Please join Rodney and Friends for 4 days and nights of songwriting, singing, and collaborating with our incredible ensemble of talent. Our environments are non-competitive and are solely about immersing oneself in the joys of music and our lovely surroundings!

Your Registration To ‘It Starts With A Song’ Includes:

  • Breathtaking and peaceful accommodations and meals at Tahquitz Pines Retreat for 4 nights
  • Daily masterclasses with Rodney
  • Performances every evening by our incredible instructors
  • Intimate breakout workshops all day every day led by our Faculty of songwriters
  • Open mics every night – a chance for you to perform your songs!
  • Special Q&A’s and concerts by our special guests Bernie Taupin & Madison Cunningham
  • Great company, great inspiration and great collaborations daily!

Invitation From Rodney

Come Songwriters, Come Poets, Come Music Lovers, Come Friends,

Bring with you a guitar and a pen.

I am delighted to extend a heartfelt invitation to join us for my yearly Songwriting Camp ‘ It Starts With A Song.’ This is a unique creative workshop set in Idyllwild, California. With the wisdom and beauty of the mountains and a bevy of master songwriters at my side, we offer the experience of guiding you through the songwriting process. I am humbled at the thought of what is waiting to be written by all of you.It Starts with a Song 2023 Performance

This journey is four days of immersive inspiration, collaboration, and artistic growth. With me at the helm, our core faculty and will include renown songwriters Jeff Trott, Dar Williams, Hayes Carll, Mary Gauthier, Amy Helm and Jim Lauderdale. Additionally, we’re honored to welcome the legendary songwriter, Bernie Taupin and wonderfully gifted Madison Cunningham, as special guests.

This year is exceptionally different from previous editions of the camp as we turned our focus to creating an atmosphere which matches the beauty of each of your creative gifts. Your registration not only gives you access to the songwriting instruction and mastery, it also includes accommodations in breathtaking Idyllwild, CA and all meals throughout the event. With this set up you can fully immerse yourself in the creative process without any distractions surrounded by fellow musicians and the stunning natural beauty of our retreat center.

It Starts with a Song 2023 PerformancesSeasoned songwriters and eager newcomers are not only equally welcome but equally vital in creating an environment of inspiration focused on the art of songwriting, It Starts With A Song Songwriting Camp welcomes you with open arms. Join us for an unforgettable experience filled with music, camaraderie, and the otherworldly endeavor of watching your song come to life.

Spaces are limited, so I encourage you to secure your spot today by registering at [registration link]. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to dive deep into the world of songwriting surrounded by a supportive community of fellow artists.

I look forward to making music and memories with you in Idyllwild!

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Rodney Crowell

Bernie Taupin

Madison Cunningham

Amy Helm

Dar Williams

Hayes Carll

Jeff Trott

Jim Lauderdale

Mary Gauthier

Sarah Jarosz


It Starts With A Song begins on August 12 at 3pm and concludes after the final concert on August 15th.

A full schedule will be announced this Spring but here is what a typical day will look like:

Typical Day

  • 8AM


  • 9:30AM

    Rodney Crowell Masterclass

  • 11AM

    Breakouts with Sarah, Jeff, Dar, Jim, Hayes, Mary and Amy

  • 1PM


  • 2:30PM

    More breakouts with Sarah, Jeff, Dar, Jim, Hayes, Mary and Amy

  • 4PM

    Bernie Taupin Q&A

  • 6PM


  • 8PM

    Madison Cunningham concert

  • 9PM

    Camper open mic – play your songs for your colleagues and the Faculty!

Tahquitz Pines Retreat Center


Tahquitz Pines Retreat Center, nestled in the serene mountains of Idyllwild, California, is a haven for spiritual and creative retreats. Surrounded by towering pine trees and breathtaking mountain vistas, this tranquil oasis offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The retreat center provides a harmonious blend of rustic charm and modern comfort, featuring cozy cabins, meditation spaces, and expansive outdoor areas for reflection and connection with nature. Whether you’re seeking a quiet sanctuary for personal reflection, a space for group workshops, or a picturesque venue for special events, Tahquitz Pines Retreat Center invites you to experience the restorative power of the mountains in the heart of Southern California.

Pricing and Registration

Please note that all rooms at Tahquitz are sold out, but Commuter Packages are still available; we recommend staying at the Idylwyld Inn, just down the road

Pricing and Registration

  • Commuter Package

    Stay wherever you like but be at ISWAS for all daytime activities, workshops, concerts, signings, etc. Does not include accommodations , but does include everything else! Pricing is per person.

  • Single Rooms in a Shared Cabin

    A Single Room with Shared Bathroom in a Cabin with 2 or 3 bedrooms.

  • Single Room One Bed

    Standard private room with one bed and private bathroom. . Pricing is per person.

  • Couples Room with one Bed

    If you would like to have your loved one join you and share a room at the Tahquitz Pines Resort, we recommend this price point. You both share the accommodations, dine together with the group for all meals, and attend all evening concerts together. The room includes one king bed. Pricing is for 2 people.

  • Couples Junior Suite

    If you would like to have your loved one join you at the Tahquitz Pines Resort in a lovely Junior Suite, we recommend this price point. You both share the accommodations, dine together with the group for all meals, and attend all evening concerts together. The room includes one king bed. Pricing is for 2 people.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • 3 amazing meals a day
  • All workshops, activities and entertainment for 4 days and nights
  • Parking
  • Wi-Fi

What's Not Included

  • Transportation
  • Alcohol and snacks
  • Sightseeing excursions in the area
  • Personal musical gear

Pricing and Registration Policy

  • Registration & Payments
    • All rates are per-person, unless stated otherwise.
    • All prices subject to change. Prior sales excluded. Dreamcatcher Events reserves the right to change any price, package or offering at any time without prior notice.
    • All rates are subject to 11.9% surcharge, which includes state and local taxes plus service fees.
  • Installment Payment Plan – Upon checkout, you have the option to pay in full or one 50% installment.
    • Upon registration, a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total purchase amount is charged to your credit card.
    • The remaining balance will be automatically charged to the credit card on file on July 1, 2024.
  • Cancellations
    • All payments and deposits are final and non-refundable unless you enroll in the Active Cancellation Insurance program at checkout. The Active Cancellation Insurance program is a program that will enable you to receive a full refund should you cancel your registration for any reason as long as you file your claim no less than 48 hours before the event.
    • To enroll in this program, you can purchase the Insurance when booking your registration. The cost to consumers is 20% of the cart total after any discounts have been applied. It will clearly spell out the amount in dollars it will cost at the time of checkout.
    • Active Refund is only available to those in the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand. Anyone registering outside of those countries will need to purchase trip cancellation insurance from a 3rd party of their choice.

If you have any questions, please call our customer service number (+1) 800-852-9277, or send us an email at

For complete details please see our Registration and Payment Policy and Cancellation FAQ

Travel Directions

Tahquitz Pines Retreat Center

55251 S Circle Dr.
Idyllwild, CA 92549, USA

Tahquitz Pines Retreat Center

Contact Us

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Instrument Travel

FAA Rules - Bringing Musical Instruments on Flights