VIRTUAL 2020 Americana Song Academy for Youth

Friday, November 20 – 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM 
Saturday, November 21 – 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

The Americana Song Academy for Youth provides a non-competitive format for high school youth to learn the basics of songwriting, performing, and overall musicianship from professional musicians and one another.

We will begin on a Friday night with blank notebooks. On Sunday we will end as musicians with new tunes stuck in our heads, surprising notebook scribbles, and the feeling of time spent making music together. This is an introduction to songwriting for those who have never written a song before, and a dive into the art form for practiced writers. It will be a supportive environment for anyone looking to share original music, and a moment in our day to really listen. All musical styles and levels welcome.

The most important values shared are mutual respect, support and nurturing of one another, and each person’s creative journey.

Registration for youth in Deschutes County Oregon is free thanks to community supported funding. High school youth from other regions are welcome to join with a registration fee of $50, if spots are available.

We are pleased to be able to offer this virtual experience FREE to high school students in Deschutes County, thanks to grant support from the Deschutes County Cultural Coalition! If your student qualifies for free tuition, please email us for a promo code to use at registration.

Friday, November 20

  • 6:00-7:00 – Intro & group writing (“bad” poems)
  • 7:00-7:30ish – Inspiration Mini Concert by instructors
  • 7:30-7:50 – Songwriting Sprint
  • 7:50-8:00 – BREAK
  • 8:00-8:45 – Song Circles (breakout rooms & compassionate song critique)
  • 8:45-9:00 – Wrap Up

Saturday, November 21

  • 9:00-9:30 – Gather, warmup, morning “bad” poems
  • 9:30-10:30 – Workshop #1
  • 10:30-10:45 – BREAK
  • 10:45-11:45 – Workshop #2
  • 11:45-12:30 – Song Sharing Circle (breakout rooms)
  • 12:30-2:00 – LUNCH BREAK
  • 2:00-3:00 – Workshop #3
  • 3:00-3:30 – Final Individual Writing Time
  • 3:30-4:30 – Closing Ceremony
  • 4:30-6:30 – DINNER BREAK
  • 6:30-8:00 – Song Circle

About ASAY 2020 Staff

Camp director/instructor Jenner Fox is a folk singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, international river guide, and music teacher. He’s toured all over the US and internationally on three studio records, founded a songwriting camp for high schoolers in Washington D.C., and now calls Sisters, Oregon home.

“Jenner combines the lyricism of Joni Mitchell and the commentary of Neil Young to represent the next generation of singer-songwriters.”

— Grammy nominated producer, Cookie Marenco

Texan-raised, Oregon-based singer-songwriter Beth Wood has labored in the world of independent music for 23 years, morphing from a young classically-trained, folk-tinged singer-songwriter to a wailing southern rock band leader to a college-circuit coffeehouse sweetheart to a well-respected nationally-touring poet and troubadour. 

Wood’s twelve independently released solo albums and one duo album (Stand and Sway) have gained her a fan-base that is loyal and true, and her creative work has earned her the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Award and the 2019 Oregon Book Award Peoples’ Choice Award for her poetry book Ladder To The Light. In addition to her records, Beth has released three books of poetry and one book of silly essays about ridiculous merch table conversations.

Her work has expanded to include teaching and song coaching, as well as leading workshops in creative writing, performance dynamics, and singing at festivals, songwriting retreats and beyond. Beth believes that engagement in the process of creation is as important as its outcome, and that there are no wrong notes. She lives in Sisters with her loyal dog Bailey.

Asha Santee is a percussionist, producer, songwriter, fashion designer, painter, and educator. Simply put, she’s an artist.

Her passion for music and art have taken her all over the world as she has been asset to several bands across her home DC Metro Area, including Grammy Nominee Carolyn Malachi, and Grammy Award Winning, Mya. She has three solo projects on all streaming platforms including her latest release, GINKGO. Additionally she runs her own t-shirt design brand (Note 2 Self), and an art gallery with more than 150 pieces of her original art.

Music education is central to Asha. She grew up learning the drums from her dad who played in church when she was 6, and now she offers affordable private and group drum lessons to kids and adults of all ages, and a beat making program to black girls battling depression.

Asha is infectious in her message, music, and joy. It’s powerful, true, and inspiring.

Natalie Akers is a pianist and an educator. She discovered camps in 2016, and has since worked on bringing interdisciplinary and music programs to life for middle and high school students in the US and Japan. Natalie came to Sisters to teach at Camp Tamarack’s Outdoor School, and for the last three years she’s toured the US playing keyboard in Jenner Fox’s band. She is the kind of musician who plays for the simple reason that it makes her really happy. She grew up beside a grand piano, and developed a special love for the sound of the instrument, and the spaces that grooves live in. It’s a rare person who gets to hear Natalie play and doesn’t find themselves wishing they played piano, or falling a little more deeply for music.