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Rock School


This week is for you if you are an amateur musician who would love to play in a band but hasn't had the opportunity or lacks the confidence to do so. This retreat brings like minded amateur musicians together of any age and standard.

You will progress in confidence and performing ability and at the end of the week you will perform at a real gig to a genuine audience.


During the week we will:

- teach you new rehearsing techniques

- look at how to start and end a piece of music as a band, at the same time

- learn how to voice instruments when there is more than one of the same instrument in the band

- learn techniques for playing an interesting solo and how the band can add an extra dimension to the solo

- look at transitions between songs, which are often forgotten leaving bands with embarrassing pauses!

- tackle song and chord progressions that are not necessarily in your comfort zone

- model how to communicate with other members of the band during songs

- coach you on your set list choice for your gig at the end of the week

- help you improve your confidence with audience interaction 

You will use not only the studio but the house and grounds as a rehearsal space with unplugged rehearsals in smaller groups also taking place. The week will be broken up with visits to local areas of interest that can include an Atlantic coast beach or an ancient Bastide village such as Labastide-d'Armagnac. If needed there is a well resourced music shop in Mont de Marsan.

The highlight of your week will be your gig at a genuine local music venue that will be freely open to the public and therefore an authentic experience. The PA system will be provided and we will guide you through the sound check process. Help and encouragement will be on hand throughout your performance.

Blues camp 2019.jpg

Retreat dates:    

21st - 27th June 2020 * 2 places left*

6th - 12th Sept 2020

Price £975 per person

Our Rock School guests, with us, at the end of their week!

Record onto Vinyl retreat

How cool would it be as an amateur musician to have your first single recorded onto 12" vinyl!   

There has been a massive resurgence in recent years in the demand for vinyl records. It started with re-releases of old material and now many new releases are available on vinyl as well as Cd or for digital download.  This has been gaining momentum to the point where new pressing facilities are opening up. In Marciac (Europe's premier Jazz festival venue) this is exactly what has happened.


This week will be all about recording your own material and having it mastered and then committed to vinyl for you to keep for posterity and with pride (unlike an MP3). The songs you record will be written and performed by you with as much help as you need to make sure they are of a high professional standard. Our onsite recording studio, Goose Studio is heavily influenced by valve equipment although we do ultimately record digitally. 

We will coach you through the all the preparation you will need need for this week.  


You will have a double A side 12 " single.

There are always minimum runs when it comes to pressing vinyl which is usually 100 copies. This will result in multiple copies for each individual which you can either sell on or give away.

Retreat Dates 1st -8th March 2020 price £1275 per person which includes up to 250 vinyl records per group

Record Selection

Marciac Jazz Festival retreat

Experience the atmosphere and music of one of Europe's major jazz festivals.  This week is perfect for everyone not only jazz lovers.  The festival is very different from the usual UK festivals.  The whole town acts as the venue.  Its very chilled and laid back and the people are warm and friendly.  If you need inspiration for your music, this retreat is perfect for you.


Your week will be centred around the jazz festival at Marciac where in 2019 Sting, Jamie Cullum, Chick Corea and Beth Hart performed among many others. Entrance to the festival during the day is free but we will be looking to purchase group tickets to one of the main acts during one of the evenings as well as visits to the festival during your stay. The 2020 line up has not yet been announced but if you want to be part of a real music scene then this is great time to be in the south of France.

As well as the actual festival, you will be improving your own musical skills back at the house with the potential to either record or perform towards the end of the week. You will be working on exactly the same set of skills that you will see displayed at the festival, all the skills involved with playing as an ensemble, how to make chord progressions more interesting, voicing in chords, when not to play, how rhythm can be used to make the whole band or a soloist sound more interesting. 


You do not need to be of an advanced playing standard to join in. Beginners and players of any standard are welcome. This is a more relaxed week where you will play and watch live music as well as having a chance to socialise with like minded people.

Retreat Dates 2nd - 9th August 2020. £1149 including one evening ticket to a named act at Marciac Jazz festival.


What's included?

Shared accommodation.

Continental breakfast/lunch and evening meal.

Table wine with evening meal.

Tea/coffee and soft drinks.

Use of all facilities regarding the studio.

Use of pool during the warmer months.

Pease don't hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions or requests.

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