Songwriting with Dean Friedman at French House Party, Carcassonne:
The French House Party in the Carcassonne area of south-west France, is named Top Retreat in the National Geographic book by American travel writer Pam Grout: "The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life". We provide superior all-inclusive experience holidays, assuring the very best of personal attention to people whose expectations are high. We offer a rare opportunity to learn song-writing from one of the world's best musical lyricists. Join New York singer-songwriter Dean Friedman for a 4-day residential course close to Carcassonne. Dean is renowned for his international hits such as “Ariel”, “Well Well Said the Rocking Chair” and, of course, “Lucky Stars”.
Situated in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Carcassonne is only 50 miles from Toulouse International Airport. Ryanair also fly directly to Carcassonne from the UK, Ireland, Belgium, and Paris Beauvais international airport.
• Dean Friedman has remained a major inspiration to other songwriters for more than 20 years.
• He shot to fame in 1977 with the unusual and irresistible love-song “Ariel”, following this with the iconic story-song “Lucky Stars”, which went to the top of the British charts. Later hit singles included “Woman of Mine”, “Lydia” and “Well Well Said the Rocking Chair”.
• He gained less welcome notoriety in the UK when his “McDonald’s Girl” song was banned by the BBC for the unwitting infringement of its no-advertising ruling.
• A musical lyricist frequently compared to Billy Joel and Paul Simon – and described by one music critic as “A genius. An original. A musical craftsman of unrivalled expertise” – since those early days Friedman has continued to write, record and perform in the USA and internationally.
• He is also the President and Creative Director of InVideo games, designing virtual reality computer games for children and also over-sized interactive musical instruments with names such as Honkblatts and Boobles, which can be seen in theme parks worldwide.
• Friedman’s unique style of music has influenced a new generation of recording artist, including top bands such as Canada’s Barenaked Ladies, the Blenders and Ben Folds Five. He regularly plays at the Edinburgh Festival as part of his 4-month European summer touring schedule.
• Our residential courses include a four-day residential songwriting course with masterclasses led by one of contemporary music's most original musical lyricists – the legendary New York singer-songwriter Dean Friedman. All classes are conducted in English.
• 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 songwriting assignments, individually and/or in pairs, tailored to explore some of the basic principles of the craft of songwriting. All meals will be taken with Dean at home.
"The whole weekend was heavenly.”
"This was a very uplifting experience.”
"It was a peak experience in my life.”
"Dean Friedman is much more than a wonderful writer, a magnificent singer, a consummate performer, and seasoned musician. He is also a nice guy. But to find out he is also a sensitive, encouraging and generous nurturer of talents much more modest than his was a delightful surprise.
His mastery of the learning process, which is much more difficult in the creative domain, reveals an uncanny understanding of the struggles of creativity- a struggle incidentally which he seems to overcome with consummate ease.
Nobody could come away from his French House Party workshop weekend without feeling inspired, enriched, enlivened and most of all grateful for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ... the others felt the same, and have since communicated these thoughts to me privately.
It promised to be the opportunity of a lifetime. It turned out to be much more; an unforgettable experience from which I have taken more than I could have asked, and which has helped me more than I could have hoped."
- "Doc" Wallace
We offer our clients the ultimate in relaxation in graceful and superior surroundings.
Situated amid sunflower fields in a peaceful rural area on the outskirts on the outskirts of the medieval World Heritage site of Carcassonne, the 300-year-old stone barn has been uniquely converted in Art Deco style, creating large, open living spaces within the house – and a raised dais currently occupied by a digital grand piano – making it ideal for performance or team training events - or on this course, for the performance sessions.
We enjoy fantastic views of the Pyrenees, which can still be white-capped, even in May.
The gardens are lovely and our resident red squirrels are most entertaining! There are gardens and several terraces, a large private pool with a barbecue area for al fresco dining, an all-weather tennis court, a covered table-tennis area and a petanque (boules) pitch.
• We also have an indoor games room with pool-table and a classic 1950s juke box. A mezzanine landing with a second sitting room on the first floor has balustrauding enabling one to look down on the raised area. Above are the roof beams.
• The 8 individually-designed, en suite bedrooms are double, twin or triple-sized. All have AC units, hairdryers and CD players. Towels are provided for both indoor and outdoor use.
• Two ground-floor rooms are suitable for guests with mobility limitations. Two of the bedrooms have balconies, offering superb views of the Pyrenees to the south and the Black Mountains to the north.
• Bicycles are available for anyone inclined towards a gentle pedal along the shady towpaths of the nearby Canal du Midi.
- Courses / Programs
|Address: Carcassonne, South West France, France|
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