Singing and songwriting workshops for young people

Courtesy Anne Cook.

A grant from Music Drives Us to run a singing-songwriting workshop series for Island youth, ages 11 to 17, was recently awarded to Vineyard songwriter and vocalist Annie Cook. According to a press release, the workshop sessions will run on Saturdays from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm from Jan. 6 to March 10, 2018, with a break for school spring recess. The program includes practice sessions and voluntary performances in late March and early April.

The grant requested funding to offer a stipend to local singer-songwriters as guest artists and mentors. The pilot program includes workshops with Willy Mason, Sean McMahon, Jodie Treloar Sampson, Shawn Barber, Rick Padilla, Jessie Leaman, and Siren Mayhew. Adam Garde will join Ms. Cook to help manage the workshops, which are scheduled to take place at various locations around the Island, including the Charter School, Alex’s Place, Pathways, the Oak Bluffs library, and St. Andrew’s Church.

The sessions currently allow for no more than 10 students at a time, but kids can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis for as many sessions as they like. The workshops are free, although the creative collective, which Ms. Cook has named the Muse Martha’s Vineyard, will accept voluntary contributions to help fund the spring performances, when professional musicians will accompany the young songwriters. Two performances are currently scheduled: Friday, April 6, at 7:30 pm at Alex’s Place, and Saturday, April 7, at 1 pm at the Oak Bluffs library.

Sign-up information and descriptions of each workshop session can be found at