“It All Starts With A Song” retreat


August 12th - 16th, 2019


September 22nd - 26th, 2019


October 13th - 17th, 2019

It all starts with a song. Writing a great song is the key that unlocks the door to a career in music. 

With 40+ years of experience in the music industry, Judy Stakee - former Sr. VP of Creative at Warner/Chappell Music who signed and worked closely many of today’s most acclaimed artists and songwriters (Sheryl Crow, Katy Perry, Michelle Branch, Gavin DeGraw, Jewel, Joy Williams, John Shanks, and Julian Bunetta) - knows what it takes to write a great song and get it heard

Join Judy as she reimagines her Warner/Chappell writing camps for songwriters and artists like you.

Judy designed the retreat to help you harness your potential by nurturing your talent and acting as a mirror so you can see and do something about your strengths and weaknesses. Over the course of 5 days, you’ll be taken through Judy’s step-by-step methodology that addresses how your mind, body and soul affects your lyrics, melody and voice

What You’ll Learn

How to Be a Better Co-Writer

Judy strategically assigns you to co-writing groups that will challenge you to become a stronger co-writer. You’ll learn how to develop great co-writing relationships, and discover your true strengths as a songwriter and collaborator.

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

By escaping the stress of your every day life, you’ll finally have the space to learn how to change your thought process to be more intentional. You’ll learn new tips and techniques for focusing your time, space, and tools more effectively, to improve your creative process.

How to Make Songwriting A Career Your Career

As a songwriter, you’re the CEO of your own business. You’ll learn how to establish your identity as a songwriter, and how to align your personal brand with your goals and professional opportunities.

How to Write Competitive Songs

Your song is your calling card. Before pitching to radio or film/TV, your song needs to be a winning product. You’ll learn what music publishers and supervisors are really looking for, and how to present your work to have the best chance at success.

Who Should Attend?


Learn storytelling principals to aid you in writing more captivating songs. Discover your own voice as well as how to aid your co-writers when collaborating.


Give yourself the time and space to explore your own story, helping you write lyrics and melodies that make you the artist that you are.


Learn to co-write and collaborate with artists and songwriters like the pros do. Sharpen your skills as a topliner and meet artists and songwriters to work with.

It doesn’t matter where you’re from, your age, or your genre. If you’re a talented songwriter who’s ready to invest in your future, expand your network, and take the next step in your music career - this is the songwriting retreat for you.

Retreat PackagES

Each retreat package includes:

  • A bed in a shared room (single occupancy available upon request for additional fee)

  • Full access to retreat activities

  • Fully-catered meals

  • 3 live performance recordings of your newly written songs

  • An invitation to Judy’s private networking Facebook Group of 500+ artists and songwriters from around the world

  • A signed copy of Judy’s book The Songwriter’s Survival Guide

  • 3 Yoga Classes

  • Vocal Coaching


Early Bird (Through 06/15/2019) $1595

Camper (Through 07/15/2019) $1695

Retreater (Through 09/15/2019) $1895

Upon acceptance, a $695 down payment is required to secure your spot. Payment plans are available to anyone who is accepted. Your airfare and travel expenses are not included.

More Accommodation Information for:

Apply Now!

To be considered, you must submit links to 3 different songs (at least 2 original). Please do not submit the same link 3 times.


Name *
Phone *
Do you have any of the following skills? *


+ Do I have to stay at the retreat center?

Yes. Your full stay at the retreat center is included in any package you choose. If you must stay off-site for any extenuating circumstances, please reach out to Judy and her team once you’ve been accepted to discuss your situation further.

+ Who will I be sharing a room with?

Upon arrival and check-in at the retreat center, you’ll be assigned to a shared room or cabin based on your gender.

+ Can I bring friends or family to stay with me at the retreat center?

No guests are allowed to stay with you at the retreat center. However, your friends or family are more than welcome to stay off-site for the duration of the retreat and meet up with you after.

+ I really want to go, but I can’t afford it. What are my options?

By applying early, you’re able to take advantage of Early Bird Pricing and an interest free payment plan. Some past retreaters have had success running personal fundraising events, getting local businesses to sponsor their attendance, and applying for grants from music and artists foundations. Judy’s team is happy to help any accepted artist or songwriter apply for grants.

+ Can’t I just work with Judy remotely?

Judy provides mentoring to artists and songwriters through Skype (or in-person if you’re local to Los Angeles). If you decide you want to work with her remotely and not attend a retreat, you can purchase single consultations or apply for her mentorship program. However, it will be difficult for Judy to recreate the magic of her retreats through consultations alone. If you are serious about working with Judy as your mentor, attending a retreat will allow you to meet her and begin developing a relationship. If you wish to invest in mentoring, you’ll get even more out of your sessions with Judy once you’ve gone to a retreat.

+ I heard you offer scholarships. Is that true?

Judy offers 1 scholarship per retreat via ReverbNation contest. You must have an artist account on ReverbNation to apply and be selected. There are no other scholarship opportunities.

+ I was accepted to a past retreat, but didn’t get to attend. Do I have to reapply?

Once you’ve been accepted to a retreat, you are accepted to all future retreats. If this applies to you, please email Dia Morgan (dia@judystakee.com).

+ I can’t make any of these dates. Will there be more retreats in the future?

Judy plans to hold retreats in the future. Dates, locations, and pricing are all subject to change.

Sign up for Judy’s email list and/or follow her on social media to stay advised about her upcoming retreats.

+ Who can I contact if I still have questions?

Please reach out to Judy and her team through her Contact page.

+ Why do I have to apply to attend?

Judy accepts artists and songwriters based on their demonstrated talent for songwriting. The application process ensures that all retreaters bring some level of experience to the table, and will be able to contribute successfully to co-writing groups.

(For anyone just starting out with songwriting, you can register to attend Judy’s Beginner’s Songwriting Retreat here.)

+ How old do I have to be?

You must be 14 or older to attend. If you are 18 or under, your parent must sign form that gives permission.

+ Does it matter what genre I am?

No. Judy encourages and welcomes variety at her retreats.

+ What if I don’t play an instrument?

You don’t need to play an instrument to attend. If you’re a topliner, Judy will assign you to a co-writing group with others who play an instrument.

+ What if I don’t sing?

You don’t need to be a singer to attend. If you’re a lyricist, instrumentalist or producer, Judy will assign you to a co-writing group with a singer or topliner.

+ How will I know if I’ve been accepted or not?

One of Judy’s team members will reply via email to your application and let you know if you have been accepted or not.

+ Why wasn’t I accepted?

The most common reason Judy doesn’t accept someone is the links they send in. Please make sure you send the correct links for up to 3 original songs. If you don’t have any songs produced, you can make a video of you or someone else performing them. Production quality is not a determining factor in acceptance, unless you are a producer.

+ Will Judy actually review my application?

Yes. Judy reviews all applications before offering acceptance.

+ Will I need to bring my computer?

No. You won’t need it for anything that your phone can’t handle. You probably won’t find much time to use it, either. You’re encouraged to leave your computer and other devices at home. But if you do choose to bring your computer for any reason, there’s free WiFi at each retreat center.

+ Will I need to bring my own instrument?

If you want to bring your instrument, it’s recommended that you bring an extra cable and your own guitar or keyboard. You don’t need to bring an amp.

+ Can I bring my camera?

Yes! There won’t be a lot of time for photos, but Judy and her team encourage you to document your retreat experience and share it on social media after the retreat.

We’re happy to talk with you about the retreats. Apply to the retreat you are interested in attending, and either Judy or one of her songwriting liaisons will follow up accordingly.