Excitingly, we can announce the return of the legendary singer-songwriter Dean Friedman who will again operate his residential summer songwriting course with us in Carcassonne.
Acknowledged as one of the best lyrics-and-melody composers in the music industry and with the perfect, instantly-recognisable soaring voice which gave him hit songs like Ariel, Well Well Said the Rocking Chair, Lydia – and, of course, the quirky and memorable British chart-topper Lucky Stars – Dean has remained a major inspiration to other songwriters for more than three decades.
Summer Songwriting Course (4 days residential)
This is a rare and exclusive opportunity to spend four days at the French House Party learning the techniques of composing with a performer frequently compared to Billy Joel and Paul Simon – and described by one music critic as “A genius. An original. A musical craftsman of unrivalled expertise.”
Three Weeks reviewer Tom Bell declared: “Dean Friedman is entirely unique and utterly brilliant” – a sentiment which was seconded by the groups of singer-songwriters who join Dean’s course in France.
The all-inclusive 4-day break will contain 3 days of group instruction workshops, jamming sessions, one-to-one tuition, writing, performances and the bonus of a privately Dean Friedman evening gig at home .
Non-participating partners sharing a room with a participant are welcome at a reduced rate of £100 off the full price.
Dates: 29 June – 02 July 2018
All-inclusive price: £895 per person sharing a twin/double bedroom;
£100 reduction for non-participant sharing participant’s room;
single-occupancy supplement of £60 per person.
2016 Course Photos
Songwriting workshop – synopsis
Three days of workshops will explore a handful of useful tools and strategies for inspiring and facilitating the craft of learning song writing. The role of choice in determining the theme, idiom, narrative voice and goal of a song will be examined along with strategies for creating an environment that encourages inspiration to strike. Students will be encouraged to share their original compositions, for comment and review. Each day, students will be given specific song writing assignments, individually and/or in pairs, tailored to explore some of the basic principles of the craft of songwriting.
1.00pm – 2.00pm
2.00pm – 4.30pm
Songwriting Workshop: Session 1 – Choosing Direction
Songwriting Workshop: Session 3 – Solving the Puzzle
1.00pm – 2.00pm
2.00pm – 5.30pm
Songwriting Assignment Time (individual or pairs)
5.30pm – 7.30pm
8.00pm – 9.00pm
9.00pm – 11.00pm
Final Workshop Round-Robin Performance
8.30am – 9.30am
Q. Do I need to be able to read music?
A. No. Some knowledge of music notation or familiarity with chords or tablature can be helpful, but is not necessary. Paul McCartney could barely read music starting out, and he managed pretty well.
Q. Do I need to be able to PLAY music – for example, what if I’m interested in writing lyrics only?
A. No. Lyricists are welcome. If both parties are amenable, it may be desirable to for a lyricist to pair up with an instrumentalist, but that is completely optional and not a requirement of this course.
Q. Similarly, what if I can write the music, but I’m rotten with words?
A. Non-lyricists are welcome too. As above, If both parties are amenable, it may be desirable to for a lyricist to pair up with an instrumentalist, but that is completely optional and not a requirement of this course.
Q. Do I have to be able to sing well?
A. Not at all. But earnestness, forthrightness and sincerity count for a lot.
Q. Will I have to give a public performance?
A. We encourage you to, because sharing your efforts benefits both you and your peers, but we won’t short-sheet your bed, if you elect not to.
Q. What will I have to bring with me? E.g. some samples of songs or poetry I’ve already composed? An instrument? Notebook, Journal, Music Manuscript or Tablature paper? Writing implements? Laptop/Notebook computers?
A. You are encouraged to bring three or four samples of original songs or poems. And if you play an acoustic instrument – guitar, ukulele, banjo, auto-harp, etc. – you are encouraged to bring it. A keyboard and guitar will also be available during the workshop sessions. All participants are required to bring some type of notebook, journal or manuscript (music notation) paper or pad plus writing implement or laptop/notebook for sketching, documenting and editing their songs. Additional note pads, some manuscript paper and writing implements will also be available.
Q. Will these be group sessions or will there be some one-to-one instruction?
A. Workshop Sessions will consist of a mix of group lecture, discussion and round-robin review; the round-robin review component will involve personalized instruction in a group setting. During song writing assignment times, the instructor will be available for some one-to-one feedback and instruction.
Testimonial on Dean Friedman at the French House Party: Open PDF
More Info on Dean Friedman course schedule: Open PDF
Dean Friedman 2012 course video
Dean Friedman 2010 course video
For further information, to check availability or to book call Moira Martingale on