Songwriting for Everyone!

Bernice Lewis Songwriting
Photo by Liz Linder


Songwriting for Everyone! with Bernice Lewis

February 10 – 11, 2024 | Saturday & Sunday | 10 am – 5 pm

Note: Tuition includes entrance to her concert on Friday night, February 9 – “An Evening with Singer/Songwriter Bernice Lewis” starting at 7 pm.  Separate entrance fee is $20/person for the general public – click here to register for concert only

  • Experience Level: All levels of experience are welcome.
  • Registration: Each student must register individually. Click the Cancellation Policy tab above for more info.
  • Materials List: Click the Materials List tab above for a list of materials/supplies students need to bring to the workshop.
  • Location: Sedona Arts Center, Theatre Studio.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a song but didn’t know how to start…or maybe you have a closet full of them but haven’t found a way to share them.

In this workshop we’ll talk about the structure and technique of this ethereal art form. We’ll take a bit of time to share ideas and half completed songs, as well as finished ones that need to be heard. We’ll visit issues like performance anxiety and techniques, basic singing information, and touch on a few aspects of the music business and its complexities.

For more than four decades, Bernice Lewis has been writing and performing original music.  She has released seven albums of original music, and has toured all over the United States teaching and performing.  She’s so excited to be back in Arizona, where her career started in the open mics of Phoenix. Bring an instrument if you play one.

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Bernice Lewis

Bernice Lewis

Singer-Songwriter Bernice Lewis has been touring artist for almost four decades. She performed at innumerable festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses, colleges, and house concerts, She is also a story teller, published poet, a producer, and an educator extraordinaire. She has released seven CD’s of her original music and is currently signed to Houston’s Berkalin Records.  She has a forty-five year old daily yoga practice, loves good coffee, and her religion is the Grand Canyon

Bernice is The Artist Associate in Songwriting at Williams College (Williamstown, MA) and founding faculty at Schreiner University’s Songkeeper Program.  She has also been an Artist in Residence and workshop presenter at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, Kripalu Center for Yoga in Lenox, MA, and Esalen Institute in Big Sur as well as at many schools and retreat centers. In 2008, she was awarded an Artist in Residence position by the National Park Service, where she was posted in Grand Canyon’s North Rim, and in 2015 she was Artist in Residence at Marble House Project in Dorset, VT

Lewis has toured extensively in the US, Canada, Mexico, and recently was honored to play in Israel.  She has led eight fan based white water raft trips on The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  She has led several fan-based trips to Ireland with Janet’s Planet and will be leading a trip to Scotland this July.

Lewis — who studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson — has been a featured performer on NPR’s Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy CenterIn 1987, she was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Contest at the Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival, where she continues to be a main stage favorite. Her ballad, “Bridges That Hold,” was included in Peter, Paul and Mary’s Lifelines video (PBS). She was featured in Yoga Journal for her work with sound and yoga, and has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Dar Williams, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Pete Seeger, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Livingston Taylor, Odetta, Christine Lavin, Marty Sexton, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Mary Gauthier… it’s a long list.

Bernice is also becoming widely known for her History Alive presentation, a multi-media discussion of her family’s emigration from Nazi Germany, specifically designed for Junior and Senior High School classrooms. Her song, “Ways to Survive,” won an award from the American Zionist Movement in 1996.

Students need to bring a notebook or journal, pen, and bring an instrument if you play one.

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn, toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn

In-Person and Online Workshops

  • Payment in full is due upon registration, or a payment plan can be put in place by the student upon check-out through Sezzle.
  • There is a $125 Cancellation Fee for any cancellations made before January 10, 2024. Remaining balance will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after January 10, 2024.
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Note: If traveling to Sedona, we strongly urge students to purchase refundable airline tickets or travel insurance in case of workshop cancellation due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen changes. Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for non-refundable ticket purchases or lodging fees.

Important Message

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.

“Thanks to wonderful instruction, honest criticism, and a great format, I have so many of the necessary tools to become a better writer and to continue to learn and explore my own writing.”

“I found the atmosphere of our songwriting class to be unbelievably stimulating as an artist: I found myself writing not only songs but also stories and fragments of plays under the influence of my classmate’s work. We would all be lucky to live in a community of artists for a part of our lives.”

“This course has been incredibly invaluable to me in that it forced me to step outside of my comfort zone in an area where I’ve always been constrained by my own fear. Even if I chose never to pick up my guitar or play the piano again, hypothetically speaking, I still feel that I have gained more from this course than many others I have taken...”