Participatory, music-oriented workshops are open to all festival attendees. They provide an opportunity for an intimate interaction with the artists performing at the festival (who will be leading these workshops) and a chance to develop new skills. Artists will share their wisdom and experiences, and creative processes. Whether you are a musician, songwriter or music fan - the workshops are designed to awaken the artist that resides within each of us. Workshops will take place in the afternoon on Friday (2:00 to 4:30 PM) and during the late morning and early afternoon on Saturday.

Friday Workshops

Beginning Ukelele - no experience required

John Bunzli

Our Master of Ceremonies, Mr. John Bunzli, will be your instructor. He is a humorous and talented singer/songwriter - and has written many of his tunes on the Ukelele.  Bring your Ukelele - or borrow one from a friend . No experience required - just a great attitude and a good sense of humor. After only an hour you will be able to play basic Ukelele and be able to join in the fun at song circles at any festival.

Writing your first song - for novices

Tom Prasada-Rao

Tom Prasada-Rao has been been a professional musician, songwriter, and teacher for over 30 years. He has written songs that have been recorded by Randy Travis, David Wilcox, Tom Kimmel, John Smith and many others- as well as performed his own music at thousands of show all over the world. He has helped advanced songwriters hone their craft, and has worked with beginning students and children who have never played an instrument or written a song. This workshop is designed for anyone - even those who have never composed a song or played an instrument. Tom is confident that you will complete your first song by the end of this workshop!

Co-Writing Tips and Techniques

Moors and McCumber

James Moors and Kort McCumber are a talented song writing duo who have written hundreds of great songs together over the past ten years. They will lead a session for songwriters with tips to help you expand your songwriting skills when writing with a partner. Kort and James will share details on their songwriting process, covering topics such as: co-writing, lyric writing, developing melody, working out arrangements and determining instrumentation. 

Beginner to Intermediate Songwriting


Ellis Delaney leads this workshop. Are you just beginning to write songs or lyrics? Are you interested in writing with an undefended heart? Ellis will share her songwriting processes and the many strategies she uses to generate and develop song ideas. She will help you prime your brain to support creativity and guide you on how to write songs/lyrics that are undefended and powerful. Bring a notebook and writing instrument as we will be doing writing exercises in this workshop.

Writing Humorous Songs

Christopher Smith

Music has played an integral part in Christoper Smith's 40+ year career as a musician and pre-school/kindergarten teacher.  He knows that whether he is in front of 5 year olds or 55 year olds - everyone loves to laugh. One of the stereotypes perpetuated about singer/songwriters is that they often take themselves a tad too seriously.  How do you spell relief? H-U-M-O-R. Adding a little humor to one's repertoire can really up your entertainment factor. This workshop will explore the practice and pitfalls of writing and performing humorous songs. We will also explore the possibility of incorporating humor into your more serious songs. Come for the info, stay for the fun.

Recording a demo song

Zak Sloan

Zak Sloan is a music producer and performer, and runs Sloan Song Studios in Castle Rock.  His production credits include Jeremy Facknitz, Kelly Spicer, Dan Manly, and Alyssa Stoner. Zak also mixes and masters music for artists across the country.  Zak's workshop, is designed to help attendees learn how to make their own demo for less than $500. It is is great for folks who are brand new to home recording and want to make their own quality demos quickly and at a minimal cost.  Zak will teach you how to record acoustic instruments and vocals, as well as demonstrate some basic recording and mixing techniques.  

Open Stage

Play on the Open Stage

We will have sign-ups for an Open Stage where any festival attendee can get on-stage and play a Song for the entire Casey Jones audience. We encourage collaboration - so if you can find a musical partner to join you on stage, that is even better! Sign-up sheet will be available.

Songwriting with a Partner

All attendees can particpate

We will pair any one who wishes to participant with a random partner, give you a "prompt" and ask you to work together on a song during the festival. If you make great progress, you will have the option to play it for the Casey Jones audience during our Open Stage session - (if you would like to - not required). Additional details are available when you arrive at the festival (be sure to arrive by 3:00 PM Friday - as that is when we will randomly pair participants for your co-writing experiment.

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Saturday Workshops