Participants of all ages, levels, interests, and tastes welcome!

Rodney Crowell’s It Starts With A Song is an event for songwriters, players, lyricists, and music-lovers of all ages, levels, interests, and tastes! Please join us 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! When you register for It Starts With A Song you get:

  • Performances every evening by our incredible instructors
  • Intimate breakout sessions led by our team of singer-songwriters including David Baerwald, Matraca Berg, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mike Reid, and Lera Lynn.
  • Master sessions with our Special guests: Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, Patty Griffin, and Neko Case.
  • Learn from the top producers every day, all day. The experience that both Tony Brown (Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, Wynonna to name a few) and Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich, Mariana McBride to name a few) have is incomparable.
  • Open mics every night
  • Enjoy great food, company, and collaboration daily!

Rodney Crowell and Dreamcatcher Events respectfully ask all participants to be fully vaccinated or tested for COVID before attending.

An Invitation From Rodney Crowell

Hello fellow songwriters,

I’d like to invite you to join me at my upcoming songwriting camp. It Starts With A Song happens August 25-29, once again at the historic Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Songwriters and musicians of all skill levels, ages, and musical interests are welcome for what will be an informative, illuminating, and I hope inspirational four days of classes, workshops, musical performances, and more.

In the beginning, I called my songwriting camp Rodney Crowell’s Adventures in Song, but over time, having done a couple of them, I realized that my true philosophy, going all the way back to the early part of my process as a professional songwriter, is that you’ve got to have a song to sing. You’ve got to have a song to make a record. You’ve got to have a song to do a performance. It starts with a song.

We’ll be returning to Nashville, which of course has such a significant songwriting history. It all began with a song in Nashville. The Scarritt-Bennett Center is a really beautiful campus and I believe campuses are really conducive to learning. When you step onto a campus, you immediately feel you’re in a place of education. And then, less than a mile away, attendees can get down and sample the functioning life of musicians in Nashville. They can experience live music in Nashville. The historic RCA Studio B is a mere three blocks away; you can go and see where ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was recorded.

I’ve learned quite a bit over the previous camps about what people’s expectations are and how I might best facilitate those needs and expectations. All the craft and technique is there to be taken home if you want it. We’ll talk about the fine art of self-editing and the philosophy of rhyme schemes. However, I’ve learned that many attendees come to the camp simply with a need to express themselves, a need to be heard. People have dreams and sometimes the finer points of songwriting is a lot to digest when you just have a dream of doing it. I don’t want to hit you over the head with everything I’ve learned in 45 years. Instead, I want you to share what you’re trying to express and then my faculty and I will see if we can help you frame it. At the end of the day, we’re there to evaluate each and every person for exactly where they are and find out what’s there to be nurtured, that moves them closer to the kind of self-expression that they want. We’ll find what’s there to encourage you to keep going.

My faculty and I will perform live, as well as instruct; but it’s more important that we create an environment where the attendees can perform for both the instructors and their fellow attendees. We’re not there to impress with our performance skills. It’s more instructive, more about what you can learn from our performance. It’s all in service of the attendees.

We’re always fine tuning to make the camp better for all those who join us. One thing we’ve learned over the previous camps is how to strike just the right balance between instruction and acknowledging your wishes and hopes and dreams. It’s really important to me that everybody has a fulfilling experience but also has a great time. We managed to have a pretty successful songwriter camp last year in the middle of the pandemic, now it’s time to open this thing up and have some real fun!

Hope to see you there!

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Artists

I’ve put together an incredible faculty for It Starts With A SongMike Reid is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and skilled pianist/composers, a hit songwriter with a real generous sensibility and a powerful poetic personality. Matraca Berg is an exceptionally gifted singer/songwriter performer with a deep well of hit songs and an incredible commitment to her art. Beth Nielsen Chapman runs her own songwriting camps, she’s so skilled at hands-on editing and the finer points of rhyme schemes and structure. She’s like a surgeon; she just gets inside of a song. Beth is also really empowering to those attendees who are a little bit timid about their singing – she has a method that’s pretty foolproof: you spend a little while with Beth Nielsen Chapman and she’ll get you singing in no time. Lera Lynn is one of the most poetic singer/songwriters to come on the scene in a long time. Her songs come straight from the heart and her voice is stunningly beautiful. I listen to her music regularly because I learn so much from her, and the topper is this: she’s just about one of the most interesting people around.

I’ll also reveal the inner workings of the producer/artist relationship and the producer/record company relationship by talking to some remarkable producer friends of mine. David Baerwald is a poet, producer, creator,  recording artist, insightful human being, it’s a blessing to have him join us. He has been involved in some of the most timeless collaborations in the last thirty years–a soul stirrer of the highest order. Tony Brown is probably the most successful producer in the history of Nashville. He’ll be there to listen to your songs and give you his feedback. It’s an amazing opportunity to get a little practice of how to pitch your songs to a guy who can get them recorded. Paul Worley is one of Nashville’s most sought-after producers and guitar players; he’ll provide an insightful and very practical perspective on songwriting.

We will also be joined by my very special guests, Rosanne CashJohn Leventhal, and Patty Griffin. Rosanne, John, and I have a long history, so there’s a lot we can get into from a creative point of view. Rosanne and John are both truly gifted songwriters and I expect this will be a very unique event. Patty is a deeply evocative singer/songwriter, performer, and pure artist. I’ll start by interviewing them but then attendees will get to ask questions, so it should be both inspirational and entertaining. Although I don’t know Neko Case very well, I’ve spent countless hours listening to her music. She’s a true innovator and I’m very excited that she will be on hand for “It Starts with a Song.” A real streak of luck that she’ll be with us.

Rodney Crowell

Rosanne Cash

John Leventhal

Patty Griffin

Neko Case

David Baerwald

Tony Brown

Paul Worley

Joe Henry

Beth Nielsen Chapman

Matraca Berg

Lera Lynn

Mike Reid

Schedule

“It Starts With A Song” will begin around 3pm on August 25 and will conclude around 11PM on August 29. The camp schedule is subject to change. You will be provided with an updated schedule upon check-in. Also, we will post the daily schedule in the dining hall in case of last-minute changes.

Thursday August 25

  • 2PM

    Check-in Scarritt Bennett

  • 4PM

    Welcome remarks with Rodney, Beth NC, Mike Reid, David Baerwald, Joe Henry, Matraca Berg, Lera Lynn, Tony Brown, Paul Worley, John Estes

  • 6PM

    Dinner

  • 7PM

    Faculty concert w the above

  • 9PM

    Camper open mic- some faculty to stay

Friday August 26

  • 9AM

    Rodney master class

  • 11AM

    Breakouts led by Beth, Rodney, Mike, David, Matraca, Lera. John Estes, Joe Henry and Tony Brown to float

  • 1PM

    Lunch

  • 2PM

    Breakouts led by Beth, Rodney, Mike, David, Matraca, Lera. John Estes, Joe Henry and Tony Brown to float

  • 4PM

    Rodney Interviews Rosanne and John Leventhall

  • 6PM

    Dinner

  • 7PM

    Rosanne and John concert: 30 minutes

  • 9PM

    Camper open mic- some faculty to stay

Saturday August 27

  • 9AM

    Rodney master class

  • 11AM

    Breakouts led by Beth, Rodney, Mike, David, Matraca, Lera. John Estes, Joe Henry and Tony Brown to float

  • 1PM

    Lunch

  • 2PM

    Breakouts led by Beth, Rodney, Mike, David, Matraca, Lera. John Estes, Joe Henry and Tony Brown to float

  • 4PM

    Rosanne Interviews Neko Case

  • 6PM

    Dinner

  • 7PM

    Neko Case concert: 30 minutes

  • 9PM

    Camper open mic- some faculty to stay

Sunday August 28

  • 1PM

    Lunch

  • 2PM

    Breakouts led by Beth, Rodney, Mike, David, Matraca, Lera. John Estes, Joe Henry and Tony Brown to float

  • 4PM

    Joe Henry interviews Patty Griffin

  • 6PM

    Dinner

  • 7PM

    Patty Griffin concert: 30 minutes

  • 9PM

    Camper open mic- some faculty to stay

Monday August 29

  • 9AM

    Rodney master class

  • 11AM

    Breakouts led by Beth, Rodney, Mike, David, Matraca, Lera. John Estes, Joe Henry and Tony Brown to float

  • 1PM

    Lunch

  • 2PM

    Group photos, signing session

  • 4PM

    The Producers Roundtable with Joe Henry, David Baerwald, Tony Brown, Paul Worley

  • 6PM

    Dinner

  • 7PM

    Camper finale concert- all faculty to attend

Scarritt Bennett Center

There are accommodations available at Scarritt Bennett Center for It Starts with a Song. All accommodations are suites with a private bathroom, etc. The accommodations, however, are for a retreat center and there is no television, room service, etc. available. If you are interested, you can book there using this link.

For those who prefer a first-class, 5-star accommodation, we recommend Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. It is a 4-minute walk to Scarritt Bennett and is one of the best hotels in Nashville. They are offering our guests a preferred rate of $199 per night, which is pretty great in Nashville. To book your room at Loews, please use this link.

What is now Scarritt Bennett Center began in 1892 in Kansas City, MO, as Scarritt College for Christian Workers. A school established to train young women missionaries, Scarritt College trained women for global leadership in the church during a time when women were prohibited from other forms of leadership across most denominations.

Scarritt Bennett Center is located in the historic midtown area, right off Music Row and next to Vanderbilt University. The campus, which is listed on the National Historic Registry, is within walking distance to dozens of restaurants, music venues, and famous Nashville attractions. Campus is also a 5-minute walk to a bus stop, easily accessible via a cab/Lyft/Uber, a 5-minute drive from downtown Nashville, and a 15-minute drive from the Nashville International Airport.

Travel Directions

Scarritt Bennett Center

Address
1027 18th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212

Website
Scarritt Bennett Center

Contact
Contact Us

Open Resort Location In Maps App

Instrument Travel

FAA Rules - Bringing Musical Instruments on Flights

Pricing and Registration

Pricing, Registration, & Accomodations

  • Registration
    2,299

    Your registration will include all performances, workshops, concerts, musical activities, goody bags, lunches, and dinners at Scarritt Bennett – it does not, however, include accommodations.

    If you have a loved one joining you in Nashville, we have a meal plan available for an additional $499 at checkout.

    • For those who prefer a first-class, 5-star accommodation, we recommend Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. It is a 4-minute walk to Scarritt Bennett and is one of the best hotels in Nashville. They are offering our guests a preferred rate of $199 per night, which is pretty great in Nashville. To book your room at Loews, please use this link.
    • There are also accommodations available at Scarritt Bennett Center for It Starts with a Song. All accommodations are suites with a private bathroom, etc. The accommodations, however, are for a retreat center and there is no television, room service, etc available. If you are interested, you can book there using this link.

    Of course, you are welcome to stay wherever you like in Nashville as well!

What's Included

  • All workshops, activities, and entertainment for 4 days and nights
  • Amazing lunches and dinners
  • Parking

What's Not Included

  • Accommodations
  • 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 9.9% surcharge, which includes all local, state, and occupancy taxes.
  • 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 May 1, 2022.
  • Cancellations
    • All payments and deposits are final and non-refundable.
  • Dreamcatcher Events LLC reserves the right to re-schedule any event if there should be an “Act of God,” pandemic, natural disaster, or any other circumstance which makes an event impossible to hold. In this circumstance, Dreamcatcher may issue full financial credit in the amount paid to all registrants who have paid. These “Credited” funds may be used solely for the specific event to be rescheduled. The financial credit shall last two years from the dates of postponement. Registration refunds will not be distributed in the event that an event has to be rescheduled due to circumstances beyond Dreamcatcher’s control. This also applies to any registrant who may not be able to attend an event due to Covid and/or Force Measure.

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

For complete details please see our Registration and Payment Policy