“It All Starts With a Song”

This May, join a group of exceptional songwriters from around the world on a life-changing Songwriting Retreat in the Catskills of New York - led by legendary music publisher and artist development specialist Judy Stakee.

Phoenicia, NY, USA

Session 1: MAY 13-17, 2019 ♪ Session 2: MAY 19-23, 2019

APPLICATIONS OPEN UNTIL 04/30/19 (Scroll to the bottom of this page to apply.)

About Judy Stakee

Judy Stakee is a legendary music publisher, author, speaker, and artist mentor known for her work as Sr. VP of Creative Warner/Chappell Music where she signed and worked closely with many of today’s most acclaimed artists and songwriters, including Sheryl Crow, Katy Perry, Michelle Branch, Gavin DeGraw, Jewel, Joy Williams, John Shanks, Julian Bunetta, and more.

In 2009, she noticed a problem in the new music industry - a lack of artist development. So, Judy created her own company to address the issue by developing a methodology to teach artisans and songwriters how to be their best, utilizing her 40+ years of music industry experience. Her approach is simple: by strengthening the mind, body, and soul, you are also strengthening your lyrics, melody, and voice.

In 2016, Judy started her world renowned songwriting retreats (based on the songwriting camps she produced at Warner/Chappell). Each year, she takes groups of songwriters away from their everyday lives to develop themselves, their creative process, and their craft. 

Her retreats have become a main focus for teaching songwriters, as she noticed the huge strides of growth the songwriters and artists would make after completing the 5-day long journey

About Judy’s Retreats

Judy’s exclusive songwriting retreats are designed to nurture and challenge your talent, helping you to harness your potential and take your songwriting skills to a new level. Over the course of 5 days, you’ll be taken through Judy’s step-by-step methodology that addresses the mind, body and soul, to strengthen your lyrics, melody and voice

Each intensive retreat includes: 

  • Creative Workshops

  • Vocal Coaching

  • A Special Industry Guest Seminar

  • Co-Writing

  • Live Performances

  • Recordings of Live Performances

  • Song Critiques

  • Morning Yoga

  • Healthy, Fully-Catered Meals

Each retreat is structured to give you the necessary tools for developing your perspective and telling your story through song. By the end of this process, you’ll have a solid foundation to support you at every stage of your career.

After attending a retreat, you’ll also receive: 

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

  • 3 live performance demos of the songs you co-write

  • An invitation to join the Judy Stakee Retreat Alumni Facebook Group - a growing networking community of 500+ songwriters and artists from around the world

  • Ongoing guidance and support from the Judy Stakee team 

Why You Should Attend

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.

Judy’s workshops will help you tap into your creative potential, while her seminars and insights will help you develop a concrete strategy to position yourself as the artist or songwriter you want to be. There will be Q&A time for you to ask Judy the questions you’ve always wanted to ask a music publisher, and learn what it really takes to become a platinum songwriter. You’ll also leave with new, lifelong friendships and professional connections, that can help take your songwriting career farther than you can on your own

Workshop and discussion topics include:

Business Direction

  • How do I establish my identity as a songwriter?

  • How do I create the career in music that I want?

  • How do I enter the music industry’s “inner circle”?

Personal Growth

  • What are the keys to personal motivation and results?

  • How do I change my thought process to be more intentional?

  • How do I develop great co-writing relationships?

Creative Development

  • What is the secret to writing hit songs?

  • How do I turn my songs into winning products?

  • How can I focus my time, space, and tools effectively to transform my creative process?

New York Retreat Details

Lodging Location: 

Menla Mountain Retreat Center
375 Pantherkill Rd, Phoenicia, NY 12464


  • Shared cabins and bathrooms (single occupancy available upon request for additional fee)

  • Fresh linen and clean bedding

  • Limited parking


The retreat is very easy to get to no matter where you're traveling from. 

  • Two and a half hours north of New York City by car, approx three hours by bus

  • One and a half hours from Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY / Two hours from Albany International Airport

  • Three and a half hours from Boston by car

Feel free to contact us with any questions or if you need assistance.


All retreat activities, lodging and accommodations, and meals are included in the package price. There will be a master chef on-site using locally-sourced organic produce. Travel is not included. Tax is included.

*Early Bird Package: $1695

Standard Package: $1895

*Must apply and be accepted by 04/09/2019.

New York Retreat Application

Applications for both May retreats will be accepted through Monday, April 30 (04/30/19). It’s recommended you apply sooner rather than later, as there are only 30 space per retreat. Both New York retreats tend to fill up quickly.

To be considered, you must submit links to 3 different songs (at least 2 original). Please do not submit the same link 3 times. Production quality is not a determining factor in acceptance.

Phone *
We use this information for room assignments.
Do you have any of the following skills?
What are your strengths as a writer? *
Soundcloud, YouTube, Spotify, website, etc.
Soundcloud, YouTube, Spotify, website, etc.
Soundcloud, YouTube, Spotify, website, etc.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.