music/dance camp in the country, that boasts Agnes de Mille, John Cage and Dustin Hoffman among it’s illustrious alumni), and she has taught songwriting workshops for Creede/Mineral Arts and Rec since 2001. Hussey is a captivating performer; her warmth, honesty and humor are as compelling onstage as they are in the classroom. Her songs are accessible, authentic, and completely free of cliche. She has released four CDs, “If Wishes Were Horses” (1998) “Stranger Than Fiction” (2002), “Moments of Wonder” (2005), and “Natural Habitat” (2009). Find out more at