A 4-week intensive workshop for creating through the lens of neurobiology.

HYCNS workshop dates: June 5, 12, 19, and 26

1:00 PM EST || Saturday afternoons on Zoom for 4 weeks. Register now!


We all know intuitively that there are easier and harder states from which to create. We use words like “grounded” and “open” to describe the ideal conditions, or “anxious,” “distracted,” “blocked” to describe the harder times. This course will translate those feelings into the language of the nervous system in the context of our neurobiology, and help you both create from a place of safety and use your creative practice as a self-regulating tool. You will use the wisdom of your body to build a songwriting practice that keeps you regulated and works with, instead of against, your autonomic nervous system.

Over our four weeks—which will include four group sessions with the whole cohort and one individual session, just you and me—you will learn about the three states of the nervous system, map out how those three states look and feel for you in the context of creative work, and explore each stage of your songwriting process—from inspiration to drafting to revision to sharing—through the lens of your creative nervous system!

What you get in just four weeks:

Four live and interactive 90-minute zoom calls guided by an instructor in a small cohort with no more than 4-10 students

one private individual session with your instructor for personalized direction

advanced knowledge of the nervous system as it relates to creative work

a private, exclusive online forum where you and your cohort can interact, ask questions, and receive direct support

assignments and accounatbility to keep you on track

the ability to feel comfortable and grounded when approaching your songwriting


“Won’t focusing on my nervous system just make me feel more nervous?”
Your nervous system is the water you’re swimming in at all times. Turning on that awareness can feel strange at first, but the more you know about the water the better you can swim! It can be incredibly liberating and empowering to demystify our unconscious processes. This awareness then gives us the ability to befriend and then tune our nervous system.

“Why wouldn’t I just watch youtube videos?”
– What we’ve found here at golden lotus studio is that there’s just no substitute for being in a class along with other students and an instructor that supports you. By joining us, you’ve subjected yourself to a level of accountability that’s simply not present when you casually surf YouTube. You’re going to engage with the material in a different way, you’re going to show up in a different way, and you will be supported in a different way with the presence of classmates and an instructor.


“What does this have to do with songwriting?”
– Magic is a major ingredient in any creative endeavor. It can be hard to put into words, but as a songwriter you already know this; sometimes this magic window opens, light comes in, and the song glows. We are more receptive to that magic in some states than in others, and while the magic will always be ineffable and mysterious, the conditions for receptivity don’t have to be. By exploring our songwriting through the context of our nervous systems, we can write and listen from a place of safety and generativity.
“What if I’m afraid to show what i don’t know?”
– Hey, we’re all in this together! You can safely bet that there will be others in the same boat as you. There are zero expectations or prerequisites coming into this workshop. We are here to meet you where you’re at and help you grow and feel more comfortable.

See the value:

Harness Your Creative Nervous System

instructions, skills, resources in 4 weeks
$ 280 4 weeks
  • 4 classes at 90 min. each guided by an instructor in a small cohort
  • Affordable
  • A proven curriculum and structure
  • Unparalleled individual support on your journey by the instructor and a close-knit community
  • Work and attend class from the comfort of your home!

Meet Your Instructor:

Erica Terpening

Erica Terpening is a director, actor, teacher, and writer in Western Massachusetts. She is the founder of Hilltown Shakespeare Anonymous, co-founder of the Shakespeare company Anon It Moves in Portland, Oregon; and former Managing Director of The Strain Theatre in Manhattan, New York. She has contributed to the anthologies How and Why We Teach Shakespeare and Why The Theatre, both published by Routledge Press. She is currently researching and developing a method for actors based in Polyvagal Theory and the operations of the nervous system.

Sign up below! Can't wait to work with you...


golden lotus studio reserves the right to cancel this class if enrollment does not meet the minimum requirement.

Register Now: Harnessing Your Creative Nervous System starts soon!

*If are experiencing financial hardship, but are craving the songmaking offerings described here, please reach out and let me know because a modest amount of scholarship funds are available for folks in such circumstances. Please send an email to himself [at] garygrundei.com describing your situation.