Matlock Festival of Music Art and Nature


Saturday, September 2nd 2016

Songwriting Retreat with Brett Nelson and Micah Erenberg

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The songwriter’s workshop is geared towards people of all ages. Whether you have written many songs and want to improve your skills or are writing songs for the first time, this workshop is for you. It will involve sharing your work with the group, receiving constructive criticism from mentors, collaborating with other participants and personal writing time.

One of the main goals of the day will be to finish a song you are working on and/or to write a new song.

The workshop will be directed by experienced singer/songwriters, Brett Nelson and Micah Erenberg. Brett and Micah have been pursuing songwriting and performing as a career for several years. It has taken them on tour across much of Canada and the US and has allowed them to take part in several songwriting focused retreats and workshops.

This workshop will take place on Friday September 2nd at the old Matlock Festival Grounds. If weather permits it will be held outdoors. If enough interest is shown a second workshop will be added on Saturday September 3rd.

Workshop schedule: 
The workshop will begin in the morning with a song sharing circle. Each participant will get to share at least one song, which will then be critiqued by Brett and Micah and discussed among the group. This exercise will introduce the participants to each other and will help to teach the importance of diversity and individuality in each person’s writing.

After the song circle, the participants will be split up into small focus groups based on their experience, styles and goals for the day. Brett and Micah will go from group to group, helping to boost creativity, giving tips, making suggestions and helping to avoid writing blocks.

The group will then break for dinner and to talk about the progress they have made that day. Following dinner participants will be welcome to stay as long as they want for more personal and/or collaborative writing time. There are 45 acres of preserved wildlife to explore, a grass labyrinth provides a great space for thought and reflection and a beautiful beach is only three blocks away.

Participants are welcome to camp on the land and a campfire jam will take place in the evening for those who do. Participants will be required to bring their own lunch and dinner and must be comfortable using an out house.

$60 for adults
$40 for youth
Sliding scale for low income. Contact us for more information - We want you here!

Please contact Micah to register with your name, age (14+), town and phone number. 
T: 204-223-2313

A bit more about your hosts:

Brett Nelson grew up in a small town in Eastern Alberta. Setting out toward a life with music in his early teenage years, Brett played in garage bands and became interested in recording. When a friend’s band invited him to tag along on a cross-Canada tour, opening a few dates, he jumped on the opportunity to see the coun- try at ground level. Spending time on the road opened a floodgate and Brett began setting up his own tours, recording his songs and thus began honing his song- writing craft.

Brett became involved in workshopping and took grasp of constructive criticism as a Young Per- former at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, with mentors Greg MacPherson (Song writer and founder of Disin- tegration Records) and Tony Dekker of the Great Lake Swimmers with groups of young songwriters. As a Cre- ative Writing student, Brett took part in a month-long songwriting workshop facilitated by John K. Samson and Christine Fellows and, while in a writing residency in Toronto, completed a two-month songwriting course at the University of Toronto, taught by Dave Bidini of the Rheostatics.