June 23 to 27, 2014
August 29 to September 2, 2014
Garrison, New York


Photo by Emily Haynes Pizzello

Please join me at the beautiful Garrison Institute for five days of:

  • Songwriting
  • Singing
  • Morning Yoga
  • Inspiration
  • Excellent Vegetarian Meals
  • and Sweeping Views of the Hudson River.

This workshop is for anyone who wants to write a song that counts: for ourselves, for the people (or pets) we love and for the world. Our songs can be funny, catchy, heavy, or sappy! We’ll just be looking for ways to say what we really want to say.

I loved how different activities activated different things for each of us – so many ways/modes/routes.  My goal had been to overcome a fear of singing in front of others (not just in a room by myself : ) and I’m so happy to have met that goal.  – A., 2013


Photo by Emily Haynes Pizzello

We’ll explore everything from the bag of tricks we use in songwriting to discussions of why we need to write in the first place, how we can stay the course in writing, and how we can finish our songs, no matter how discouraging the voices in our heads might be.

Please fill in the application, including a note about why you’d like to attend, and we’ll let you know ASAP if you’re in. Space is limited to 32 people.

For the first retreat, June 23-27, the early bird deadline is April 10. If we are filled up by then, everyone will get early bird pricing! If there are still slots open after March 20th, those registrants will sign up at regular pricing. All applications need to be in by May 1.

For the second retreat, August 29 to September 2, early bird  deadline is May 10, and all applications need to be in by July 1. Same pricing is in place for each retreat.


Photo by Emily Haynes Pizzello

You don’t have to send a song, but I ask that you have completed one whole song at some point in your life. It’s important for me to know that you have experienced that spark of excitement about songwriting. A trunkful of half-written songs is fine, too.

I will be joined by musicians who will be around and available for one on one help tweaking lyrics and coming up with interesting music twists.

Workshop, Meals, and Lodging
Early bird registration: $1500
Regular registration: $1700

Lodging is simple, with single rooms and shared baths. There are no locks on the doors, but there are places to keep valuables. We do have cell reception.

You don’t have to bring your car if you can get to the MTA’s Metro North Railroad-Hudson Line. Metro North is the excellent commuter train out of New York City. You can take the train along the Hudson River to Garrison and be driven right to the Institute a mile away

Registration will be from 10 am to 1 pm on Monday, June 23,  for the first retreat and Friday, August 29, for the second retreat. We’ll meet for lunch and get started at 1 pm. Room check out is on Friday, June 27, and Tuesday, September 2, respectively. We will end in the late morning.

“In the end, the retreat was much more than a songwriting retreat.”  –W., 2013

I’m looking forward to it. See you soon!

Best, Dar

Photos by Traci Goudie (l) and Emily Haynes PIzzello (c and r)

Photos by Traci Goudie (l) and Emily Haynes PIzzello (c and r)