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It’s all in song

A music company executive once said to me ‘None of this is rocket science!’ That’s absolutely true. But it does take time and effort, passion and love.

​I’ve learned how to help you write better songs by working with other pro​fessional songwriters, performing and recording multiple releases and studying at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and USA’s Berklee College of Music.

Now I also offer support to songwriters through a weekly online songwriting school, annual songwriting retreats plus ‘in-person’ events around the country.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or a bit stuck, in full flight or in a rut with your songwriting, I look forward to hearing from you.

Songwriting Retreat
Songwriting School
Songwriting Programmes


There will be two retreats presented in 2025: one in summer, and one in winter.
The Summer Songwriting Retreat runs JANUARY 26-29, 2025.

The Summer Songwriting Retreat runs JANUARY 26-29, 2025.

The Songwriting Retreats are held at the beautiful Brackenridge Country Retreat, 62 White Rock Road, Martinborough in the Wairarapa district of New Zealand. Set on 14 acres of farmland, we are using several well appointed cottages on site plus a tuition space.

All accommodation (own room), meals and tuition are included in the tariff. It’s very comfortable and the food is great!

Download the full programme here

The Winter Songwriting Retreat will run 25-28 July, 2025.

“As always I love to share the brilliant, down to earth practical support that Charlotte Yates offers through her songwriting retreats and clinics not to mention the intelligence and beauty of her performance collaborations and breadth of music she’s written, produced and performs … if you wish to ignite, fine tune and practise your songwriting, the retreat will accelerate your progress. Working with Charlotte has provided me the support and space to gain confidence to song write, trust the creative process and my own stories and narrative … the lessons have informed my growth for 8 years now, without which I don’t think I’d be anywhere near the kind of satisfaction I get from writing now. Check the retreat out for you and if not this coming January I believe she has a songwriting school online which for accountability reasons and regular support in your growth, it is a fortifying and amazing pathway.”


How does Songwriting School work?

Each week, you’re sent a Zoom link that gives you access to the class session. The sessions are a hour long with a real life tutor from a programme of songwriting topics. At the end of the class, you’re sent a short assignment with support resources to watch or listen to. Students can post their ‘homework’ on a private members forum in time for the next class.

What if I can’t make a class this week?

No problem – your membership entitles you to a private Vimeo link of the class recording. A link will be sent to you once the class is finished and you can view at your own leisure.

How big are the classes?

Classes are small and compact to facilitate personal feedback. There are students from all over the country in Songwriting School, from Kaitaia to South Otago and most spots in between! We have amateur and professional songwriters on board. International students are welcome.

What sort of things do you learn?

We look at all the moving parts of a song from structure, lyrics, melody, harmony and rhythm. We cover how to generate and maintain creativity in your songwriting practice. We study great songwriters and different styles. Each month, you get a programme of class topics depending on what year of study you enrol in. Touch base to find out which level would work best.