Workshop: Songwriting in the Tradition with Alice Gerrard - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Workshop: Songwriting in the Tradition with Alice Gerrard

December 9, 2023 @ 10:00 am - December 10, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

A photo of Alice Gerrard with and acoustic guitar slung over her shoulder.

Dates: Saturday, December 9 – Sunday, December 10, 2023

Times: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 –  4:00 p.m. daily 

Location: Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Cost Per Person:
$150+ tax/fee for adults
$100+ tax/fee for high school & college students with discount code ALICESTUDENT
(limited student tickets available)


Join us at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for a two-day Songwriting in the Tradition Workshop with legendary singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Alice Gerrard. With a career spanning some 50 years, Alice has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. This two-day workshop will be an opportunity for attendees to dig deep into their creativity and muse in a safe and supportive environment. Students will explore the songwriting process (different for everyone) and have fun sharing their creations. Participants are encouraged to bring along a rhyming dictionary or thesaurus, notebook, their own instrument, recording devices, and fragments of inspiration, both melodic and lyric.

A limited number of scholarships are available to attend; please send inquiries to Toni Doman at

“The Tradition”:
“I define ‘the tradition’ loosely as southern traditional music including unaccompanied ballads, country ballads, and blues to George Jones…as opposed to pop. But I’m not going to quibble about style except that I’m much more familiar with songwriting in that tradition. However, you will be free to choose the kind of song you want to write. The main goal is to write something and hopefully to grab onto a melody to go with it. Building on the bedrock of “three chords and the truth” is a good way to start. You should be able to accompany yourself (nothing fancy but just know keys and their chords and be able to change chords with ease). This will be easier on a guitar, mandolin, piano, autoharp, etc. But I (we) can guide you in case you have a melody or fragment of melody but are not sure what chords to use. At the end of the two days, students will have an original composition and we’ll do a small performance for each other. No particular level is required, just the desire to write a song or finish a song you’ve started. Songwriting is personal and everyone will have different ideas. There are as many different approaches to songwriting as there are songwriters. You are not alone!” ~ Alice Gerrard



December 9, 2023 @ 10:00 am
December 10, 2023 @ 4:00 pm
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