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About Performing Songwriter & Lydia Hutchinson

Performing Songwriter Enterprises

Performing Songwriter Enterprises and its various media initiatives focus on celebrating music, shining a spotlight on songwriters, reinforcing the importance of music and arts education and affirming the value of music and its creators in all of our lives.

Lydia Hutchinson

As the founder, publisher and editor of Performing Songwriter Magazine, Lydia grew the publication to serve an international audience, celebrating 16 years of independent publication before folding it in June of 2009. In September of 2010 she launched a new phase of Performing Songwriter Enterprises with a website speaking directly to music lovers, and in 2014 she started producing the Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops.

Lydia is originally from Louisiana, graduated from LSU in Journalism and Advertising, and has lived in Nashville for 32 years. She is a member of The Recording Academy, NAMM, served on the Recording Academy Nashville Chapter Board of Governors, was president of the Music Magazine Publishers Association, and is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Music.

Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops

Launched in 2014, the Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops are designed to inspire creativity and provide an intimate setting for people to be mentored by highly-respected and influential songwriters who are also extraordinary teachers. People of all skill levels, ages, and occupations come from around the world for three days in Nashville where they are gently helped to find their writers voice, zero in on the truth of what they’re trying to say, and tell their story in a way that is universal.

The award-winning artists who comprise the faculty are Mary Gauthier, Gretchen Peters, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Emily Saliers, Verlon Thompson, Suzy Bogguss and Jonatha Brooke. Teaching facilitators include Songwriter Hall of Fame members and Grammy Winners Mike Reid, Allen Shamblin, Don Henry, Mark D. Sanders, Gordon Kennedy, and surprise guests have included Keb’ Mo’, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Christopher Cross, Amy Grant and many more. The common thread that runs throughout each teacher and guest is not only their dedication to the quality of their craft, but their openness and overwhelming kindness and generosity of spirit.

Will small class sizes of only 20, attendees find a tribe of like-minded souls in their classmates who stay connected through closed Facebook groups for each class. These workshops are a life-changing experience, and it allows the students to go back into their lives inspired, with their cups filled and creativity flowing.

In addition to the 3-day Nashville workshops, we also do week-long retreats at a villa in Tuscany and a castle in Scotland. Visit the page of current Creative Workshops announced, Video Highlights, and Testimonials.

Performing Songwriter Magazine

Editor & Publisher Lydia Hutchinson had virtually no resources [well, no staff, money, music biz or publishing experience] when she launched the magazine in 1993, but her passion for those who create music proved to be sufficient start-up.

With encouragement from writers, artists and producers who valued its creativity-first focus and “Be Heard” philosophy, Performing Songwriter established itself as the leading independent magazine connecting those who love music and those who create music. Indeed, Performing Songwriter helped usher in the DIY movement:  PS was the first magazine to recognize and support independent musicians and their work, with a call for DIY submissions appearing in its debut.

Each issue of PS included exclusive interviews with top artists, producers and musicians across all genres; special reports and issue-focused stories; spotlights on the latest gear for the studio and stage; album reviews, including DIY releases; and other features devoted to the craft of songwriting.

In June of 2009, after 16 years and 118 issues, Lydia decided to fold the magazine while it was at its peak and set off on building the next phase of Performing Songwriter Enterprises.

A few words from the music community about Performing Songwriter magazine:


“Performing Songwriter has been an invaluable resource and pleasure since the first issue, and I love the way it brings our community closer together.”
Bonnie Raitt, Grammy award-winning artist


“How lucky we are to have Performing Songwriter in a world of corporate music rags and geeky instrument periodicals. I inhale every issue, cover to cover.”
Shawn Colvin, Grammy award-winning artist


“Performing Songwriter has consistently presented a crucial view of ourselves as songwriters that celebrates this profession, and underscores for us that what we create is something of great value. It has built our community, and given songwriters a much needed, deeper sense of self respect.”
—Beth Nielsen Chapman, Grammy award-nominated artist


“We look forward to reading every issue of Performing Songwriter for its inspiring articles which reflect the views of its insightful and dynamic founder and editor, Lydia Hutchinson.”
—Alan and Marilyn Bergman, award-winning songwriters

Dave-Barnes“To say that I like Performing Songwriter is like saying that Stevie Wonder writes decent melodies—I freaking LOVE that magazine! I have been a subscriber for six years now, and I will be until I or the magazine is long gone. It’s my community, typed and bound. I’ve found more insight and encouragement in Performing Songwriter during my career than I have in all my time on the road or in the studio.”
—Dave Barnes, recording artist

julie-gold“Every time Performing Songwriter arrives in my mailbox, I feel like I’m part of an exclusive club. I am so proud to be a member of the songwriting community, and we’re all lucky to have such a high-quality magazine dedicated to us, our calling, our struggles and our triumphs.”
Julie Gold, Grammy award-winning songwriter of “From A Distance


“Performing Songwriter celebrates our human need to be creative. After reading each issue I am filled with hope about the future of music and, indeed, the world.”
—Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM

amyray“In these days of corporate music press and bikini rock mags, it’s rare for a quality magazine to survive. Not only has Performing Songwriter survived, it has thrived and managed to stay in touch with artists flying under the radar, and those are the ones we need to hear.”
Amy Ray, Indigo Girls, Founder of Daemon Records

MaryGauthier“Performing Songwriter is more than a magazine; it is host to a community of people who love songs, a community that includes fans as well as the songwriters. Our community is alive and well even in these times of corporate takeover of, well … everything! Lydia and her staff of brilliant writers keep it interesting and current, and we are all the better for it.”
—Mary Gauthier, Songwriter and Recording Artist

lari_white“I had the distinct honor and privilege to be featured in the very first issue of Performing Songwriter, and to share in the epic journey that Lydia Hutchinson has taken in bringing her passion to life. What a gift this mag is!  One beautiful, intimate and reliable friend-in-print; a sympathetic ear, and an inside informant for this insanely unique breed of artists. What keeps me in love with Nashville has always been the strong community of dedicated songwriters, and Performing Songwriter has reached a strong arm around the world to unite and expand that community. We’re grateful.”
Lari White, Songwriter, Artist and Producer