A Creative Retreat in Scotland
May 23-30, 2017 • Kincardine Castle • Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Limited to 15 Participants
Registration Is Open—Only a Few Spaces Left!
Please Email Lydia with any questions.
With Guest Songwriting Teacher: Mary Gauthier
Castles, bagpipes, fiddles, songwriting, churches, whisky, dancing, kilts, royalty, singing, history … these are just a few of the delights waiting for our small group of creative spirits during our retreat in the beautiful Northeastern part of Scotland. Aberdeen City and Shire is a land where majestic landscapes meet the sea, is a part of the Royal Family’s life, and is home to cultural and historical gems.
Award-winning songwriter and artist Mary Gauthier will be our guest teacher during the week, with morning songwriting classes, hands-on song crafting, and exercises to help hone in on your unique writer’s voice. Plus lots of playing, singing, sharing and laughing!
Lydia Hutchinson knows how to throw a well-organized, world class educational songwriting experience in mystical and magical parts of the world! And all the participants were engaging, highly creative and fun for me to share this experience. One of the best gifts I’ve ever given to myself! —Joseph Leavell
Helping to plan and sprinkle her own magic on our week is Scotland’s beloved Fiona Kennedy—singer, songwriter, actress, broadcaster, and shimmering soul of fun. Included in her many honors is a 2014 appointment as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music and charitable services in Scotland … so with her help the things we have planned for you are once-in-a-lifetime experiences!
If there is any part of you that hesitates regarding the cost or taking the time off from your busy life to attend one of these workshops, all I can say is that clicking ‘submit’ was the best gift I ever gave myself. And it continues to give, even months and years later. Having now attended two of Lydia’s workshops, I can share in full honesty that she creates and seamlessly orchestrates the kind of experiences that you hold in your cell-memory; in your bones. The kind of moments where you realize why you are here, that you are capable of more joy and growth than you thought possible, that the world is still full of spectacular beauty and that you, your voice and your songs are worthy and deserving. —Jane Kramer
Joining us throughout the week will be the phenomenal fiddler, Scotland’s Paul Anderson. Paul is known as the finest Scots fiddler of his generation and already an icon in his country. He has composed over 450 tunes in the traditional Scottish idiom, performs around the world, teaches … and is one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet. He and his wife, the celebrated singer Shona Anderson, will sprinkle their magic over our week.
Lydia finds extraordinary, magical places from which to host workshops. The journey through the week was luscious, thoroughly creative, progressive. Life-changing discoveries seemed to come in waves, through the days. —Janie Barnett
Our group of 15 will be staying at one of Scotland’s finest Victorian Castles, Kincardine, on a 3,000 acre estate overlooking the spectacular Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire. Joining us in our activities and dining experiences will be the owners, Andrew and Nicky Bradford, who will add historical tales and a traditional song or two to the adventure. (Also of note, Nicky is an accomplished pianist, and one of only a handful of fully qualified Suzuki Method piano teachers in Scotland.)
So if you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Scotland with a group of like-minded creative spirits, join us for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And as I tell everyone joining us for Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops: Set aside all of your expectations and show up cracked open and ready for whatever’s to come. The stage will then be set for the universe to work its magic and change your life in ways you didn’t even know you needed.
More Performing Songwriter Creative Workshop Testimonials Can Be Found HERE.
Any questions, email Lydia Hutchinson.
Registration Is Open!
All-Inclusive Week of Music, Food & Friends • Limit 15 People
As a small group of 15 people, we will stay at the magnificent Victorian Kincardine Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland’s breathtaking northeastern countryside just 35 minutes from Aberdeen. It is a grand family home and 3,000 acre estate on a hillside overlooking Royal Deeside and the hills of the Cairngorms National Park. You will enjoy gorgeous gardens and world-class hospitality from Andrew and Nicky Bradford, their team including a full-time chef, and delicious food and superb wines. When staying at Kincardine Castle you quickly realize it’s not like a nice hotel; it’s far more special. Like staying in a grand country house with friends, in comfortable bedrooms each with its own bathroom.
Each morning there will be a delicious homemade breakfast cooked especially for us. Enjoying it together in the castle’s dining room is the perfect way to begin the day.
We will have songwriting workshops on four of the mornings, taught by the extraordinary songwriter Mary Gauthier. She will lead inspiring classes to help you tap into your writer’s voice and fine-tune your songs.
We will have meals each night that are nothing short of events—opening night dinner, an evening with fresh fish brought in from Aberdeen, and a closing night gala—all complete with before-dinner drinks and visiting.
In addition, we will have outings planned by Scotland’s beloved Fiona Kennedy to countryside churches, castles, a distillery tour, a pub with a gathering of local musicians including the world-renowned fiddler Paul Anderson, a traditional Ceilidh, a day in Royal Deeside including Balmoral Estates, and many more surprises!
There’ll be plenty of down time to wander the estate and gardens, work on your writing or other creative projects, play music and co-write, and enjoy local musicians. There will also be a free day where you can dream up what you’d like to do and we can help plan it: play golf, fish, or a guided tour of Aberdeen and the area with Fiona.
So the universe is ready to take the wheel for a week in the magical countryside of Scotland. Say yes and show up. And then let the music, history, culture and friendship begin to work its magic in your life.
Details and Price
Once you’ve arrived at Kincardine Castle, you will be completely taken care of. All of your meals are covered except for one day that you will have on your own to explore other areas or hang around the castle.
Here is a list of a few of the things that are included:
- Transportation to Kincardine Castle from the Aberdeen airport—two shuttles will be scheduled on Tuesday May, 23 and two from the Castle to Aberdeen airport on Tuesday, May 30. There is a train that is a bus ride away from the airport if you need to catch it to or from there if you’re traveling elsewhere.
- 7 nights in a beautiful antique-furnished bedroom with its own bathroom at Kincardine Castle: Arrive Tuesday Afternoon May 23, and leave Tuesday Morning May 30.
- Four mornings of songwriting classes with Mary Gauthier, and a one-on-one session with her during the week.
- Hearty, homemade breakfasts each morning for the group, served in the dining room.
- Light lunches of soups and sandwiches at the castle.
- Five evenings of dinners and wine at the castle, prepared by their chef, including an opening night welcome extravaganza, closing night gala, a special night of fresh fish brought in from the coast, and before-dinner drinks each evening.
- An afternoon in the countryside, visiting churches, an antique shop, and more.
- A day in Royal Deeside, with an insider’s tour of Balmoral Estates, a whisky distillery tour, a visit to Braemar with dinner and a musical event, just to name a few things planned for that day…
- An afternoon at the Royal Family’s Balmoral Estates along the River Dee.
- A free day that we can help plan, including setting up a game of golf, fishing, or an afternoon in Aberdeen city with Fiona Kennedy.
- Musical performances, dancing, cultural talks by guests…
- … and many more surprises.
All-Inclusive Pricing (except for airfare):
- $3,495 Double Occupancy Room With Private Bath (Available for 10 People)
- $4,295 Single Occupancy Room With Private Bath (Available for 5 People)
- $1000 Deposit (Plus $800 Single Room Supplement if Applicable) Upon Registration
- [$2000 Total Deposit If You Register After After Feb. 1, 2017]
- Second Payment (If You Registered Before Feb. 1) of $1000 Invoiced and Due February 1, 2017
- Third Payment of $1000 Invoiced and Due March 1, 2017
- Balance of $495 Invoiced and Due April 1, 2017
Must be 21 Years or Older
- All payments and deposits are non-refundable if we are not able to fill the spot. If we are able to fill the spot, however, you will be refunded all but $500.
Any questions, email Lydia Hutchinson.
Registration and Deposit
Registration is on a first-come basis, as well as room availability for the breakdown of single and double occupancy. You are not confirmed until the deposit is received, and you receive a direct email from Lydia confirming it and addressing any questions. If you end up not being confirmed after your deposit is paid because of the event and rooms being filled, you will be immediately refunded in full.
Registration Is Open!
Please Email Lydia with any questions.
About Mary Gauthier:
“Mary Gauthier has been teaching songwriting for over five years, and has led songwriting workshops all over the world—from Australia to Ireland to Costa Rica, to cities all over the United States and Canada. She has worked with thousands of students in all genres of music and levels of experience, and has helped them connect with their truth and articulate in their songs.”
A New Orleans native who now resides in Nashville, Mary is a singer songwriter who the Associated Press named one of the best songwriters of her generation. Her sophomore release, Filth and Fire, was named “#1 Independent CD of the Year” by Jon Pareles of the New York Times. Her following three releases were listed in both the LA Times and New York Times top three releases of the year. Her record Mercy Now was listed in the “Top 5 Records of the Decade” by No Depression magazine.
Mary completed her sixth studio album, Trouble and Love, released in June 2014. Her songs have been recorded by dozens of artists including Jimmy Buffett, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Candi Staton and Mike Farris, and have been used extensively in Film and Television all over the world, including the ABC hit show Nashville, Case Histories on Masterpiece Theater, and Showtime’s Banshee. She tours the world constantly, performing an average of over 150 dates a year, and has often been called a writer’s writer, which thrills her to no end.