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Success Stories

Meet Neville

This is Neville Stewart, a Dunedin based singer-songwriter, who completed his first studio album Tall Stories under the pseudonym of Aart Smith. Aart/Neville attended a 2016 Songwriters Clinic at Dunedin’s Folk Club which led to a six song demo being recorded at the 2017 Wanaka Songwriters Clinic. The demo was sent to his friend Murray Burns (Misex) – now a music producer in Byron Bay – and an album was made! Tall Stories was released in February 2020 with a video released September.

Meet Bastien & Alison

Bastien Bourcet and Alison Choquet perform and compose alternative pop in France under their band name, Poppies. They worked with me via the Musician on a Mission’s songwriting coaching calls during COVID lockdown, writing lyrics in English. They recorded and produced their new songs released in December 2020. Tres bon!

Meet Mathangi

This is Mathangi Jagdish, a high energy singer-songwriter from India who has been writing songs with two strong influences – swing jazz and sargram. Her exploration of lyrics in English resulted in personal and funny songs with powerful vocal chops! She worked with me developing her material initially via email 1:1, then migrated to Zoom sessions. She has just released her first EP Major Troubles with Minor Blues featuring a song about one of her bugbears, Mr Procrastination!

Meet Anna

Thank-you so, so much…writing songs is one of the things that gives me the most joy in life and it (SWS) kicks start that every week…
Phoned in from Anna Jaine Munro, Hawea, NZ

Meet Tracey

Tracey Haskell is an experienced performer and nurse living in Whangamomona. A third year Songwriting School student, she’s attended Songwriting Retreats
as she’s reactivated her songwriting/recording career with a ten track acoustic compilation album, Te Wera to Sing. Featuring several other attendees of the Songwriting School/Retreats, Te Wera to Sing was recorded live in a wee hall and produced by Tracey who has also developed her digital presence and her considerable organisational abilities. 

Meet Juliet

This is Juliet McLean, a beguiling singer-songwriter from Taranaki who has been developing new repertoire for her latest single & 6-track EP, both titled Amaze Me for release this September 2022. She is a founder member of Songwriting School and also an adjunct tutor for Year 1 students. Her production skills honed on WOMAD and other large events have proved invaluable for her own solo shows and she’s touring NZ this October with her trusty Nord.

“Charlotte Yates Songwriting School has become an important touchstone in my songwriting practice. The classes are well structured and clearly set out with each week covering a different aspect of songwriting. Being from a piano playing/singer-songwriter background I found the lesson on rhythm to be particularly useful as had never really considered how rhythm could be used to write more effectively. We dove deep into tempo, groove and time, touched on meters of speech and rhythmic textures, looked at the interconnection between melodic phrases, chord changes and rhythm. Each lesson is standalone and includes useful and interesting reading and resources. The short homework exercises put the coursework into immediate practice and are a neat way to share thoughts and connect with other students via the school forum.”

Meet Nat

As a self-taught songwriter, with very limited music theory knowledge, Charlotte’s articles helped me understand some complex theories that I used to think were way beyond me, such as music intervals, major and minor scale chord progressions and modal interchange (borrowing chords from parallel keys).
Nat Ripepi, Perth, Western Australia

Meet Spencer

This is Spencer Brill, a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, NYC who was revitalising his love of music while recovering from a nasty brush with COVID. He worked with me as part of the Soundfly 1:1 mentoring programme over 3 x 6-week sessions on songwriting and indie music life. His band Spencer Brill Music is now performing his material regularly and on 5 May 2023, he released his first single – the aptly named Hospital Song. Nice one, Spencer!

Meet Jaz

This is Jaz Paterson, an alt indie pop artist from South Canterbury who has just finished touring her “unapologetically emotive” sophomore EP, Ache through the major centres and hometown Geraldine. A strong vocalist, Jaz touched base in 2019 for feedback sessions on her material before studying at Christchurch’s Sole Academy. Ache was produced by Will McGillivray with a NZ on Air New Music Development grant. Great to see Jaz making waves!

Meet Rachel

This is Rachel Hird, a budding singer-songwriter from Wellington, a Year 2 Songwriting School student and Stage Level Songwriting Retreat participant. Rachel took one class exercise and used it as the basis for a song to commemorate her WWI veteran grandfather. She recorded Take Me Back to Karamea for independent release ( plus sheet music) for ANZAC Day 2022. Her bandcamp page also sells a book of her grandfather’s letters and photographs. This interesting family history project was publicised on RNZ National with two interviews and Rachel’s song broadcast throughout NZ. A real outcome!

Can highly recommend this songwriting course. Whether you are an experienced songwriter, just getting started or anywhere in between, Charlotte will keep you moving along in your journey.
Wellington, NZ