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Creative Workshop Testimonials

I have been working in conjunction with Lydia Hutchinson’s Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops for a couple of years now, presenting classes around the world. Lydia is a master organizer, a doctor of hospitality, and a great joy to work with. She makes each participant feel seen, heard, and important. She knows how to keep trains on their tracks, and passengers in their seats, all the while spinning plates in both hands and smiling throughout the journey. She is a brilliant point person, and has a keen sense of the big picture. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to work with her, she’s the very best at what she does. She runs the workshops the way she ran her Performing Songwriter magazine, with vision, focus, and integrity.

—Mary Gauthier


Lydia makes the magic happen. She not only anticipates and attends to all of the logistical and technical details; she puts herself in the place of the students and imagines what will make the experience life-changing for them. Teaching a workshop that’s conceived and organized this thoughtfully is a dream. It lets me dig deep into the art and craft of songwriting, and leave everything else at the door.

—Gretchen Peters


With these workshops, Lydia has created a one-of-a-kind destination for people who are serious about creativity, and open to the give and take that can happen in a supportive and safe environment. She is intuitive about her students’ needs, and every single detail that might make a difference. She is a true partner, helping to create a coherent plan and taking care of the logistics and minutiae so I can focus on teaching. Best of all, I’ve gotten reacquainted with my own process by sharing it with others. It truly is a magical experience to witness the songs and stories and souls unfold.

—Jonatha Brooke


Working with Lydia on the Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops has been fantastic.  She is so creative and focused. Her comprehensive management of all the endless details involved in presenting a great workshop allows me to bring 100% of my energy into the teaching. She also has a real gift with cultivating community among those who’ve attended her workshops. I still check in with the groups I’ve taught months later.  She makes the whole experience of teaching very relaxed and centered.  I know she’s got everything covered!

—Beth Nielsen Chapman


The Performing Songwriter Workshop is nothing short of beautiful. The gift I’ve received in my heart, as a songwriter is something i get to keep forever … this is good and important work and I look forward to the next time I can come and recharge my inspiration!  —Toni Vere, Calgary, Alberta


Lydia creates workshops that will exceed your expectations and feed your soul. —Justine McDonald, Leominster, MA


Lydia was extremely organized, on top of the actual events as well as the general flow of the weekend. She communicated effectively so that I always felt in the loop and that my individual needs we’re attended to. Lydia brought her joyous enthusiasm to every activity and while running the show, was also an integral part of it. —Laura Gold, West Newton, MA


Lydia’s passion for songwriters came through in every aspect of the program that she planned. Little touches and surprises made the Nashville workshop a complete Nashville experience for someone who hasn’t been there before. I felt welcomed and cared for. —Matt Stone, Temecula, CA


Lydia Hutchinson has years of experience cultivating songwriting as a craft and art and supporting songwriters on their journey. Her warm, friendly presence creates a spirit of welcome and participation by all. She is accessible and involved throughout the weekend and her words and writing will inspire you as you get to know her. —Karen Burger, Mt. Kisco, NY


As we know from the many years of great PS magazines, Lydia Hutchinson just flat out knows what she’s doing. So it’s no surprise to find top notch faculty in a well thought out program that will have you coming back for more. This is the real deal executed by writers..for writers in ways that matter. I could not have done my inner writer a better favor. Worth every penny and then some. —Phil Poli, Windsor, Ontario


The workshop was FABULOUS!! Lydia is a class act. Not once did she ever let the ball drop! Everything ran like clockwork, she was always there—ready to help or clarify something. She thought of everything! And she made each of us feel important. I cannot thank her enough for all she did to make this experience one I will never forget. I can’t wait to be take part in another workshop. —Carol Lyman, Point Pleasant, PA


Lydia is obviously passionate about her work and was extremely organized. She made sure everyone felt welcome before we even started the workshop. You could tell she took great care in the planning of the event and wanted to make sure we all got what we needed.  —Jenna Longmire, Nashville, TN


Besides turning on the radio and listening to my ipod, and oh yeah, rocking the clarinet in elementary and junior high, my background has very little music in it. When I came upon this workshop on Facebook, I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I could not stop thinking about it. Even with my lack of experience, Lydia encouraged me to sign up for the workshop. Boy O Boy, I am so happy that I clicked submit! So if you think you might like to write a song and never have, take it from a neophyte songwriter, DO IT!! —Cindy Taylor, Clarksville, TN


Lydia is wonderful and warm and knows what she’s doing! A fabulous experience and a weekend I will never forget. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  —Kelly Branham, Washington, DC


This was the most organized and experiential songwriters workshop I have ever been to. The after events were fantastic and fun! It was so good to be with a “tribe” of songwriters. Well worth it. Life changing. —Joy Newby, Brentwood, TN


From the very first email it was clear that this workshop was going to be very special and it truly delivered and then some! There was not one detail left to chance, not one moment left to waste, and not one heart unmoved. —Katherine Cole, Atlanta, GA


The workshop was beautifully organized, and Lydia truly cared about each of the participants. —Marion Walsh, Canmore, Alberta


This is one of the best organized and executed events I’ve ever attended—the level of detail to everything was exceptional, from communication/logistics before the event, the skill and knowledge of instructors chosen, student-teacher ratio, and design of the program, to the facilities for the workshop, and evening events… to the warmth and care of the organizer. All of it made for an extraordinary, life-changing experience. I highly recommend it! —DK Killian, Brooklyn, NY


Lydia puts on a fabulous song writing workshop, start to finish it was the best songwriting workshop I have ever attended, from the initial dinner that Mary Gauthier cooked for us to the final southern barbecue dinner, it was an amazing workshop. As well Lydia is an incredible organizer, and I will be going back as often as I can. —Jim Burke, Calgary, Alberta


The Performing Songwriter Creative Workshop was out of this world! Impeccably organized, masterfully delivered and profoundly engaging for the students. A perfect balance of theory and practice; intense days of songwriting complemented by entertaining Nashville evenings; and just the kickstart I needed to get back into my songwriting and to go deep! Loved it!!! —Mel Farrimond, Hallifax, Nova Scotia


If you are serious about taking your songwriting to the next level, please take one of the these workshops! —Carla Rugg, Edmonton, Alberta


I loved this workshop! I can’t wait to do it again. —Mia Edsall, Bellevue, ID


This workshop was the perfect event for me to explore the songwriter within me. I have been writing songs for twenty years and somehow after this workshop I finally feel like a songwriter. I can’t wait to attend another workshop in the near future! —Amy Bishop, Calgary, Alberta


This workshop was so well organized, and communication was out of this world. Coming into it I felt like i knew what to expect, which helps me feel comfortable. I loved the small size, and while I didn’t believe you guys when you said our group would really become like a family, it did! It’s the most standout workshop I’ve ever attended. —Marie Dornan, Byron Center, MI


The Performing Songwriter Creative Workshop was absolutely the best songwriting workshop I’ve ever attended. Lydia did an amazing job of organizing this jam-packed-from start-to-finish workshop. The evening activities were just as cool as the workshop itself. I forged some great friendships. Thank you Lydia!!! —Melinda Milligan, Cordova, TN


Participating in one of Lydia’s workshops is giving yourself a wonderful gift. Assuming the role of “cruise director” and “cheerleader”, Lydia’s knowledge, love and appreciation for songwriters is infused throughout the workshop. Whether you are a first time writer or just need a little “reboot” this workshop fulfills your intent and more. It is a sacred time that marries private introspection with unconditional camaraderie. The only downside is that it doesn’t go on forever! —Jenny Plume, Nashville, TN


Lydia created a magical space that provided us with the experience of a lifetime. A group of strangers gathered to attend a songwriting workshop with backgrounds as diverse as the reasons they answered the call. Within three days later, that group of strangers became part of my family, a circle of love and friendship that will keep us connected not only to one another but the calling to write. When you are called, gather up your guitars, your lyrics, and your music and answer the call … your dreams are waiting for you. —Conni Ma’ilingan, Detroit, MI


Lydia Hutchinson knows how to create, produce and manage a fantastic workshop. She is sensitive to participants’ needs and makes herself always available. —Matt Fried, New York, NY


Lydia is a superhero! I am amazed at how she organized this event and all these people for 4 days. She made it fun and relaxing for everyone and made sure music was always the driving force behind everything. You will be happy you were involved! —Lani Ford, Nashville, TN


Lydia is superb at organizing these workshops. She finds perfect teachers, creates a varied schedule and, perhaps most importantly, can modify it on the fly in order to take advantage of the nature of the audience and spontaneous interactions. —Alan Taffel, Vienna, VA


The workshop was awesome from start to finish. I learned, shared, made friends, and returned home with the confidence I need to take my music to the next level. —John Oliver, Dixon Springs, TN


I thoroughly recommend Lydia’s Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops for anyone that’s serious about improving their songwriting. Prior to attending Gretchen’s workshop I was struggling to fully develop a subtle back story – I now feel more confident (and satisfied) with my latest efforts. —Steve Marriott, Bichester, Oxon, UK


Lydia thought of everything! From gathering the finest songwriters, to accommodations, social events and ensuring we all enjoyed a taste of Nashville, she covered it all. —Peter Price, Crystal River, FL


This was the best workshop I have been part of. From the meet and greet to farewell “Southern fried chicken dinner,” the event was amazing. Everyone’s input counted and sharing was encouraged. All the writers were heard and respected. I walked away with more tools and knowledge on how to improve my writing than in all the past workshops I have been to combined. —Nancy Laberge, Calgary, Alberta


Three days of being immersed in the art and craft of songwriting gave me a lifetime of inspiration… —Mark Cassano, Calgary, Alberta


Absolutely lovely time well spent! Well organized and fulfilling! Everything I expected and more! —Rod Ballou, Frisco, TX


If you want to tke your songwriting to the next level attending a Performing Songwriter Creative Workshop will do wonders for you. —Mike Warren, Cape Girardeau, MO


Lydia was thoughtful with every step of the way in communicating what Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops offered. She provided all the structure required, ironically, to be free in pursuing songwriting with others from across the USA as well as those from other countries. —Richard Weil, Takoma Park, MD


A wonderful and inspiring three days! I made good friends and learned a lot. Lydia’s organizational skills are top notch and she makes everyone feel so welcome! A great experience that was worth every penny. —Ashley Hoffman, Atlanta, GA


Lydia is a true gem. Always willing. Always available. Perfect hostess with well organized events. Life-changing, full of heart, song-improving, intense, lifelong friendship making … 3 powerful days. —Missy Chamberland, Crested Butte, CO


Wow. Lydia really put an amazing workshop together! And inviting us over for a meal at her house made me feel like family. Couldn’t ask for anything more in a songwriting workshop experience. —Steve Blane, New York, NY


Lydia’s attention to detail and thoughtful personal touches made this so much more than a songwriting workshop…a truly magical experience! I look forward to attending another Performing Songwriter event!! —Cara Desvigne, Peoria, AZ


A family reunion with fellow songwriters that you have just met. This workshop has the incredible ability to speak to and inspire tunesmiths no matter their experience or their confidence level. —Sam Allman, Dover, FL


I’ve been writing songs for 4 decades and have recorded 7 albums. This workshop advanced my writing skills and focus more than I could have imagined. I’ve been inspired and more productive, and can see the difference in the quality and enjoyment of my songwriting! —John Mulder, Spring Lake, MI


I have attended 3 Perforoming Songwriter Creative Workshops and each one has been a tremendous life changing experience. The workshops are professionally conducted and provide a safe haven for writers to learn, play, and participate. I would not trade these experiences for anything in the world. —Joy Newby, Brentwood, TN


Lydia is the perfect Workshop Organiser. She made it all run smoothly and feel joyful all at the same time. Very nurturing and caring atmosphere. —Keith Tutt, Hardingham, Norfolk UK


These workshops are such a beautiful gift to the world. They give people an opportunity to connect, to be inspired, and to allow them to inspire others. I am deeply appreciative for all the work you put in to create these, and all the extra touches you add to make them even more magical. The experience has transformed my life. Thank you for everything! —Jennifer Tortorici, Seven Hills, OH


As a life and executive coach, I’ve attended dozens of seminars and programs. This is HANDS DOWN the most inspiring workshop of all! Lydia’s attention to every detail, coupled with her caring and creativity, and her respect for the best teachers in the business make this a gem of a program you should not miss. —Debbie Phillips, West Tisbury, MA


I really want to write a testimonial for these amazing workshops but I am frustratingly unable to put into words how profound those three little days have been for me. How do you give a testimonial for a miracle? Maybe I’ll be able to come up with something after the next one! —Tréci Ladd, Nashville, TN


If you need to learn how to transfer what you see, and hear, and imagine, from your brain to whatever your medium of creativity is, Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops are for you. While the emphasis of the workshop I attended was on “songwriting,” the teaching and inspiration I received was applicable to virtually any outlet of creativity. Lydia is one of the most fun and “welcoming” people you will ever meet and her event planning skills are unmatched! From the online registration to the very end of the workshop I felt like I was in good hands. —Matt Steinhauer, Hendersonville, TN


Lydia is tremendously motivated and spectacularly learned in her presentation of incredibly successful artists. This is what Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops are all about. Lydia has been active for decades in the marvelous world of musicians, helping their voices be heard and recognizing those who have been fortunate enough, through ability, hard work, perseverance and luck, to make a living doing what they love. Lydia invites these artists and aspiring song writers for an interactive four day workshop that leaves all happily exhausted for the good work accomplished and unforgettable times together. —Richard Weil, Takoma Park, MD


Lydia’s Performing Songwriter Creative Workshop is a marvelous experience to work with world-class song writers in a relaxed and focused environment. Challenging and rewarding, the workshop provided me with feedback that I needed to get my songwriting to the next level. —Tim Houlihan, Minneapolis, MN


This was incredibly organized which was comforting to those who didn’t know Nashville at all, from what I was told. Lydia is a master at making people feel welcome! —Eva George, State College, PA


Having already taken two Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops, I can whole heartedly recommend the experience. Lydia is amazing. In addition to being a really wonderful person, she is a fantastic organizer who is totally focused on creating a workshop that is both supportive and very valuable to all the participants. —Ellen Gennaro, Nashville, TN


Plain and simple, Lydia knows what she’s doing, and she does it well. Best workshops EVER. —Lynn Newman, Redding, CA


Lydia is such a wonderfully warm individual. I would suggest the Creative Workshops to anyone seeking a getaway to grow as an artist! —Theresa Kennedy, Albuquerque, NM


For several days after the workshop, I felt like I’d come from a psychedelic spiritual journey. Things were more lucid, and I felt validated as a writer. —Julie Christensen


Lydia strikes a perfect balance of professionalism and personableness — thoughtful host, organized leader, and dear soul. Can’t say enough about how wonderful the entire session was, from signing up, to telling everyone I’d made it home safe. A truly transformational time. —Linda Stollings, Edmonton, Alberta


Lydia is incredible at organizing and running these workshops. Although a fairly expensive choice for me, she made it worth every penny! —Steven Hill, Independence, MO


This was the first time that I attended a songwriting workshop and It was wonderful from start to finish. Lydia made sure everything was perfect and she was always so pleasant and attentive to the people in the group. We had the best group too! There were people from all over the country and the group was big enough to be diverse but not so big that it lost its intimate quality. I really felt that Lydia made it all fall into place and our group bonded as a result. —Amy Schindler, Old Bridge, NJ


The PSCW workshop was a amazing event, as soon as I arrived at Lydia’s house for dinner the first evening I felt right at home. It was very well organized and the workshop itself took place in a perfectly matched venue. Thank you Lydia for everything! —Scott Becklehamer, Stockbridge, MI


Lydia is a warm and caring person with a contagious smile, attitude, and work ethic. She only wants the best for each student and works very hard to make them comfortable, feel welcome, and to be a part of something bigger than themselves. —Robert Lindsay, Sunderland, MD


This workshop completely defied my expectations. I left a changed person. —Tim Metz, Lawrence, KS


From my first email enquiry to Lydia, to the last day of the workshop, I felt very welcome and at ease within the group, after having made the long journey from the UK. She organised everyone and made sure we were ok at every stage of the workshop. The mix of learning and leisure time was excellent. I’d advise any songwriter to attend a future workshop. —Rowena Cairns, Tandragee, Co. Armagh, UK


I registered for this workshop hoping for a creative spark and left with a wide burning flame, the experience exceeded my expectations. —Lynda Dawson, Raleigh, NC


Lydia Hutchinson knows her craft. She created an amazing workshop that integrated a historic facility, surprise visits to a few of Nashville’s music scene gems, and of course the fabulous performing songwriter and singer guest teacher troubadours. I left feeling fulfilled and anticipating my next workshop. The workshop far exceeded my expectations. Lydia is warm and gracious person who knows how to create a wonderful learning experience and environment. —Lynn Newman, Redding, CA


The “finding your voice” workshop exceeded my expectations. It was evident that every detail was given thoughtful consideration as to what is best for the workshop participants. Beyond just serving songwriters, it nurtures songwriters. —Betty Marquardt, Poynette, WI


The workshop was unique and totally immersive. I grew, not only as a writer, but as a person. I’m very grateful for the wonderful community of artists I am now a part of! —Claire Richardson, Highland Park, IL


I came home with a new outlook on music, and more so, on life. —Kristina Murphy, Media, PA


In addition to seamlessly executing a highly organized event on time for several days and nights, Lydia does it with warmth and grace putting any tensions at ease and facilitating the connections and sacred work taking place. —April Koester, Brooklyn, NY


I was welcomed with a smile, kindness, and warmth… The perfect start to a perfect workshop. —David King, Decatur, GA


The workshop was nothing short of an awesome experience. The talks and activities were inspirational and in only a few days I made so many beautiful connections and witnessed touching moments of folks baring their souls for the sake of the song. Lydia was gracious, fun and on the ball and made sure that everything was running smoothly and that we made the most of our time with the brilliant teachers. I highly recommend the Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops to songwriters everywhere. —Bobby Dove, Montreal, Quebec


Lydia’s hospitality is infectious and the schedule for the workshop had something for everyone. The three-day schedule had a great balance of structured lessons, time to write and socialize, small group sessions and a song circle to end the day. Oh, and the surprises! Great surprises were built in and well worth waiting for! A treat indeed! I look forward to attending another Workshop in the near future! —M.E. Dunlap, Eugene, OR


The workshops are extremely well organized. There is a full schedule from beginning to end and makes the most of every moment. —David Wiseman, Burnsville, NC


From the first point of contact through the end of the workshop, Lydia was the consummate professional: organized, accessible, flexible and attentive to the needs of the participants. The icing on the cake is that she is a lovely human being: warm, caring and enthusiastic about supporting everyone’s growth. —Ellen Gennaro, Nashville, TN