The Boston Bluegrass Union sponsors and supports instrument and vocal classes for beginners to advanced, taught by our region’s best bluegrass musicians.

Classes by Hugh Moffat

Songwriting Workshop Series
Taught by World-Famous Songwriter Hugh Moffatt
Spring 2020

Structure: We will workshop your songs in a friendly structured setting. Each participant will present a song each week and will receive and provide guided feedback according to standard workshop guidelines. Class size will be limited to 5 participants. Hugh will be offering two classes: one on Wednesday nights, and the other on Thursday nights.

Time: We will meet Wednesdays or Thursdays for two hours from 7 until 9 pm for five weeks starting April 1st or 2nd, skipping Spring Break week of April 20-24.
Wednesday classes will be Apr 1, 8, 15, 29, and May 6
Thursday classes will be Apr 2, 9, 16, 30, and May 7
Location: Watertown-Belmont area
Cost: $135 for BBU members ($145 for non-members)
Please email Hugh directly to register (or with any questions) at [email protected]

The class goal will be to bring each song as close as possible to fulfilling the goals of the writer. Standard and non-standard conventions of successful songwriting will be presented and discussed in the context of the workshopped songs. The focus will be on the songs themselves in the light of what the writer intends for them. Participants will need to bring an instrument to present their songs or a recorded version. You will also need to bring copies of the lyric for the class (6 copies). There will be no AV equipment available. Songwriting is an art, and there are no rules, but there are proven models that can help direct a writer to develop songs he or she can be really proud of.  NOTE – All styles of songs are welcome, but Hugh will not allow dehumanizing lyrics. They clearly have a place in pop culture, but this class is not for that.

About Hugh Moffatt
These classes will be conducted by Hugh Moffatt, singer-songwriter and educator. Hugh’s songs have been recorded by a wide range of artists including Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Alabama, John Starling, Tony Rice, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, and countless others. Hugh has written dozen of songs that have been recorded by major artists such as Carolina Star, Rose of My Heart, and Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You. He has taught the business of music and/or songwriting at three different colleges/universities. For more information see

Bluegrass Academy Objectives

Bluegrass Academy Objectives


With today’s resurgence of interest in bluegrass and traditional music, there is more call than ever for instruction. To meet this need, the Boston Bluegrass Union offers educational programs for children and adults.

BBU’s Bluegrass Academy offers group and individual instruction by some of the best instrumental teachers in the greater Boston area. Beginning classes are designed to give students a common repertoire and understanding of the roles of the respective bluegrass instruments, and to further their musical enjoyment and participation. Instruction is designed to deepen the musician’s understanding of the music, and to help the musician along the creative path, whether contemporary or traditional. Classes will help players to connect with their natural voice.

All classes will offer technical instruction as well as historical background. As the Bluegrass Academy concept evolves, the offerings will branch out to cover diverse areas of interest.

The Bluegrass Academy uses original materials and a variety of teaching techniques, including handouts, video, CDs, and internet support. All classes focus on the most practical techniques, with an eye toward the big picture: not just playing the instrument, but understanding its role in the bluegrass band, to build the ensemble playing skills which can enhance musical enjoyment.

The Bluegrass Academy is committed to unlocking bluegrass in all of its forms: traditional, contemporary, progressive, and everything in between! Together we will have fun and share music in the jamming tradition that has nurtured bluegrass from its earliest beginnings. Please join us!