Newport Festivals Workshops Program

Free, virtual workshops taught by musicians and industry professionals

Each workshop will be taught online for 1.5 hours per session, 2 times per week.

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



Navigating the Music Industry

A free, virtual workshop for musicians interested in learning how to navigate the music industry and avoid exploitation. Hosted by Chris Funk (of the Decemberists), each class will focus on one part of the business and feature a panel of industry experts. Topics will include management, agents, publishing, touring, and more.

PLEASE NOTE: Space is limited. This workshop is intended for musicians who have begun their careers and intend to pursue music seriously. Must be 18 years or older. We will review applications and let you know if you have been accepted by March 10th.

Each session will take place from 5:00pm – 6:30pm Eastern via Zoom

Dates: March 21st, 23rd, 28th, 30th.



Music Journalism

Every sound has a story. Today’s music journalists employ a variety of mediums to share these stories and educate the public. In this workshop, participants will learn first hand from industry experts about what it means to be an effective, responsible music journalist. Each participant will interview, edit, and release a podcast featuring festival musicians. 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: October 25th, 27th, Nov 1st, 3rd, 8th and 10th

Jazz Appreciation

This 2-week panel discussion will teach participants how to appreciate Jazz, with an emphasis on the history and traditions of the genre. Curated by Christian McBride and hosted by Leland Baker, this workshop will feature guest appearances from musicians that have performed at the Newport Jazz Festival. No understanding of music theory is required for this workshop. All music lovers are encouraged to apply.

5:00pm – 6:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dates: Nov 15th, 17th, 22nd, and 29th

Songwriting with Laura Veirs

Laura Veirs is an American singer-songwriter based out of Portland, Oregon. She has released eleven studio albums and collaborated with Neko Case and k.d. lang on the case/lang/veirs project.

From Laura: “Combining words and melodies is a powerful and mysterious alchemy. I’m excited to share some of my philosophies about songwriting including the importance of restrictions, non-attachment, vulnerability, finishing, imitation, lyric-writing from liminal spaces and ruthless editing. I will share details from some of my songs and how I got them to the finish line. I will also provide practical guidance on how to sustain your practice over time. My hope is that you’ll come away with 6 recorded songs and a renewed energy to persist in your songwriting practice. (This class is open to prose writers and poets as well.)”

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: Nov 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 28th and 30th

Intro to Studio and Home Audio Engineering

Join audio engineer and Berklee graduate Zach Bloomstein as they demystify the process of audio production and shows you how they mix a song from start to finish. Learn how to organize your tracks and gain a solid foundation in mixing basics 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!

5:00pm – 6:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dates: October 24th, 26th, 31st, Nov 2nd, 7th, and 9th

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.