Seasoned songwriters, budding musicians, lovers of music and connection, this is for you! I am excited to announce the evolution of this amazing community which began 10 years ago in my Portland living room! You asked for it, you created it, now let’s get together and make it magical! Join us as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary and kickoff the first annual Songwriters Soiree Retreat! ~ Robin Jackson
NW Songwriters Soiree Retreat!
Stampfer Retreat Center, Olympia, WA
What began in 2009 as an inspiring monthly living room potluck, has turned into one of the largest communities of songwriters and lovers of music in the Pacific Northwest! This event is not a typical “songwriting retreat” that is just for songwriters. The Soiree is a place for anyone to enjoy the art and craft of songwriting, to learn music, and to enjoy community and connection! Think of it as a creative arts camp, where songwriting and sharing is the focus. And on top of that, there are many ways for non-songwriters (or budding songwriters) to participate creatively through our dynamic array of workshops and offerings.
We’re turning the magic of the monthly event into a 4 day concentrated experience. Please join us in a beautiful place making music with friends old and new!
What’s going to happen!
• Open Mic sharing
• Songwriting workshops
• Music and poetry workshops
• Community connection
• Yoga and dance
• Writing and reflection
• Singing and all night campfire jams
• Hiking and fun
• Delicious healthy food!
About the retreat
What makes the soiree so special is the music, yes…and even more, it’s the PEOPLE! Our mission is to support songwriters of all skill levels and genres, create an inspiring and supportive experience, and provide a safe space where individuals can express themselves through music and storytelling.
Whether you are a songwriter yet or not, this event is for you! Yes, it’s a songwriting retreat. And it’s also a creative arts and community retreat! The retreat provides an opportunity to learn the craft of songwriting, to develop and expand musical skills, and to commune and share with others, yourself, and nature, in an intimate and connected way.
The focus of the retreat is on the SHARING aspect vs a dedicated songwriting retreat centered around dozens of workshops on the craft. While we will definitely be offering AMAZING songwriting and music workshops, the main event is an open mic session each night wherein participants share songs they have written, or are working on...followed by all night campfire jams!
Also note that sharing a song or writing a song isn’t required at all. How you participate is up to you! Just listen, bring your presence, give feedback, relax, learn and enjoy!
All set in a location that provides an environment conducive to creativity, support and relaxation!
SONGWRITER SOIREE OPEN MIC SESSIONS
This is the heart of the soiree. Each night we will gather together in an intentional and supportive space, to share original songs. Participants are encouraged to talk about the process!
We are over the moon excited to have some amazing regionally recognized and talented teachers, performers and mentors join us (Stay tuned for the full list!). We will be offering daily workshop choices in all aspects of songwriting including lyricism, arranging, storytelling, form, musicality and more! All levels.
MUSIC, PERFORMANCE AND CREATIVITY WORKSHOPS
Not a songwriter? Want to learn how to play the ukulele or guitar or just sing in a group? This retreat is for ANYONE who wants to be creative or just enjoy the community vibes. We will be offering workshops on circle singing, vocal improv, drumming, beginning guitar, ukulele, music performance, confidence and more!
YOGA AND DANCE
Begin each day with an optional, inspiring led yoga class taught by one of our renowned teachers, and an ecstatic dance on Sunday!
GROUP CONNECTION AND PLAY
Part of what makes the soiree unique is the safe, supportive and connected space we create. We will be taking some time to get to know each other (just like Summer camp!) and offer some fun, connecting activities to make the weekend even more awesome. Optional, yet encouraged!
We came here to relax, right?! Take the time YOU need to unwind, be still and let inspiration find you. We will provide lots of free time and space for reflection, hiking and connection with other activities. The property offers tons of hiking trails, basketball, sports fields, and a beautiful lake!
FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION AT AN AMAZING RETREAT CENTER!
We are stoked to be at the Stampfer Jewish Retreat Center, about 10 miles south of Olympia, WA. They are very open and encouraging to groups of all beliefs and backgrounds. The retreat center boasts 175 acres of wild wetlands, a lake and a gorgeous river! The meeting spaces are big, updated and aesthetically pleasing with space for yoga, dance and performing!
Accommodations are clean, comfy and easily accessible near the main lodges. Sleeping arrangements mainly consist of clean, cozy shared cabins (10 beds per room). We have a limited amount of smaller hotel style rooms which each contain a queen and 4 bunks. These can be rented for an additional cost for a family, group or solo. First come first serve so sign up now if you want one). Limited tent camping and RV parking is also available for privacy at a slightly lesser cost. Please inquire for more info when you register.
Guests must bring their own linens and blankets. Linens are available to rent for additional cost.
All food is included! Enjoy three nutritious and healthy home cooked meals a day, as well as 24 hour snacks, coffee, tea and other refreshments always available in the main lodge. The kitchen staff is friendly to all dietary needs including vegan, GF, Kosher, etc. And has different sections of the kitchen devoted to each! How awesome is that!
For more information on the facility please click here.
What you’ll take away from the weekend!
• Songwriting tools and tips
• Creative confidence
• New skills in music
• New friends and connections
• Soothing time in nature
• A feeling of relaxation and peace
• A new song!
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFO
Check in is Thursday, OCT 10th between 3-7pm. Dinner is at 7pm followed by opening circle and orientation.
Check out is Sunday, OCT 13th at 3pm after closing circle (guests asked to leave by 4pm).
You will immediately get more information on arrival/departure, schedule and accommodations after you register.
We SO look forward to having you join us for this truly magical weekend! Your tuition includes all facilities, accommodations, workshops and food - Everything for just $389!
Due to the cost and value of the retreat, the ticket price could be much higher. However as this is our first event, we want to make it easier for more people to come, so enjoy this first year price!
Click below to register and you will be directed to Paypal. After you complete payment, please click “Return to Merchant” and you will be directed to the registration page with more info and then sent an email confirmation.
If you need other payment options please contact me.
Once your payment is complete, you will be taken to a page with more information and an important registration form. Thanks!
Cancellation Policy: All payments are non-refundable. Exceptions may be made if someone on the waiting list or someone not already registered can take your spot. There will be a $25 admin fee applied for transfers.
Our amazing arts team!
These are some of our amazing teachers and their offerings so far. More will be added soon, so stay tuned!
Robin Jackson, Retreat Director and Facilitator. An Award-winning songwriter, teacher, activist, and spirited impresario, Jackson has dedicated himself to creating connection through art and music. He is the founder of the Songwriter Soiree, Director of Joy Now youth program, and performs and records internationally as a musician. In addition to directing the retreat, Robin will be leading a workshop on vocal improv and jamming! "A captivating song-crafter, a true storyteller." - NPR. www.robinjackson.net
Matt Meighan, Songwriting instructor. Matt is a co-founder of Hidden River Songwriting Camp. Matt teaches the popular "Songwriting as Truth-Telling" class and hosts Songwriter Roundup at Artichoke Music in Portland. He studied poetry at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado, where he earned an MFA in writing and poetics. He has been called "one of the most honest voices in folk music." Matt will be teaching a variety of songwriting workshops and we are so excited to have this maestro on board! www.MattMeighan.com
Sara Tone has been teaching and performing music in the Portland area since 2005. She is a graduate of the The Evergreen State College and has taught a variety of classes to both kids and adults including Intro to West African Drumming and Community and Performance Choirs. Sara’s strengths are songs rooted in heartfelt messages about life and social justice. She is a consummate song crafter and expert of West African Drumming. She will be offering workshops on drumming as accompaniment, jamming and voice. Sara's intention as a teacher is to help build strong foundations in rhythm, voice, hearing and feeling music through awareness, technique, and JOY!!! saratonehome.org
Blair Borax, Yoga Instructor. A dedicated and sincere practitioner, and a Yoga Bhoga-trained 500-hr RYT, Blair shares the practice of yoga as an offering for personal and collective, divine and radical, growth, healing and liberation. Inspired by growing food and making music, she often weaves song, chanting, and metaphors from the natural world into her classes. You can find her on instagram at @blairartthou to get to know her more and find her offerings!
Niema Lightseed, Poetry Workshop Instructor. Niema Lightseed is a priestess of the new paradigm dedicated to transforming oppression through embodiment education, linguistic analysis, art, and ritual. A healing artist since 2004, she writes, performs, and teaches medicinal poetry; offers creativity coaching; teaches about the convergence of liberation politics and somatic awareness; and seeks the marrow of life through a variety of meditative and creative disciplines. Niema will be offering workshops on poetry, writing and unlocking the words within! www.radwellbeing.com
Lewis Childs, Music and Songwriting Instructor. Lewis Childs is a songwriter, performer, educator and recording engineer based in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of the U of O school of music, he sings in many languages and has a diverse set of musical influences that inform his work as a songwriter and producer. He has performed in ten different countries and has taught workshops throughout the Pacific Northwest. He is offering a workshop entitled, “Hey Song, What do you Need?” This workshop looks at how each song can be viewed as an entity that has the power to teach us about ourselves and reach a community of people who can support one another. We will explore concepts of harmony, rhythm, lyric writing and the editorial process and touch on strategies for developing arrangements that serve the song in a variety of environments. “Oh the places you’ll go…” Open to all levels.
Jonathan Brinkley, Music and Songwriting Instructor. Jonathan is a singer, songwriter, and music teacher in Portland, Oregon and around the world. Often called “deeply moving” and “emotionally intelligent” by fans, he is known for a unique honesty and musicality that combine to take listeners on their own inner journey. A two-year commitment to writing a song every week has challenged and changed his own creative landscape and developed powerful tools in the process. Now, after three studio albums and many extended tours, he brings these tools to playful yet compelling workshops. His greatest hope is to inspire others to use their own gifts to change their lives.