Jess Nitties aka Sparrows
“I was very fortunate to study songwriting under Keppie and truly believe that without her guidance my songwriting skills would not be where they are today. I picked up so many techniques that I draw on regularly when crafting my songs. She is super talented and a pleasure to be around and highly recommend her as a teacher and mentor.”
“Keppie is an incredibly nurturing individual. She really listens to you and allows your point of view to be heard and understood. I had the pleasure of working with Keppie on a weekly basis in which we were really able to dive into not only lyrics, but she was also able to help me with harmony and choosing the right chords as well. Keppie gave me a lot of tools to get out of my head and just write. It’s so easy to work with her, and I highly recommend this beautiful and talented soul.”
Maya Batra, Songwriter, Los Angeles, CA.
“I find it hard to say how much my songwriting has improved since I joined the HTWS community, and doing the 8 week group challenges with Keppie. I need the accountability to remain focused and active with my songwriting. I have a very demanding career, but songwriting is my passion, and having the accountability to produce a song every two weeks keeps me constantly writing and revising in my spare time, where before it was so easy to veg out after work, which left me feeling immense guilt that I was putting my real love on the back burner. I have written more songs in a year of doing these challenges than I have in the past 5 years. The monthly feedback sessions are also extremely beneficial to me. I feel like I’m able to get my songs about 80% of the way there, and the feedback from Keppie and Benny help to steer that last vital 20%, that I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own.”
Mikey Fowler, West Virginia
All Courses, Workshops, and Songwriting Groups
Whether you’re looking for knowledge and skills, or accountability, community, and feedback, songwriters at all stages can take action now.
“Not only does Keppie recognize my specific interests, strengths and confusions; she balances instruction with appropriate challenges, invaluable tools and honest encouragement. Her patience and insight light the way. She is always one step ahead of me anticipating the next step in my learning. Keppie deepened my personal connection and understanding of music through her musical knowledge, kind spirit and deep dedication to my growth as a songwriter and guitar player. She taught me that what I have to say is valuable and therefore connecting with the audience is invaluable.”
Lisa Belsky, Integrated Arts Teacher, Boston MA.
Randomly enough I studied law with Keppie many years ago, and am so happy she didn’t become a lawyer. It’s such a wonderful and humbling thing to see someone doing what they were born to do.
I took both songwriting 1 and 2 with Keppie, and came out the other side feeling confident and excited about what’s to come.
Despite my being musically illiterate, Keppie managed to convey the mechanics of songwriting to me in a way that was approachable, without being at all condescending. She has a big heart and all her students feel safe to bear the most vulnerable parts of themselves and be seen. She just really wants the best for everyone.
If you take the leap, Keppie will take you on a magic-carpet tour of the land of song with humour, generosity and genius level knowledge of both the art and science of songwriting.
If you’re thinking about enrolling, don’t, just do it! 🙂
“Looking at a song from the outside and being able to work on it is what I’ve learned with Keppie in the most enjoyable, fun, and efficient way. She gave me tools to structure my songs and to develop an idea. And, if I didn’t have any ideas, she showed me where I could find them. She gave me answers about songwriting that would have taken about 10 years to find out by myself!”
“Keppie is a natural teacher and always seems to know just where I needed help. She even took the time to give me some personal tuition for free when I was struggling with my vowel sounds which helped me great deal. She didn’t have to do this but it’s just an example of how passionate she is about teaching and song writing. She is unassuming, open minded, and fun to work with and a person of deep integrity. I look forward to working with her again.”
Paul Gorman, Great Britain.
“I was so lucky to have Keppie as my teacher. She took what I knew of songwriting and broke it open to reveal a much deeper understanding I would not of found on my own.”
Raylee Bradfield, performing singer songwriter, New Zealand.
“I was very fortunate to have Keppie as my instructor for my first Berklee
songwriting class. Her encouragement kept me from feeling overwhelmed, and at the same time, she would not let me be lazy or cut corners. As a result, I took the class seriously and learned more than I ever expected. She was very generous in sharing her knowledge and experience as a real-world professional songwriter, and how she personally overcame obstacles and disappointments. Consequently, I learned strategies and tools from her that went way beyond the curriculum itself. What I learned from Keppie will continue to help me for years to come.”
Alan Kondo, Los Angeles CA.
“Keppie’s assistance with my songwriting skills has been invaluable. I have had her as a lyric writing instructor at Berklee Online, as well as for 1:1 songwriting assistance via Skype. She has masterful insight into all aspects of songwriting (harmony, melody and lyrics) and has helped me out of a “songwriting rut” on numerous occasions. If I’m preparing a song for a recording, I’m sure to run it by Keppie first! She points out details in the song and suggests changes to transform it from being mediocre to memorable.”
Doris Folkens, Canada.
“When you meet Keppie, you are immediately met with genuine interest and passion for the craft of songwriting. Our session prompted a dramatic re-write of our song, but what Keppie had offered us was enthusiasm and guideposts to continue the creative process. It led us to a piece of music far better developed than we could have hoped for.”
Heather Elliot, Canada.
“Best teacher I have ever had. I’ve been writing songs for the last 13 years and it wasn’t until I met Keppie that I felt that my songwriting abilities had taken a huge leap forward. When she gives feedback on songs, she never puts you down, instead she gives you perspective; she helps you see your lyrics in a brand new light and gives you techniques that will help you with your songwriting skills forever. I would recommend any songwriters I know to learn under the care of Keppie Coutts.”
Christine Garcia, Sydney Australia.
“Songwriting is often a very personal creative journey. Under Keppie’s guidance, I learned to trust and develop a writing voice that is not only my own, but also one that I could share with an audience. Keppie has a wonderful instinct for uncovering unpolished gems in a song — bringing to light the heart of the story as well as the writer’s style. Her guidance demystifies creative block through encouraging careful and effective revisions, practice and experience. Most of all, I am grateful to Keppie for giving me and my peers an inspiring space to openly share our stories through music.
Sandy Tan, Sydney Australia.
“Keppie’s teaching style is engaging, taking the student through excellent examples of existing lyrics and then facilitating workshops to demonstrate how their structure, rhythm, rhyme and storyline works to build up the lyric; which in turns gives the student the keys to stimulate ideas for their own original lyric writing. I have gained a new appreciation for the lyrical genius of songs which I have loved for years, now seeing them with fresh light and depth.”
Michael Charters, Sydney Australia.
“Keppie clearly loves the craft and loves to teach! Her deep knowledge of the skills and her experience writing lyrics is obvious in the excellent feedback she gives. Her insights and guidance have helped me to look more objectively at my lyrics and to understand how I can take an idea and develop it further.”
William Hansen, Kansas City, Missouri.
“What a shining light you will be to so many writers.”
Pat Pattison, author and professor, Berklee College of Music, Boston MA.
Congratulations to Doris Folkens and Heather Elliot for having their song, ‘Lanterns’, place as a finalist in the Stewart Park Festival Songwriting Competition. You can hear the song here: