Songsalive! Australia workshop

7pm 1st Wednesday of the month at
Camperdown Commons 31A Mallett Street, Camperdown

  • Restaurant and Bar open at 5.p.m.
  • Plenty of parking.
  • 5 min walk from Parramatta Rd
  • 15 min walk from Newtown Train Station


  • You can bring a song on CD or MP3 player, or (shock horror) maybe even PLAY LIVE!
  • Don't forget to bring 10 or more copies of lyrics with you, as not all members are vocal in their critiques, preferring to write their reactions down for your later perusal.
  • Musical instruments, including drums and keyboards are available if needed.


  • Archived: July 5, 2011 - Guest speaker: Sue Duchesne - Song Central
  • ArchivedJune 7, 2011 - Guest speaker: Robert Case - Old/New Pants Publishing
  • ArchivedNovember 1, 2011 - Guest speaker: Matthew Donlevy - CEO Peer Music Publishing

Renee at the WorkshopWorkshops in Sydney are held on the first Tuesday of the month at TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute, Mary Ann St & Jones St Mall, building M, take elevator to Lower Ground, go down the hall to MLG.7.

Bring your voice and guitar or keyboard and sing it live, or bring your CD or mp3 track, with 10 lyric sheets. All members benefit from workshops, which provide an excellent forum within which you can air your musical ideas.

Here is a brief run-down on a typical workshop.

  • Dom will commence proceedings at around 7:30 pm, outlining the nature of the process to any visitors on the night. Given that there may be upwards of 15 songs to be critiqued on any workshop night, Dom will keep tabs on the time taken discussing each, so as to allow for a fair amount of time to be spent on each song, and that the night doesn't run too late.
  • Members are asked to provide copies of the lyrics to songs submitted to be critiqued.
  • Non-members are welcome to attend. There is a $5 entry fee for non-members, if they simply wish to sit on proceedings.


  • Membership applications are available at the door for those wishing to join on the spot.
  • Why wait? You can join now for a special introductory fee of $50 for a full years membership.
  • Also available at the door are information flyers, CD samplers and associated articles.
  • Guest Speakers / Presenters
    As often as we can, Songsalive! Australia like to invite music industry representatives, especially those whose work interacts with areas pertaining to songwriting, to speak about, present or even host the workshop, with a view to education members as to the machinations of the Australian music industry, its position within the global industry, and how it affects our members.

Workshop Guidelines

The following is a set of guidelines to help ensure that the workshops are efficient, worthwhile and fun for all attending.

  • Songwriters will present their songs in order of arrival to the workshop, ie the order that names appear on the attendance sheet. Make sure you sign on as soon as you arrive.
  • Please bring at least ten typed copies of your lyrics to hand out to attendees. Comments may be written on these sheets.
  • Always put your name, copyright symbol and the date the song was written on your lyric sheet. Try and make sure you've printed the most up-to-date version of your song.
  • If you have a CD, make sure you've checked that it plays in a normal CD drive.
  • If you're playing live, try to have your instrument tuned and ready at the beginning of the workshop.


  • Always be polite, discreet and sensitive in your observations and comments. Songwriting is a very personal thing and people can feel quite vulnerable presenting a song.
  • There are no absolute rights or wrongs to writing a song. Every response is subjective and the comments offered are opinions. There are a lot of conventions and widely used formats, but ultimately, creative choices are up to the songwriter's discretion.
  • When making a comment, try to be succinct and relevant and don't dominate - allow as many people as possible to also offer an opinion.
  • Listen to and respect other people's comments. Pay attention to the flow of ideas: there's no point making a comment about the rhyme scheme in the third verse after the writer has already decided they're getting rid of that verse altogether.


  • Remember, you're presenting a song, to be critiqued. You have to be prepared to accept comments and know that some people might not agree with some of your choices.
  • Bring something you genuinely want help with. Don't bring a song you don't care about, so that you're indifferent to comments, or a song that's already finished and recorded and can't be changed.

Why do we need a workshop?
You've written a song. Now what?
Is there a hook? Do the words and music fit together? Can you really use "unguent" in a song and expect people to know what it means?
Songwriting can be a lonely and perplexing experience. That's why coming to a Songsalive Australia workshop can be helpful and enriching.
At the workshops you'll meet songwriters just like you. Even though people write for many different reasons, in many different styles, and with varied levels of skill, they all want to write a song that satisfies their creative vision and can be appreciated by an audience.
At the workshops we endeavour to help songwriters do just that.

Songsalive! Australia & TSA

“Workshop in the Mountains 2017”

with award winning songwriters, Allan Caswell and Roger Corbett


: Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September, 2017





Victoria & Albert Guesthouse

Manager Roman Stolz - 19 Station Street, Mount Victoria, Blue Mountains



Here are some pics from the

Workshop In The Mountains 2013


Why: Because we care and want to give songwriters of all ages the opportunity to attend a hands on and friendly workshop coached by experts in the business at an affordable price.

Cost: $140.00 per attendee includes:

  • Saturday critiquing session 12pm - 3pm
  • Workshop from 3 - 6pm with Allan Caswell and Roger Corbett.
  • Performance opportunity Saturday night 2nd September
  • Workshop / Co-writing group sessions and performances Sunday 9.30-5.00.
  • Morning tea and lunch on Sunday

Rooms are available at the Victoria & Albert on Saturday night at specially discounted rates, with a cooked breakfast included.



Please email


if you want to book a room, as we need to know in advance.



The Sunday workshop will run from 9.30 am until 5.00pm ending with performances.



This will be a one day special event where you will have the opportunity to be coached by two of the best songwriters in the country.



You too can be part of the musical atmosphere; we are planning a performance night on the Saturday evening, PA and amps provided.



Allan and Roger will be singing a song or come on up! It’s sure to be a lot of fun.


Allan Caswell Allan Caswell

In 2016 when Allan Caswell won his seventh Golden guitar in Tamworth (with Manfred Vijars) for Traditional Bush Ballad of the Year it marked 36 years since his first Golden Guitar in 1980. In the years in between Allan has experienced the highs and lows of a very successful and hugely varied career … His song “On  the  Inside”(the theme for the television “Prisoner”) reached No. 1 in  Australia and New Zealand, No. 3 in England and made the Country Charts in the USA  (his own version was a top 20 country hit in Europe in 2004) At last count, Caswell had well over 900 songs published and over 500 recordings of his songs released world-wide by artists of the calibre of Cilla Black, The Irish Rovers, Patti Page, Slim Dusty, James Blundell and The Living End.


Roger Corbett

Multi-award-winning songwriter Roger Corbett is a multi Golden Guitar winning, highly successful songwriter and Australian music producer, with numerous successful chart songs to his credit. His songwriting credits include "The Fire Within" the theme song for the opening of the Sydney 2000 Paralympics Games, "Bridge of Love", it was a hit song for the 1994 International Year Of The Family and  hundreds of other recorded songs with artists from every genre.

From his Blue Mountains recording studio Roger predominately works with Independent artists in the singer-songwriter folk, pop, rock, country, gospel and children's music genres. Roger is a member and the manager of the legendary Bushwackers Band.  The  Bushwackers, now in their 45th year and with over 20 studio albums behind them, continue to tour the country and release new songs.


Workshop In The Mountains collage 2015



One of the best things you can do for your song, especially if you're almost finished, or have just recently finished it, is to bring it to a workshop. 


Having your song listened to, and critiqued by fellow songwriters, often shows up elements which may need addressing, or extending. Sometimes, new ideas flow from the creative reactions to the song, and you find it benefits greatly from having been given a hearing before finally committing it to recording.


Workshops are currently help on the first Wednesday of the month, at 7pm, at Camperdown Commons, 31A Mallett St, Camperdown NSW, Ph: 9559 0050

  • Please bring multiple copies of lyrics
  • Songs can be played live or via digital device
  • The venue is open for food and beverage sales

From 2013-16, Songsalive! Australia held workshops at the TAFE NSW campus in Ultimo. It is an excellent venue for students of all aspects of music and music production and holds courses useful to those who wish to enter the music industry.

Check out the TAFE NSW website for more info.




Songsalive! Australia is an independent songwriting community advancing Australian songwriters. Contact us

Copyright 2017 by Songsalive! Australia