Newport Festivals Workshops Program

Free, virtual workshops taught by musicians and industry professionals

You’re invited to register for Newport Festivals Foundation’s first-ever afterschool workshop program. All students are encouraged to apply – no previous music knowledge is necessary. This is a rare opportunity to learn directly from professional musicians and industry pros about subjects including songwriting, audio engineering, podcasting, and music industry careers. Please note that registration is limited to high school students on Aquidneck Island and on a first-come-first-served basis. Each workshop will be taught online after school for 1.5 hours per session, 2 times per week.

Newport Festivals Foundation welcomes and prioritizes the participation of Black, Indigenous, and other students of color as well as emerging English speakers, LGBQTIA+ youth, and students with disabilities.



Music Industry Careers

This 3-week panel discussion will focus on careers in the music industry including experts in the field of legal, promotions, labels, publishers, live touring. Hosted by Kam Franklin, lead singer of The Suffers, and Chris Funk of The Decemberists, students will be given the exclusive opportunity to ask questions, learn about the music industry, and explore potential career paths in music adjacent fields.

5:00pm – 6:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dates: March 8th, March 10th, March 15th, March 17th

Lyrics and Songwriting:

Explore songwriting guided by Lizzy Ellison.

With over 20 years of experience as a lyricist, Lizzy teaches methods that range from engaging with moments of spontaneity to diligent practice and word flow exercises.

In this workshop, Lizzy helps you focus on embodiment, intuition, and personal experience to express song lyrics from an authentic place. Lizzy is the founding member of the band Cardioid as well as her former group Radiation City. This class will be co-hosted by Chris Funk of the band The Decemberists. Students of all songwriting levels are welcome. There will be some “outside” of workshop challenges centered on lyrics and song.

5:00pm – 6:30pm Eastern via Zoom
DATES: March 28th, March 30th, April 4th, April 6th, April 11th, April 13th

Intro to Studio and Home Audio Engineering

Join audio engineer and Berkley graduate Zach Bloomstein as they demystify the process of audio production and shows you how they mix a song from start to finish. You’ll learn how to organize your tracks and gain a solid foundation in mixing basics – frequency, panning, and compression, as well as EQ and effects, to make your songs come to life. As a class, we will practice deconstructing songs down to their most basic elements while discussing different mixing choices and techniques. You’ll also be invited to share your works in process as an opportunity to workshop them, apply new techniques, and receive creative input from the class. All levels are welcome!

Zach Bloomstein is a Portland OR based Producer/Engineer/Mixer. He is a house engineer at Portland’s Jackpot! Recording Studio. Prior to his move to Portland, he had been a staff engineer at the 2019 and 2020 Boston music award nominated 37ft Productions since 2014 where he took over the B room and later became a partner. He also worked as an assistant engineer at Boston’s Peerless Mastering. More About Zach

5:00pm – 6:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dates: March 7th, March 9th, March 14th, March 16th, March 21st, March 23rd


In this workshop participants will learn from industry leaders how to create a podcast. Participants will learn to interview, edit, and release a podcast with the goal of featuring Newport Jazz musicians as curated by Newport Jazz Artist Director Christian McBride. The workshop will be hosted by several journalists and podcasters. Participants will be expected to do light preparation outside of the workshops, as well as additional dates not listed below for interviews to be scheduled with student and guest artists.

5:00pm – 6:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dates: March 29th, March 31st, April 5th, April 7th, April 12th, April 14th

For further questions about the Foundation and how you might help support our mission please contact us at

Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, duly licensed. All donations are 100% tax deductible.