PSC Classes 2023

2024 Class Descriptions coming soon!

Camp Ocean Pines Map (download and print)

Download 2023 Class Schedule

Angie Heimann

Don’t Cut Off Your Ear!
From “Starry, Starry Night” (Don McLean’s “Vincent”) to “Tomorrow Never Knows” (Beatles), films, books, art, and history have long inspired songs. Pop culture is chock-full of fascinating ideas, fresh angles, and song furniture. Your favorite authors, directors, and artists can provide fodder for your lyric message and color. 

Add Harmony to Your Song
Join Angie, Laura, and Michael on Sunday afternoon for some “song finishing” ideas to fill out your hooks and choruses. Try some 2- or 3-part harmonies, enlist fellow students as back up singers for each other at coffeehouse! Just learn a few chorus lines, and Voila—CSNY.  

Dave Pascoe & Laura Benson

Be a Song Leader
Having band members or accompanists make your songs so much richer. Dave and Laura will show you how you can create enough space in your songs to allow for these collaborations and add depth and beauty to your arrangements.

Adding Color to Your Songs
How can you bring in chords that don’t “belong” in your key or mode to convey emotional moments or tension? Dave Pascoe will show you surprising ways to add depth and variety to your melodies. 

Writing as a Duo
Writing with a partner is quite different from co-writing. Dave and Laura will give you examples and ideas on how you and a musical counterpart can create fresh, interesting songs that draw from both of your strengths, as well as from your creative partnership.

Add Harmony to Your Song (see description above)
with Michael, Laura, and Angie

Dave Nachmanoff & Stan DeWitt

Get Your Horse Out of That Barn
Dave and Stan both believe that thinking outside the box is so important that they each planned classes based on this concept! They decided to team up to help you “Get Your Horse Out of the Barn,” a play on David’s original title “Horses for Courses.” Whether it be your musical style, your guitar playing, or your lyric writing, Dave and Stan give you ways to break out of your stable and write something new. This course will be offered on the first and last days of camp, giving you time in between to get your horse ready for the race!

Dave Nachmanoff

The Songs of Al Stewart
As Al Stewart’s longtime accompanist, Dave is intimately familiar with Stewart’s songs and musical choices. In this Q & A session, Dave can show you some of Stewart’s repertoire, how he used different sets of chords for instrumental bridges, and you can hear about Dave’s experience as sideman of this touring pro.

Performance Workshop
Sharpen your skills and confidence on stage. No experience required. All critique will be constructive and encouraging. We will take turns performing a song or piece, then analyzing how to improve the performance. We’ll address stage fright, basic aspects of performing with amplification, musical choices to strengthen your performance, ways to build confidence and keep focus, and simple hacks to reach and hold an audience. Transformative for “bedroom” musicians and shy people who have wanted to perform, but never tried, and helpful for more seasoned performers who will add some new tricks to their repertoire!

Stan DeWitt

Harmony Choir
Join Stan in this year’s “Folk Festival!” We use music from the early folk era to learn how to sing together and create harmonies. Harmony Choir meets every morning at 11:30 in the Crafts Lodge. If you like to sing with others, this is for you. If you’ve never sung, this is for you as well! Fun, theatrical, and not too scary—with strength in numbers. A highlight of camp every year!

Get Your Horse Out of the Barn (see description above) with Dave Nachmanoff

Jay Brown

Writing Legacy Songs I and II
Learn the process of the “creative interview” and use it as a base for your new song. In this co-writing workshop, you will listen to your co-writer’s stories or descriptions of loved ones and create an original song from this material. Jay will give you guidance and examples from his eight years as a hospice music therapist. Participants will then be paired up for 20–30 minutes to conduct their own interviews. In part II of this workshop, Jay and your peers will help you refine your lyrics. 

Piedmont Pickin’ and Ragtime
Jay will demonstrate these two styles and show you, through slow breakdowns of techniques, how you can use them in songwriting or for rewriting old tunes. 

Michael McNevin

The “Wordle” Is Your Oyster!
“Phrase Rhyming,” “Non-Sequiturs,” and even the NYT “Wordle” puzzle make for great song prompts. Get off the blank page and off the beaten path. Start unique and compelling fictional narratives from scratch, uncover new directions for your true life experiences. It’s easier than you think. During these sessions, Michael also injects content twists and perspectives. You will write something, it works. This class happens twice. Spawn new ideas and song starts at each one, or add fresh content to your song-in-progress.

Just The Frets, Mam
Join Michael with your guitar during the Writing Hall & Pick Your Poison open sessions. Load up on alternative tunings, lead and rhythm guitar tricks, finger picking—borrow some simple stuff to spice up your songs and chops. No theory involved, fret not!

Add Harmony to Your Song (see description above) with Michael, Laura, and Angie.

Sara Glaser

In this lyrics-focused workshop, also known as “Pencil Sketching,” we’ll do whimsical exercises to help unleash our warped and wild creative minds. You will choose an object from a box of evocative odds and ends and “write poetically” about it using a set of questions as prompts. And if time allows we’ll do a second writing-by-the-seat-of-our-pants poetic exercise.


Writing Hall for All
Friday–Sunday, 10:30am–12:30pm, stay in the main lodge or find a special spot to work with our teachers, coaches, peers, or by yourself.

Pick Your Poison
Friday and Saturday afternoons, 2:30–4:30pm, choose from these activities:
Improve your instrumental chops with our teachers; refine your lyrics or melody with a coach; jam with others in the Craft’s Lodge; practice at the Amphitheater Open Mic; go on a Haiku walk with Arturo; or paint with Linda.  

Song Finishing
Have you ever been stuck on that one verse, or been unable to find a graceful exit out of your song, or just feel that your song needs some luster? Fret not! Our teachers and coaches are here to help you finish up and get your song polished for Sunday night’s New Song Coffee House!