Alpher & Litt invite you to 


Feb 19–March 19, 2022: The Art and Craft of the Song Lyric with Jennie Litt

$500 Enroll


The Art and Craft of the Song Lyric (Five-Week Workshop)

The Art and Craft of the Song Lyric (Five-Week Workshop)

Jennie Litt, Instructor
Saturdays on Zoom, February 19–March 19, 2022
10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon Iowa/Central Time (11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Eastern; 9:00–11:00 a.m. Pacific; 8:00–10:00 a.m. Mountain)

A lyric is not a poem, though it may rhyme or use poetic language or imagery. A lyric is not a story, though it may tell one. A lyric is a message written in invisible ink, which can only be revealed in its true richness and specificity by music.

This is a workshop for lyricist/composers, serial collaborators, and those who’ve never written a song but have always wanted to. The class will consist of an hour-long lecture/discussion, followed by an hour-long workshop session during which we’ll respond constructively to our fellow participants’ original work. Every participant will have at least two original lyrics (with or without music) workshopped over the course of the five weeks.

During the lecture portion of the class, we’ll be listening to and analyzing songs in a wide range of genres. We’ll explore lyric-writing as an art and a craft: What is there to sing about? Where do spoken, written, and sung language intersect and diverge—and why? What are the purposes, advantages, and pitfalls of rhyming—and what constitutes a rhyme? How does the context in which listeners will encounter a song affect the choices we make as songwriters—do we write differently for the stage vs. the studio, YouTube vs. the radio, a cabaret club vs. a stadium? What are “song forms,” and how do they function; how can you turn the restrictions these forms impose to your advantage?

Jennie Litt is a lyricist, fiction writer, recording artist, cabaret performer, audiobook narrator, and educator. Jennie writes, performs, and records songs with her husband David Alpher, a composer. With David, she has performed cabaret shows all over the tristate area and at most of the major New York City clubs; their cabaret songs have been performed all over the world. In 2019, Jennie and David began work on The Mitfords At War, their first musical. Their recorded collections of original songs—Two Apples (2014) and Songs for Sapiosexuals (2019)—are available on Spotify.



Let’s be optimists and assume that by July, 2022, we’ll be able to gather live and SING together!
There are still spots remaining in the SummerKeys Cabaret Workshop 2022 with instructors Jennie Litt and David Alpher.

This will be our 6th summer teaching two week-long cabaret intensives at SummerKeys in beautiful Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the USA, “where the sun rises first.”

July 11-15, 2019

July 18-22, 2019

Join us to explore the intimate art of cabaret, with an emphasis on vocal styling, personalizing a lyric, patter, stagecraft, and singing the truth. We meet daily for master class-style sessions; each student averages an hour of stage time per day. We also offer private sessions with pianist/vocal coach David Alpher and singer/performance coach Jennie Litt, and optional voice lessons with Jennie (additional registration required).

Each workshop culminates in a Friday night performance for the SummerKeys community which has become a highlight of the summer for students, faculty, and townsfolk alike!

Cost: $715/week

Click for more information
Click to register
Click for links to a slew of charming accommodations in and around historic Lubec

“It was wonderful to participate in master classes with Jennie Litt and David Alpher, and to sing with old and new friends….What an amazing experience!”

“Always a delight to work with you and with the talented people you attract!”

“Singing and working with you and David was a wonderful experience!!! You provided fantastic direction and support. I am thrilled with the results. You are the best collaborators I have ever had!!!”


Lubec, Maine

Step back in time to Maine’s Bold Coast. In a setting of pristine beauty, on a hill at the end of a peninsula jutting into the Bay of Fundy and facing Campobello Island, Lubec has remained isolated from the frantic quality of modern life.

Gleaming church spires, old fishing wharves, frolicking harbor seals, lobster-traps piled on mussel-shell beaches, candy-striped lighthouses, clam rolls, bald eagles, foggy sunrises with the foghorn for your alarm clock, slow sunsets sinking behind the green slopes of the neighboring sea islands.

Lubec is 116 miles from Bangor International Airport. There is a once-a-day bus service from Bangor to Whiting Village where SummerKeys staff can pick you up by prearrangement.

However, while the town is small and you can walk to things, most attendees come by car, preferring the mobility of their own transportation.  Lubec is 11 miles east of US Highway 1 on Maine State Highway 189.


Still not sure? Email us for more information! Your email will be answered promptly.

We hope to see you in Lubec!

David Alpher & Jennie Litt