Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 | Just for You | Price: By Donation
Announcement: We are proud to announce that with this retreat we are building the gls scholarship fund for songwriters as part of creating access to training and creating for as many people as possible in our songwriting community. By donating and attending this retreat to care for your soul, you’re also paying it forward.

All profits from your donations go directly to building the gls scholarship fund for songwriters.

like a spa day for your musician’s soul…

give your future self a gift right now!


choose to attend some/all sessions:
(specific mini-workshops TBA)

Saturday, December 3rd

10-10:30: welcome/meditation
w/ Gary Grundei 
Opening remarks, intention setting, journaling

11-1145: listening exercises
w/Donovan Dorrance
Learn to sharpen your musical ear with some fun ear-training exercises

2-2:45: embodied voice
w/ Ethie Friend
Explore the musical possibilities of your voice and body

4-4:45: refreshing movement
w/Adam Kerbel 
Engage gently with your creativity through easy stretching and movements, helping us to locate alternative sources for songwriting and refresh our thoughts along the way

6-7pm: co-writing
w/ Siena Friend
– Discover the expansion in creativity that can come from working with a new writing partner. We’ll start with some guided writing exercises and then pair off to finish your songs.

What You Get:

an itinerary and instruction sheet for preparation
5 Zoom sessions/mini-workshops with golden lotus studio teachers and community members spread throughout the weekend and available by recording for 24 hours afterwards
much needed filling of the artist’s creative bucket
an opportunity to partner with another participant for a co-writing session (instruction and support provided!)
a deeper dive into the rich community and lineage at golden lotus studio
free access to a private forum for posting progress and questions
individual feedback and encouragement from the instructors
prize drawings for upcoming golden lotus studio workshops and classes
a closing song circle open only to participants to share what you’ve made during the weekend



Donovan Dorrance (he/him/his)

Donovan Dorrance hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he trained as a multi-instrumentalist before moving to Brooklyn to work for his sister’s dance company, Dorrance Dance, and pursue his passion for music.  As music director, Dorrance has had the opportunity to compose original music and tour internationally with the company for the last six years. Outside of dance, Dorrance composes for film, theatre, podcasts, commercials, and weird passion projects. He’s been with golden lotus studio since the beginning of 2020 and feels very privileged to get to share music with others during such a turbulent time.

Ethelyn Friend (she/her/hers)

Ethelyn Friend is a teaching member of the International Roy Hart Center in  France, and a founding faculty member of Naropa University’s groundbreaking MFA Theater: Contemporary Performance Program. Modeled on NYU’s ground-breaking Experimental Theatre Wing, Naropa’s MFA is the first graduate training program to integrate contemporary physical theatre forms, Viewpoints theory and practice, extended range vocal work and traditional contemplative practices. She encountered the Roy Hart Theatre voice work in 1991, a classically trained soprano who had been warned “never to sing below middle C”. The expansion of the literal and figurative range of the voice which followed profoundly revolutionized the course of her life and work. Ethelyn Friend is an award-winning actor, writer, and vocalist with two decades of work in regional theatre and original solo performance. From work with Meredith Monk to leading roles at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and premieres of new contemporary work with Tectonic Theatre Project. Lifelong study of the singing voice make her a unique vocalist, working in many musical styles.

Siena Friend (she/her/hers)

Siena Friend is a singer-songwriter, filmmaker, photographer, writer, and ayurvedic health coach, depending on the day. A self-taught guitarist and songwriter, music has been the main throughline of her life, following her from her home state of Colorado to Los Angeles, where she recorded and released her latest solo EP in 2019. From participating in the first Compose Yourself class at the beginning of golden lotus studio, Siena has been an active part of the gls community for the past two years. She hosts the gls Songwriters’ Open Mic Night, and is a guest teacher of the Friday Afternoon Songwriting Club. Siena works as a health and creativity coach, and brings this holistic perspective to her offerings. 

Gary Grundei (he/him/his)

Gary Grundei has composed music for NPR, MTV, the Discovery Channel, New York Stage and Film, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Magic Theatre, GALA Choruses, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He has worked with Meredith Monk, Bill Pullman, Leigh Fondakowski, Caitlyn FitzGerald, and Barbara Dilley. Gary has taught at Naropa University, Occidental College, University of Denver, Whitman College, MICHA and online through He lives in NY and plays with the band High Fiction.

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Rachel Hewitt (she/her/hers)

Rachel Hewitt is the founder of Rachel Media, a boutique digital marketing and branding agency and the recent instructor of golden lotus studio’s course on promoting yourself as a songwriter: Brand Yourself. You can see more clients and projects at

Adam Kerbel (he/him/el)

Adam Kerbel is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores cooperation, improvisation, and shared listening. He is a co-founder of the Philadelphia ensemble, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, as well as an educator at Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Adam studied acting at Marymount Manhattan College and experimental composition at Headlong Performance Institute; he practices songwriting with the Golden Lotus community. His work has been presented at Imago Music Festival, Skirball Cultural Center, Golden Lotus Studio, High Voltage, Painted Bride, Links Hall, Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporánea, Fleisher Art Memorial, and New York Live Arts.


 Erica Terpening (she/her/hers)

Erica Terpening is a director, teacher, actor, songwriter and farmer in Worthington, Massachusetts. She is the co-founder of the Shakespeare company Anon It Moves and former Literary Manager of Portland Actors Ensemble, both in Portland, Oregon; the former Managing Director of The Strain Theatre in Manhattan, New York; and founder of Hilltown Theatre Anonymous in Western Massachusetts.

Join these amazing teachers and treat yourself to a spacious weekend of community and creativity.

register below | make music | do good

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