Songwriter Workshop with Arts Envoy and Professional Musician, Derik Nelson

Attention budding Swiss and Liechtensteiner songwriters!! The U.S. Embassy in Bern is delighted to announce a five-day virtual songwriting workshop led by professional musician and Arts Envoy, Derik Nelson. This unique, week-long event will offer something to beginning and experienced musicians alike. The first lesson kicks off Monday evening 30 November at 6pm. For 5 evenings in a row, from 6pm to 9pm, Derik will work closely with participants, offering a priceless opportunity to explore and develop songwriting techniques with a professional musician. At the end of the virtual workshop, participants will showcase their talents in a virtual concert by debuting a song they created during the five-day workshop – participants will also create a group music video! Curious about what the final product might look like? Check out Derik Nelson’s “dancing in the living room” video to see a previous virtual group music video.

And there is a bonus: workshop participants are enrolled in Derik’s online songwriting alumni group, The Writing Tank: plugging into a worldwide network of talented musicians and songwriters!

Workshop Objective: In the five-day workshop, Derik teaches an accelerated songwriting and music curriculum leading participants of all ages and musical abilities through the process of writing a song in English from start to finish. Lessons take place via Derik’s live video broadcast featuring live video & audio, screen sharing, lecture slides, a “virtual whiteboard,” and more and participants will communicate with Derik, live, via text chat.

In addition to each participant writing and performing an original song by the end of the workshop, the program will culminate with two publicly released projects: a Virtual Concert and a collaborative Group Song Music Video, highlighting cross-cultural collaboration, self-expression, and community through American music.

November 30 to December 4, daily, from 6pm to 9pm in Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Workshop Cost:

How to apply: Send an email to and tell us a little about yourself and your musical ambitions. We’d also like to see a sentence or two about what you hope to get out of the workshop. The application is open for both amateur and professional musicians. Deadline for applications is midnight, November, 13. There is room for a maximum of 15 participants. Participants will be notified of their selection on Friday November 18.

Derik Nelson is a singer, songwriter and producer from Olympia, Washington. He writes, records, and produces his own music. Derik has performed in over 150 cities across the United States, and reached over 100’000 students of all ages with educational music workshops and outreach programming. Derik appeared regularly as the lead guitarist on television’s “Glee,” and his singing voice has been featured on shows like Modern Family, Raising Hope, and or How I Met Your Mother. Derik is an Arts Envoy Alumnus and American Music Abroad Alumnus, and serves as a Cultural ambassador on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. He has presented workshops, live, in countries like Moldovia, Albania and the Ukraine as Arts Envoy. Learn more:

The Arts Envoy Program shares the best of the U.S. arts community with the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration and to demonstrate shared values and aspirations. American arts professionals– including performing artists, visual artists, poets, playwrights, theatrical and film directors, curators, and others– travel overseas or connect virtually to conduct workshops, give performances, and mentor young people. Programs seek to connect with international publics that might not otherwise have the opportunity to engage with American arts professionals.