Gourmet Explorer, 6 - 11 May (6 days). £1,460 per person Creative Writing I, 13 - 18 June. £895 pp. (fully booked)
Creative Writing II, 20 - 26 June (7 days). £995 per person
Songwriting with Mike Batt, 5 - 8 August (4 days). £995 per person
Gourmet Explorer, 23 - 28 Sept (6 days). £1,460 per person (all inclusive except flights!)
Our renowned songwriting course is back, and then some! Aspiring songwriters will be delighted to learn that Mike Batt is bringing his substantial genius to French House Party Carcassonne for this unique 4-day residential songwriting course.
Mike is one of the UK’s best-known and respected songwriter/producer/artists. His multitude of hits include ‘Bright Eyes’ – No. 1 in six countries for Art Garfunkel, ‘A Winter’s Tale’ – No. 2 for David Essex, ‘Caravan’ for Barbara Dickson, and ‘Nine Million Bicycles’ and ‘The Closest Thing To Crazy’ for Katie Melua, whom he ‘discovered’ and managed for 10 years, selling 11 million records on his own label.
Apart from the massive early success he had with The Wombles – he composed the songs for the BBC children’s series – he had a big UK hit in 1975 as himself with ‘Summertime City’, has made six solo albums for Epic/Sony Records, and still performs concerts internationally. More of Mike’s voluminous biography can be found on his own website!
An accomplished arranger and conductor, he has conducted many of the world’s greatest orchestras from the London Symphony to the Stuttgart Philharmonic, in a variety of classical and pop repertoire, and still finds time to work on an eclectic range of projects from films to heavy rock with bands like Hawkwind and Steeleye Span.
Summer Songwriting Course (4 days residential)
This is a rare and exclusive opportunity to spend four days at the French House Party learning songwriting, composition and lyrical techniques from a true icon of the industry.
The all-inclusive 4-day break will contain 3 days of group instruction workshops, jamming sessions, one-to-one tuition, writing, performances and the bonus of a private Mike Batt evening gig at home!
Non-participating partners sharing a room with a participant are welcome at a reduced rate of £145 off the full price.
All-inclusive price: £995 per person sharing a twin/double bedroom
£850 for non-participant sharing participant’s room
£60 single occupancy supplement (for single participants wanting their own double bedroom)
Songwriting workshop – synopsis
Three days of workshops will explore a handful of useful tools and strategies for inspiring and facilitating the craft of learning song writing. The role of choice in determining the theme, idiom, narrative voice and goal of a song will be examined along with strategies for creating an environment that encourages inspiration to strike. Students will be encouraged to share their original compositions, for comment and review. Each day, students will be given specific song writing assignments, individually and/or in pairs, tailored to explore some of the basic principles of the craft of songwriting.
1.00pm – 2.00pm
2.00pm – 4.30pm
Songwriting Workshop: Session 1 – Choosing Direction
Songwriting Workshop: Session 3 – Solving the Puzzle
1.00pm – 2.00pm
2.00pm – 5.30pm
Songwriting Assignment Time (individual or pairs)
5.30pm – 7.30pm
8.00pm – 9.00pm
9.00pm – 11.00pm
Final Workshop Round-Robin Performance
8.30am – 9.30am
Q. Do I need to be able to read music?
A. No. Some knowledge of music notation or familiarity with chords or tablature can be helpful, but is not necessary. Paul McCartney could barely read music starting out, and he managed pretty well.
Q. Do I need to be able to PLAY music – for example, what if I’m interested in writing lyrics only?
A. No. Lyricists are welcome. If both parties are amenable, it may be desirable to for a lyricist to pair up with an instrumentalist, but that is completely optional and not a requirement of this course.
Q. Similarly, what if I can write the music, but I’m rotten with words?
A. Non-lyricists are welcome too. As above, If both parties are amenable, it may be desirable to for a lyricist to pair up with an instrumentalist, but that is completely optional and not a requirement of this course.
Q. Do I have to be able to sing well?
A. Not at all. But earnestness, forthrightness and sincerity count for a lot.
Q. Will I have to give a public performance?
A. We encourage you to, because sharing your efforts benefits both you and your peers, but we won’t short-sheet your bed, if you elect not to.
Q. What will I have to bring with me? E.g. some samples of songs or poetry I’ve already composed? An instrument? Notebook, Journal, Music Manuscript or Tablature paper? Writing implements? Laptop/Notebook computers?
A. You are encouraged to bring three or four samples of original songs or poems. And if you play an acoustic instrument – guitar, ukulele, banjo, auto-harp, etc. – you are encouraged to bring it. A keyboard and guitar will also be available during the workshop sessions. All participants are required to bring some type of notebook, journal or manuscript (music notation) paper or pad plus writing implement or laptop/notebook for sketching, documenting and editing their songs. Additional note pads, some manuscript paper and writing implements will also be available.
Q. Will these be group sessions or will there be some one-to-one instruction?
A. Workshop Sessions will consist of a mix of group lecture, discussion and round-robin review; the round-robin review component will involve personalized instruction in a group setting. During song writing assignment times, the instructor will be available for some one-to-one feedback and instruction.
Testimonial on previous French House Party Songwriting course: Open PDF
Previous course schedule (new schedule coming!): Open PDF
Mike Batt performs ‘Bright Eyes’
GB News interviews Mike Batt
Previous Songwriting course video (2012)
For further information, to check availability or to book call Moira Martingale on