Do I need to play guitar or play guitar well to join? Are piano players or other instrumentalists welcome?

All instruments are welcome. We've had percussionists, xylophone players, keyboard players, and vocalists, too.

I'm nervous and have only played one open mic! How important is performance to this retreat?

Some people sit out for a couple of days and some never perform a song. We aim to create an environment where there is at least one person with whom you feel comfortable sharing your work!

What kind of songwriting supplies should we bring?

We recommend a notebook for lyrics, a notebook for writing other thoughts (it can be the same notebook if you want), your lucky pen, and a simple recording device for ideas such as a cell phone, iPad or laptop. If you have an instrument that you can't bring, let us know. We can track something down for you.

Is there internet access?


Will Dar actually hear my song? Will we see her individually or as a group?

Dar will be around throughout the day. She will have a private one-on-one song consultation with each person and will run the afternoon clinics where everyone will have an opportunity to share a song with the group. Dar will also lead the evening song circle – a chance to share a finished song just for the joy of it, without the feedback of clinic time.

Should I expect (am I expected) to write a song by the end of the retreat?

This is a retreat, not a boot camp! When something matters to us, we reveal it in our own time. The challenge is to find the words we want to say or the practice that feels like the right fit. For some, a deadline and a little pressure is helpful, but Dar is quick to point out that at least one of her songs took three years to write.

Is there a store nearby?

Yes, there are stores, pharmacies and a post office a few minutes' drive from the GI. We are happy to make a store run for you if that's helpful.