Singer / Songwriter Summer Workshop

Songwriting students at summer camp

Summer 2021 registration now open!



COVID Safety Guideline: Please be assured that all in-person programs will follow strict safety protocols required by George Mason University and are subject to pivoting to all virtual platforms if health and safety conditions warrant. Required protocols will include masks, physical distancing, daily health checks, and more. Please visit our COVID Safety Guidelines for all in-person programs. We will be routinely updating the information as it evolves. Stay informed by visiting our website and looking out for email alerts and other Academy communications.



Do you have a melody stuck in your head? Do you have ideas for song lyrics but don’t know how to take the next step? Develop creative songwriting techniques and skills to add to your musical toolbox at the Singer/Songwriter Workshop. Begin writing your own songs or learn to arrange and refine your existing works, plus receive valuable performance tips and vocal training/ coaching. Students will present a coffeehouse-style performance of group and solo pieces to the class at the end of the week!

You might also be interested in our Music Recording Studio for ages 13-18!


Ages:  13 – 18
Dates:  July 26 – 30, 2021
Times:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm (M-F)
Tuition:  $445
Location:  Mason Community Arts Academy Building in Fairfax, VA
After Care option not available for this program



4 spaces left!

Register Now





Thomas Routon, Songwriting Lessons
Songwriting Instructor: Thomas Routon
Professional Musician and Songwriter
Read about Mr. Routon

Thom Routon is a professional musician, songwriter, and audio engineer based in Northern Virginia. Graduating with honors from George Mason University, Thom received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music with a concentration in Music Technology, with Double Minors in Business and Ethnomusicology. He has been involved in music from a very young age, with over ten years of classical training in violin, as well as several years of proficiency in mandolin and acoustic guitar. Thom began writing original songs in college, which would become a significant facet of his professional career. Under the name Brother Kestrel, Thom released his debut EP “In the Earth” in February 2016 utilizing his skills to write, record, and produce his first published release of original music. Since then, he has continued to work on new songs and perform live shows throughout the Northern Virginia area. Thom has gained additional teaching experience with the Williamsburg Youth Orchestra through coaching summer chamber music ensembles. He enjoys collaborating with young artists and finding new ways to learn about music!

Ashlyn Rock, Voice Lessons
Vocal Coach: Ashlyn Rock
Academy Voice Instructor
Read about Ms. Rock

Ashlyn Rock is a soprano classical vocalist. Ms. Rock completed her bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and a minor in English in the Fall of 2018 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She has been quoted as “a lovely young lady with a beautiful soprano voice. She sings with a clear, bright sound and a good feeling for the text. Her language skills are good, and her singing is very expressive and heartfelt. Ashlyn has a wonderful attitude and a very good work ethic. She takes criticism to heart, and she works very hard to improve” (John Aler).

During her time at Mason, Ms. Rock has had the opportunity to study opera and classical voice in the D.C. area and abroad. She studied bel canto singing and performed Italian opera at the La Musica Lirica program in Novafeltria, Italy with Dr. Kathryn Hearden in the summer of 2017. Here she traveled to San Marino and local towns including Rimini, Sant’Agata, and Sant’Arcangelo to perform in Puccini’s La Boheme and Suor Angelica. Ms. Rock recently went on a study abroad tour to Reykjavik, Iceland with George Mason’s University Singers to perform at the Hallgrímskirkja and the Grafarvogskirkja Church.

Ms. Rock has participated in Master Classes with Metropolitan and internationally renowned Opera singers Danielle Talamantes, Ann Murray, Elizabeth Bishop, and most recently, Charlotte Hellekant. She has placed Honors and 3rd place in her categories at the National Association of Teachers of Singing State Competitions (NATS) and she recently placed 3rd in the 2019 Sue Goetz Ross Friday Morning Music Club Competition. In previous productions of Mason Opera, Ashlyn played the role of Celia in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe, The Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, as well as in Opera Scenes and in G.C. Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. In her last year at George Mason she played the role of Emmie in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring and the title role in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.





“My favorite parts of the program were getting to be creative and interacting with others during quarantine” – Singer/Songwriting Camp 2020 Participant

“I loved the freedom of creating new music in this camp” – Singer/Songwriting Camp 2019 Participant



Full Camp List