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May 9, 2012

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May 9, 2012

SummerSongs is a spirited, supercharged Brigadoon for players, singers, writers and enthusiasts of folk, Americana, and all kinds of acoustic music. In summer and winter, when we gather at camp, we rediscover our passion, we connect with our community, and we learn from each other and from people just like us who have taken their art and craft farther down the road. I have attended four summer and four winter camps, and each time, I took away new friendships, new insights into my own music-making, and red eyes from the sleepless nights of playing and singing and sharing. There is nothing else quite like it.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 9, 2012

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May 9, 2012

This camp has changed my life. I first started attending two years ago, and I know am hooked for life! The staff and teachers are talented, experienced, and nurturing. The creative energy has fostered my soul and inspired me to follow my passion. The environment is not only emotionally nurturing and safe, but it is physically rejuvenating and healthy. I have made true friends who will be with me a lifetime. That is priceless.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 9, 2012

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May 9, 2012

Summersongs is a life changing experience. I first went 10 years ago to check out the songwriting camp. I haven't missed one since. It offers amazing support and education. The instructors are amazing, the community is welcoming and supportive, and everyone within the community takes every opportunity to lift up and support new attendees. The vision of Penny Nichols, founder, is truly a life long gift to everyone who signs up for Summersongs or Wintersongs. I recommend it to anyone who wants to further enhance their creativity.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 9, 2012

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1 previous review
February 3, 2010

I have attended five Summersongs camps, one Wintersongs and one Autumnsongs. I came as a dilettante singer-songwriter who thought of her hobby as purely for her own enjoyment. Through the encouragem... more

May 9, 2012

I have to say that Summersongs literally changed my life. When I went for the first time, I had been a dilettante, writing songs as a hobby for many years but never taking myself or my work seriously. The positive feedback and helpful techniques I learned at Summersongs made me see myself as a singer-songwriter and gave me the courage to make a CD (I'm now working on my second one), and to go after gigs I never thought I could get. I have learned invaluable lessons in songwriting, performing, vocal techniques, and the music business. But more than that, I've reveled in the beautiful spirit of love and acceptance that permeates Summersongs. There's no rivalry or competitiveness; everyone wants to see everyone else succeed and they all give each other encouragement and helpful suggestions. I've made wonderful, lifelong friends there from among both the staff and the other students.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 3, 2010

I have attended five Summersongs camps, one Wintersongs and one Autumnsongs. I came as a dilettante singer-songwriter who thought of her hobby as purely for her own enjoyment. Through the encouragement and praise, and down-to-earth instruction and guidance of the fabulous staff, I blossomed and grew in competence and confidence. In the process I also made lifelong friends and even improved as a teacher (my day job) through observing the successful methods that the teachers at Summersongs employed. I know that I'm not alone in feeling inspired and energized by my experience at Summersongs. Many of us have brought back what we've learned to our communities, where we sponsor house- and other kinds of concerts, bringing folk music and musicians to people who would not otherwise been exposed to it. Some have played music by, or interviewed, the people we've met at Summersongs on the radio. We've played music at benefits to raise money for various causes. We have a lively email list that keeps us connected and sharing ideas and information throughout the year. I truly have to say that going to Summersongs changed my life, and I'm helping to change lives by putting what I've learned there to use.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've been doing far more performing and songwriting than I had been previously. I produced a solo CD.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Just amazing! The staff was amazingly talented and generous with their time and positive and encouraging with their feedback.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Build a permanent home, possibly where some people could live year-round, and hold songwriting camps more often.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

May 9, 2012

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May 9, 2012

Some of the best time I have ever spent in my life. A week with wonderful supportive and talented teachers, delightful fellow students and great music. The songs that come out of students are joyous and inspirational. I have learned so much at SummerSongs camp and developed as a writer and performer tremendously. I enthusiastically support the mission of SS, which is to stimulate the musical voice of the people. LOVE IT!!!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 10, 2010

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February 10, 2010

This camp is the most fantastic music, songwriting and uplifting experience anyone could ask for. The teaching staff is patient and creative in their approach, and the participants are encouraging and talented! I have only been to three winter camps- but am planning to attend a summer camp this year. I highly recommend this camp for anyone wanting to start, improve or perfect their musical and songwriting skills.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The incredible staff and quality people that participate.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create many music camps for all typed of learners and income ranges in better facilities.

Ways to make it better...

The overall experience is pretty great but if I had to make one change, it would be to the sleeping facilities. Bunk beds/cots are tough on an older body!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 5, 2010

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February 5, 2010

I was a "newbie" (first-timer) at Summer Songs 2009 in Ashokan, N.Y. I heard about the songwriters' workshop from a friend and travelled from the Oregon Coast to attend. It was all my friend had promised and more. I came back, not only a better songwriter and musician, I came back a better person. I took classes in open tunings, guitar arrangement, vocal harmony, and performance all taught by warm, supportive professional performers. Offered, and I took advantage of the offer, was a "one-on-one" with any of the teaching staff. My experience with my "one-on-one partner was worth the trip across the country. I left the camp a with a new confidence in my songs and my performance, and a heightened energy to write, write, write.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The Summer Songs 2009 was only a weekend, a very intense weekend, But what I learned has continued to impact my writing and music ever since. I also enjoy the camradery with fellow songwriters, then and now.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Warm, helpful, highly qualified, supportive

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 5, 2010

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February 5, 2010

I attended my first SummerSongs camp in Ashokan, NY in the summer of 2005 and it is not an overstatement to say that it was a life-changing experience. While I have been a musician and a performing songwriter for many years, I have had moments where I felt that my commitment to my music career was something of a mixed blessing. Being embraced by a community of abounding talent that shared many of my concerns was both humbling and validating. I continue to attempt to touch people, build community, and raise consciousness thanks to that first experience. Subsequent camps didn't quite capture that life changing moment experience; however, they served as booster shots and, of course, expanded the circle of what I've come to refer to as "the real world." Really, Summersongs is a remarkable effort.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the amazing group of people I've connected with.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

supportive and generous.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make the camp/retreats more affordable to those on a tight budget (like I am at the moment).

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

February 5, 2010

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February 5, 2010

I have attended three Wintersongs camps and two Summersongs camps and they have all been amazing experiences. The instructors are incredibly talented and generous with their time, and very supportive. I have grown so much as a songwriter, singer, musician but more importantly as a person. I'm basicly a shy person and the thought of singing before a large group of people was terrifying to me. Now, I look forward to performing and I find it a thrilling experience. I have found a wonderful community in Summersongs.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have grown by leaps and bounds as a songwriter, singer , and musician. I have joined a community of incredibly, talented, giving, caring people who continually support each other in their artistic lives, and personal lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The pure joy of singing, dancing and performing with such a supportive, constructive group.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Off the charts, talented, friendly, helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Establish a permanent location for the camp. Offer free tuition to people who couldn't afford to pay. Set up seminars in schools and nursing homes because everyone has a song to sing and its a fantastic way to express youself.

Ways to make it better...

Got to attend more often although I have only missed one camp since I started going.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Keeping the tuition reasonable while still paying staff fairly for their time. At present many of the instructors are paid well below what would be expected considering the amount of time they give.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 4, 2010

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February 4, 2010

Attending Summersongs has been, for me, an incredibly transformative, uplifting and galvanizing experience. I attended my first week-long camp in August of 2007 at the recommendation of my good friend and fellow musician Fred Arcoleo. Though I've been singing since I was very young, at the time, I held the notion that I wasn't a "real" songwriter or musician, as I had only been playing guitar a short while and had only written a handful of songs. Upon arriving and seeing 50 - 60 people milling around with guitars, singing, laughing and sharing stories, I knew I had stumbled upon something very special...and very rare. Since that first Summersongs camp, as well as successive camps I've attended, I've honed and strengthened my performing, songwriting and musicianship, which has given me a great deal of confidence in my own abilities and allowed me to feel that my own expression, through songs, is valuable and worthy... But these gifts are really just the icing on the cake, because what Summersongs' Founder Penny Nichols, along with her band of creative and visionary teachers, has done, is to create a truly sacred and safe space for ANYONE to explore and express their authentic creativity among other loving, supportive, like-minded artists. Having attended several camps, I now feel most at home, as a performer, when I am playing a new song for one of my fellow songwriters, or singing at one of the camp "coffeehouses." One final note - Summersongs has also created a vibrant community of people who come to camp not only for their own enhancement, but for the betterment of others, as most or all of us who write and perform do it in the spirit of serving our communities, whether playing in nursing homes, hospitals, or to benefit charitable causes. Summersongs has been a truly valuable experience for me and i feel that I have grown not only as a performer and songwriter, but as a person.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Experiencing all of the unique forms of expression coming from each and every teacher and camper.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, generous, open hearted! The staff and teachers are respectful and generous with their time.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Teach the world that creative expression is a means to healing and transformation. It could offer creative musical programs serving many different types of populations.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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