Dance, Music & Songwriting

Gain inspiration and experience in courses designed for either those entering into the world of music or film, or those in pursuit of new opportunities and knowledge in their chosen field.


Exploring Dance and Movement

Ellen Rosa-Taylor & Hai Cohen
June 18-22

This workshop is geared towards dance teachers, former dancers, current dancers and those who love to move but have not had any formal dance experience. Each day will cover a range of dance and conditioning techniques such as ballet, pilates, modern dance, improvisation, choreography/composition, teaching of dance technique and dance conditioning. The mornings will be dedicated to developing and refining the instrument of dance, the body, through dance technique classes. In the afternoon students will have the option to explore the creative dance process using improvisation to generate movement ideas and then learning the craft of composition to put those ideas into a piece of dance art, or they can choose the option to discuss various teaching of dance theories and techniques.

Skill Level: All levels welcomed. A love of dance is most important.
Tuition: $735
Lab fee: $20, includes the book, A Choreographer’s Handbook and handouts; you may be asked to bring additional items.
Materials List: Download Here
Enrollment limited to 20 students

Ellen Rosa-Taylor is chair of the Dance Department at Idyllwild Arts Academy. She received her BS in Ballet from Indiana University, Bloomington, her MFA in Dance from Florida State University where she was the recipient of the Deans Teaching Fellowship and a University Fellowship. Ellen has performed as a ballerina with the Los Angeles Opera, New York City and San Diego Opera and as principal dancer with City Ballet of Los Angeles, Media City Ballet, and Chattanooga Ballet. She was featured as the Bluebird in Disney’s Snow White. As a choreographer, Ellen has had her works presented across the USA. LA Times has called her style… “a unique jazz ballet style.” As a dance educator, she is an ABT Affiliate Teacher and has received the distinction of ABT NTC Fellow; she has received Yoga Teacher Training with Gerhard Gessnar, and is working to develop a curriculum to provide yoga for dancers to help them gain strength and joint stability.

Hai Cohen is a native of Beer-Sheva, Israel. His professional training began at Bat-Dor dance school where he was a recipient of the American-Israeli Cultural Scholarship. Hai continued his dance training with Bat-Sheva Dance Company. He was a member of the Kamea Contemporary Dance Company and the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. He has had the opportunity to teach Kibbutz repertory in various places around the world. From 2010-2013 Hai performed as a member of the LA-based contemporary dance company, BODYTRAFFIC. He is currently on the dance faculty at the Idyllwild Arts Academy and his choreography has placed his students in first place at (YAGP) for numerous years.

Piano Performance Workshop

In partnership with the California Piano Performance Workshop for Adults

Doug Ashcraft, Antoinette Perry, William Wellborn
June 10-15  (Begins Sunday at 3pm)

Designed for the serious adult student with the desire to improve or refresh knowledge and performance skills, this workshop will develop your piano performance skills at intermediate and advanced levels. You will work with professional piano instructors who are also performing artists. Students will learn music theory and take private lessons and Master Classes, with plenty of time set aside for practice.
Your workshop will begin with Orientation on Sunday afternoon, followed by a faculty recital on Sunday evening. Classes and lessons will begin on Monday, continuing throughout the week. Your experience will conclude with a performance recital open to the public in the beautiful new Lowman Concert Hall; students will be expected to perform, but not required.

Skill level: Pianists age 25 or over at intermediate to advanced level (amateurs and professionals). You will submit a list of performance-ready repertoire.
Tuition: $1,200
Materials List: Download Here
Enrollment limited to 12 students

Dr. Douglas Ashcraft has performed to acclaim in recitals and concerts throughout the US and Europe. He began his formal training as a student of Aldo Mancinelli. Graduate work with John Perry followed at USC. An active chamber musician, he has performed in recitals at the Concertgebeouw, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Wigmore Hall. His performing career has included radio broadcasts on New York’s WQXR and live chamber music recitals on KKGO, KMZT and KUSC in Los Angeles, and BBC Radio 3 in London.

Antoinette Perry has appeared throughout the US, Europe and China as a soloist and chamber musician, collaborating with many of the world’s greatest artists. Distinguishing herself also as a pedagogue, she served for 12 years on the UCLA piano faculty before joining the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 1996. She frequently gives master classes and serves as an adjudicator. Former students are enjoying successful careers as performers and pedagogues throughout the US and Asia.

Dr. William Wellborn enjoys an active career as a pianist, teacher and lecturer on three continents, and holds degrees from the New England Conservatory (MM) and the University of Texas, Austin (DMA and BM). A guest artist at music festivals in Canada, France, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Brazil, this July he joins the faculty of the Krakow Piano Seminar. He has co-hosted 15 music tours throughout Europe; is on the national board of the American Liszt Society; serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his students are frequently top prizewinners. William records for the Marco Polo and Cambria Master Recordings labels.

The Listening Room Songwriters Retreat

Community Through Co-Writing

Brett Perkins
June 10-15

Calling all songwriters, from beginners to seasoned pros seeking rejuvenation. Focus on ‘tools, not rules’ and exercises designed to encourage your own self-expression and creative flow. Bring your open mind and willingness to participate. Lyricists, writers, singers, musicians, hobbyists and curious creatives are welcome. You do not need to play an instrument (but bring yours if you like) or to have written songs before. Plan to bring a recording device and note-taking materials. More than 1,000 writers of all levels from more than 20 countries have used Listening Room Songwriting workshops, courses and retreats since 2002 to jump-start or rejuvenate their skills.

Skill Level: All levels
Tuition: $735
Materials List: Download Here
Schedule & Info: Download Here
Enrollment limited to 20 students

Brett Perkins is a California-born, Copenhagen-based songwriter, consultant, educator and presenter. He is founder of the Listening Room Retreats, Copenhagen Songwriters Festival, Listening Room Concert Series, Open Stage and more. Brett’s writing credits appear on international artists’ albums including the Top 10 single ‘Breaking News’ for Sony artist Mads Langer, and songs co-written with Tom Kimmel (Sean Colvin, Johnny Cash), Una Healy (The Saturdays), Boo Hewedine (Natalie Imbruglia), among others. An active writer/performer since the early 1980s, his voice and songs appear on more than 20 releases, as well as film and TV, widespread radio play and first place selections in the Great American and Australian song contests. He tours and records with Michaut/Perkins, The Pawnshop Preachers and solo.

Cigar Box Guitar Making Plus!

Glenn Kaiser
June 18-22

Join renowned Cigar Box Guitar master player and maker Glenn Kaiser in this DIY guitar building and playing workshop. You will gather simple wood for a guitar neck, a cigar box or metal cookie tin for the body, and use a hacksaw, drill and drill bits to create holes for guitar strings and eyebolt/wingnut tuners. Expect to complete a one-to-three string cigar box guitar, without frets, to be played with a slide – with or without an electric pickup! Learn various techniques from basic to mature slide guitar playing, as well as improvisation. Glenn will talk about the history of blues and these unique instruments, and give demonstrations on a range of topics from how to string and tune your guitar to adding pickups, making a slide, and other tricks. Decorating and playing your own little guitar is part of the fun! It’s all about doing a lot with very little, using creativity and imagination, taking risks and accomplishment.

Skill level: Beginner to master craft persons, no music experience necessary.
Tuition: $735
Lab Fee: $20, includes sandpaper, copper slide, metal guitar strings, wood screws, thumbtacks, eyebolt/wingnut combination, guitar picks, pre-soldered piezo “pickup” with ¼ inch input; you may be asked to bring additional materials.
Materials List: Download Here
Enrollment limited to 15 students

Glenn Kaiser, world renowned blues musician and cigar box guitar player and maker, has been performing since he was 12 years old. He is an inner-city Chicago blues musician who loves people, music and instruments of the earliest Delta singers/players (Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Son House). He has released 37 albums (GrrrRecords). He tours widely, performing, lecturing on blues history, cigar box guitars, and teaching workshops. Glenn devotes much of his time to service, including working with Chicago’s inner-city homeless and poor.

Additional workshops you may be interested in:

Native American Flute Making
Creation of Northwest Coast Hand Drums