Teaching Experience

  • Faculty, Collarts, Songwriting Workshop, 2019-ongoing.
  • Faculty, Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy, Songwriting 1 and 2, 2018-ongoing.
  • Instructor, ‘Lyric Writing: Tools and Strategies’, and ‘Creative Writing: Finding Your Own Voice’, Berklee Online, 2013-present.
  • Faculty, Composition and Songwriting, Australian Institute of Music, 2013-18.
  • Faculty, Music Department, JMC Academy, 2016-17.
  • Instructor, ‘Writing Songs for the Marketplace’, ‘Music Theory for Songwriters’, at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles, 2011-12.
  • Instructor, 6-week Songwriting Enrichment Course, Aviva Center Hollywood, 2011.
  • Private Instructor (guitar, voice, songwriting), Red Pelican Music, 2011-12.
  • Instructor, Eagle Rock Songwriting Retreats, Los Angeles, 2011.
  • Assistant Professor, Berklee College of Music, Songwriting Department, 2010.
  • Instructor, Summer Songwriting Workshop at Berklee, 2010, teaching alongside Steve Seskin, Pat Pattison, Melissa Ferrick, and other distinguished industry veterans.

A Sample of Courses taught:

  • LYRIC WRITING 1 – Methodical approach to tools, structure, and strategies for lyric writing, including: sense writing exercises; phrasing and setting; song form and structure; rhyme and worksheets; building sections and song development; creating contrast; prosody; metaphor, point of view and pronouns; tense; chorus writing and writing from a title.
  • LYRIC WRITING 2 – Conducted as a workshop, with 5 song assignments throughout the semester, and in-depth critique of individual songs.
  • ADVANCED LYRIC WRITING – Conducted as an intensive workshop, with students writing a song a week and receiving in depth feedback.

Workshops developed and taught:

  • “Creativity and the Brain” – identifying individual left/right hemisphere cognitive processes, and providing tools and strategies for accessing a whole brain approach to the creative process.
  • “Generating Ideas” – a series of exercises designed to stimulate ideas and demonstrate the power of sensory detail in lyric writing.
  • “Natural Music in Language” – examining natural rhythm in speech and applying this knowledge to setting and matching phrases. Berklee Press published a short article about this class. You can view it by clicking HERE!

Keppie holds a Bachelor of Professional Music from Berklee on top of her BA in Political Science from the University of New South Wales in her native Australia. Keppie has been an organizer and judge of several songwriting contests, including ‘Songs for Social Change’. Keppie has also worked for several years in the field of Diversity and Inclusion, organizing events, programs, and training around issues of race, class, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and ability. She is deeply committed to social justice and building communities.

Performing Songwriter

John Mayer says – Keppie’s “voice is beautiful, just gorgeous. [She’s] like a contemporary female Nick Drake…and [her] guitar playing is so beautiful, so raw…”

The Boston Globe – “Coutts’s songs marry soul and folk so gorgeously, you’ll cheer when they get stuck on endless repeat on the jukebox in your brain.”

Keppie is immersed and reveling in the new wave of folk fusion – an eclectic melding of acoustic-based song that steps inside jazz, soul, and quirky pop. Multi-Grammy award-winning artist John Mayer heard a new tune of Keppie’s (‘Waiting for the Avalanche’) and within a week, had taken it into the studio in Boston to record. Keppie had scored a private audience with Mayer as one of 12 young songwriters hand-selected to spend the week with Mayer.

Her sojourn in the States saw Coutts catapult from student to faculty at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 5 short years, teaching in the Songwriting Department in 2010. Since then, Keppie’s music has appeared on international radio and prime time television, and Coutts has taught songwriting at the Songwriting School of Los Angeles, Berklee Online, and now at the Australian Institute of Music in her native Sydney.

She has performed extensively in the Northeast of the United States, including at the Bitter End and the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, as well almost every conceivable venue in Boston.

Born in Australia, Keppie started out spreading her words as poetry at local Sydney arts haunts and indie spaces. The immediate connection that she forms with an audience saw Keppie performing at some of Sydney’s best-known venues for live music, including international jazz-hub, The Basement as part of a selection of the city’s best songwriters.

To her surprise and delight, people often approach Keppie after shows, making excited comparisons to Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco, KT Tunstall, and Feist, though as one fan put it: “You sound like a million different women and like no one else”.

Keppie’s 2009 release, ‘The Ordinary World’, is available on iTunes and is distributed through CD Baby. You can listen to her music on her artist website.