Saturday, December 2nd, 2023 | Just for You | Price: By Donation
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 creative 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:

Saturday, December 2nd

10:30-11:30ET/(7:30aPT)Opening the Retreat and Song Starting Session with Gary Grundei

We’ll start the day in community with some intention setting and a short meditation. Then we’ll dig right into writing the first draft of a song without attaching to outcome (similar to the way we write a song each week in Friday Afternoon Songwriting Club). This burst of creativity will aim to provide the seed of a song that can be developed throughout the day and in some of the other workshops. As a bonus, we’ll aim that the song could possibly contain a gift.

11:30 – 12:30 – free time with co-work option

12:30 – 1Your inner child wants to play! with Juli Royster

Tap into your inner child and rediscover their heart’s desires in music making and the creative process.  Be curious and let their voice be heard in the midst of your songwriting, free of “shoulds” and unspoken expectations.  Bring a journal, an open mind and get excited to hang with your inner child!

2 – 2:30 – Gifts for Every Chapter with Lara Lafferty

Join singer-songwriter Lara Lafferty in a musical ‘Christmas Carol’ inspired journey, where we’ll be creating gifts for our past, present, and future selves! In this workshop, we’ll revisit tunes of yesteryears, look deep into our present selves, and compose a melodic list for tomorrow’s compositions.

2:30 – 4 – lunch break/free time

4-4:30 – Lyric Lab: Crafting Powerful Lines Through Gradual Transformation with Ilan Isakov

We’ll be working with discarded lines/lyrics that aren’t quite “there” yet and getting granular with them. Every lyric is a combination lock to a realm of insight, joy, and inspiration if only we manipulate them the right way. We’ll be mining our pages for growable, repeatable, grammatic structures. An exercise in minimalism using small (almost imperceptible) changes over time. With any luck, you will feel changed as well.  *You may want to show up with some lines you’ve written earlier to experiment on.

5-5:30Ecstatic Listening with Erica Terpening-Romeo

Ecstatic Listening: what exactly happens in you when you listen to a song you love? We’ll spend some time in that zone together during this short workshop in connection with songs we love, songs we introduce to one another, and hopefully even songs we’ve written. 

5:30-6:30 – dinner break/free time

6:30-7 – Partner feedback w/ Siena Friend

Give the gift of listening with this partner exercise! We’ll start with some guidance and discussion around asking for/giving feedback and then pair off to share what we’ve been working on during the day in a supportive container.

8pET/(5pPT) – Closing Song Circle

Close out the retreat with a casual song circle to share anything you’ve been working on during the day. Works in progress, ideas, bits and fragments all welcome, and no one is required to share. There will also be more gifts for you in the form of our much-anticipated prize drawings, so don’t miss it!

What You Get:

  an entire day to devote to your creative soul, with support and community available to you throughout 
7 Zoom sessions/mini-workshops with golden lotus studio teachers and community members spread throughout the day to enhance your creative process and spark new ideas
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, with the chance to connect with many of our teachers through unique mini-workshops
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


Join these amazing teachers and treat yourself to a spacious day of community and creativity:

Siena Friend

Siena Friend (she/her/hers)

Siena Friend is a singer-songwriter, producer, filmmaker, and coach. She has studied songwriting with Jonatha Brooke, Rob Seals (founder of the Songwriting School of Los Angeles), and Gary Grundei, among others. 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. Siena’s new album, created within the golden lotus studio DIY Album Mastermind program, will be out next year. In the meantime, check out her latest singles wherever you listen to music. As a busy new mom, Siena is passionate about helping others find the time and space to devote to their creativity.


Gary Grundei (he/him/his)

Gary Grundei has composed music for NPR, MTV, 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 NYC and plays with the band High Fiction.


Ilan Isakov (he/him/his)

Ilan Isakov is an artist, musician, songwriter and composer, and makes his home in Philadelphia. When he is not hosting shows, going on walks, or sighing aloud to himself, Ilan is recording his second album, which will include at least one murder ballad. As a songwriter, Ilan is fascinated with the human noises we call words; the way that they collide with one another to create stories and meaning. His favorite element is surprise, followed closely by iridium.

Lara headshot

Lara Lafferty (she/her/hers)

Since releasing her debut baroque pop-soul EP alongside Grammy-winning producer and guitarist Brent Paschke in 2021, Lara has become a professional singer-songwriter and vocal producer. She has spent the past 15+ years studying, teaching, and performing music in Southern California, working with companies including the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, Billboard, Yellowbrick, The Songwriting School of Los Angeles and more. She is also a trained actor, musical theatre director, and social media content creator with over 15 million views. Go give her a follow at @musicbylara to keep up with her ever-changing projects!

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Juli Royster (she/her/hers)

Juli Royster is a Musician, Executive and Life Coach.  Juli has been the starving artist, the one with the inner critic as her best friend, the only executive woman at the corporate table, and the guilt-ridden human being who felt like she failed at life. Learning from her experiences in both the artistic and corporate worlds, she now helps people tune in to themselves reclaiming the energy for a life in flow, creativity and freedom. 


Erica Terpening-Romeo (she/her/hers)

Erica Terpening-Romeo 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.

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