Spring Training


March 31-April 1, 2017


  • Member Price: $395
  • Nonmember Price: $495


About Spring Training:

Join us, no matter your experience or genre, for 2 days of industry/songwriter panels, publisher break-out sessions, a chance to play at the 2017 Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival and more!

NSAI Spring Training is NSAI’s longest running event, and for over 20 years has been the standard by which all other Nashville songwriting seminars are measured. Former Spring Training attendees include hit writers Jon Vezner (Where’ve You Been – Kathy Mattea), Tia Sillers (I Hope You Dance – LeAnne Womack), Barry Dean (Pontoon – Little Big Town) and Lance Carpenter (Love Me Like You Mean It – Kelsea Ballerini). 


Best of Spring Training:
This is your opportunity for a chance to play the world’s largest songwriters festival, Tin Pan South, on Saturday, April 1st!

All Spring Training attendees will have a chance to enter their song for consideration. The NSAI staff will compile all submissions and narrow them down to the top 24. The top 24 songs will appear on a private webpage, similar to NSAI's Top 40 Song Page, for all Spring Training 2017 attendees to cast their votes for the top 12 songs. Attendees will be emailed a link prior to the event where they can first enter their song, and then cast their vote for their favorite songs! The writers of the top 24 songs and the top 12 winners will be revealed at the conclusion of the event on Saturday, April 1st. The writers of the 12 winning songs will have the opportunity to play their song during the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival later that evening. Please know if you are chosen, you will need to perform the entered song live. Only enter if you are comfortable with performing live. We will not provide an accompanist for you. Submissions closed for Best of Spring Training on March 3rd.

Guest Speakers:
(subject to change)

You'll see Rivers' name on #1 songs by Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson, Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton (for the stunning and Grammy-nominated duet "When I Get Where I'm Going"), Kenny Chesney, Rodney Atkins, Trace Adkins, and Brooks & Dunn - penning the duo's most successful single to-date ("Ain't Nothing 'Bout You") which spent 6-weeks at #1 and won both 2002 Billboard and 2002 ASCAP Song Of The Year awards. Rivers has also enjoyed success with Country giants the likes of Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Faith Hill, and Gary Allan. A staple on Universal Music Publishing's roster since 1996, Rivers continues to write with and for the biggest names in Country music. He's also returned to his early troubadour roots and maintains a rigorous touring schedule (over 50 dates a year), bringing his rip-roaring brand of no-holds-barred entertainment to audiences all over the world who come to hear his familiar hits straight from the source. With a persona that is at once direct, raw, and impassioned, and possessing the shrewd skills of a storyteller capable of cutting right to the heart of the matter, Rivers is known to cross the line - a trait that endears him to fans of both his live performance and of his songwriting.


Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Brantley Gilbert, Jamey Johnson, Craig Campbell, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, and Ronnie Milsap are among the artists who have recorded Jim McCormick's songs. Jim is a staff songwriter at BMG Chrysalis and an in-demand top liner who has charted multiple #1 hits on the Billboard Country charts. Top hits include "Louisiana" -- Tim McGraw (Curb), "Take A Little Ride" -- Jason Aldean (Broken Bow), "We Rode In Trucks" -- Luke Bryan (Capitol), “Sorority Girl” -- Luke Bryan (Capitol) and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” -- Brantley Gilbert (Big Machine) (#1 BBHC).


Annie Tate has had songs cut and chart hits with artists such as Rodney Atkins, Reba McIntyre, Randy Travis, Collin Raye, Gary Allen, Joe Nichols, Emerson Drive, Gretchen Wilson, Mark Wills, Montgomery Gentry, Buddy Jewell, Ty Herndon, Kevin Sharp, Chely Wright, Sammy Kershaw, Chad Brock, Dan Baird, Chris Knight and others.  They gave Chely her first hit single with the song "Shut Up and Drive" and penned the 2004 hit "Somebody" for Reba McEntire which topped the Billboard chart and was Reba's 33rd number 1 song. Annie has also had songs in commercials, TV shows ("ER") and in the movies: "Miss Congeniality II,”  "Space Truckers" starring Dennis Hopper, "Black Dog" with Patrick Swayze and Randy Travis, and "The Big One" with Michael Moore."  She has been awarded seven gold records and four platinum records as well as many SESAC performance awards and in 2006 was SESAC Songwriter of the Year.  She has been nominated twice for an ACM Song of the Year award and was nominated in 2011 for a Grammy for Country Song of the Year for Gretchen Wilson's most current single “I'd Love to  Be Your Last.”  Annie has also received two prestigious Nashville Songwriters' Association Creativity Awards.


Nashville recording artist and professional songwriter Lance Carpenter pens hits of contemporary country radio, while still staying true to his traditional background. Lance recently celebrated his first #1 by co-writing Kelsea Ballerini's history making song "Love Me Like You Mean It."  Growing up on a farm in Ozark, Arkansas, Lance taught himself how to play guitar while attending Arkansas Tech University where he was a member of the 1999 Conference Championship Wonderboy football team. The footballer turned lyricist moved to Nashville, TN in 2011 and in 18 short months signed his first publishing deal and secured 2 major cuts. Lance, however, remains true to his laid-back country boy persona and has continued to astound with the work ethic and humbleness that determined his early successes. He says, “The more success I have in this business the more significant I can be in the lives of others.” He released his debut self titled debut album “Lance Carpenter” in 2013 and has performed with Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Justin Moore, Randy Rogers Band and more. Lance currently writes for Parallel Music Publishing and plans to continue writing music that inspires, memorializes and captures his own zest for life.

Stephen is an American actor, known for portraying PK in The Power of One, Stuart Sutcliffe in Backbeat, Johnny Marco in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, and for his roles in Blade (as self-styled vampire-overlord Deacon Frost), Cecil B. DeMented, The Motel Life, S.F.W. and Space Truckers. Dorff produced, co-wrote and played the lead role in his latest film, Wheeler. This movie is a story about an aspiring musician moving to Nashville to pursue his dreams, just like so many do. Wheeler does an excellent job depicting the real-life ups and downs of the singer/songwriter trying to make it in Music City. Stephen is the son of award-winning songwriter Steve Dorff and brother of late hit songwriter, Andrew Dorff.


Joe Salvo is a Belmont grad from Wisconsin that has interned at Tom-Leis/Love Monkey music and participated in BMI Catalog Cast. He worked at the Bluebird Cafe for 2 years which is where he fell in love with the idea of helping out songwriters. Today he works as the creative manager at BMG.



Can you be a renaissance man by 26? Bobby Hamrick can be. Growing up in the US and then the UK, his first 50 gigs were in small pubs in and around London. After studying music in Nashville, he worked odd jobs and as a studio musician. At a songwriting workshop in Nashville, Hamrick's talents were heard by longtime publisher Chris Oglesby who introduced him to the publishing giant EMI. He was signed to a publishing deal a short time later and his professional songwriting career began to emerge. His schedule quickly filled with amerada of songwriters that included Tom Shapiro, Craig Wiseman, Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Marcus Hummon and Mike Reid. He has spent these early days writing with artist/producers like Carrie Underwood, Kristian Bush, Nathan Chapman, Chris DeStefano, and David Cook. He continues to write with Hall of Fame songwriters as well as develop writing relationships with an always changing group of writers/producers/artists. In two short years Bobby Hamrick's talents have lead to two singles. "Lonestar Highway," Josh Grider's 3 week #1 number one single on the Billboard Texas Regional Chart and "Home To Me," Sarah Darling's Top 40 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs. Recent releases include cuts with Caroline Kole (Starstruck Records) and Natalie Stovall (HitShop Records) in addition to other songs recorded on major label anticipated releases. His songs have been heard on TV on 'The Bachelor,' 'Conan O'Brien,' 'Hart of Dixie,' 'Fox and Friends,' and 'Troubador Texas.' Bobby recorded a full-length record recently with producer Russ Pahl. With a small band and a focus on live performances, the 10 songs feature all-star musicians Chad Cromwell (drums), Dennis Crouch (upright bass), Mike Rojas (keys), Rob McNelley and Russ Pahl (guitars).

James T. Slater  is a two time, grammy nominated, piano-playing, bilingual singer-songwriter of Bolivian American descent signed to Disney Music Group Publishing in Nashville, Tennessee. Born in Durham, North Carolina, and raised in the tropics of the Panama Canal Zone in Central America. Willie Nelson's "Life Is A Moment",  Tim McGraw's recent first single…"Looking for That Girl", Enrique Iglesias' "Only A Woman" on his new Sex And Love C.D., Rascal Flatt's  "Life Is A Song" are all James' compositions.  His songs have been recorded by Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Kelly Pickler, Reba McEntire, Gloriana, Martina McBride, Enrique Iglesias, Chris Brown, Chris Young and a host of others.  His Grammy nominations include Jamey Johnson's "The High Cost of Living", country song of the year, and for Martina's “In My Daughter’s Eyes”. James also has a song in the new George Clooney Film “TOMORROWLAND” which hits theaters May 22, 2015. James lived in Zurich Switzerland for six years touring, recording and writing with Belgian super group Vaya Con Dios and has traveled the world from Panama to Dublin, from Spain to Havana. He and his grand piano now live in Nashville, Tennessee.  He has recently signed a Worldwide Publishing Deal with Disney Music Group.   Martina’s recording of “In My Daughter’s Eyes” has become a modern day standard garnering James a BMI country award as well as a BMI pop award in 2006. James also co-wrote the winning “The Way That I Want You”, sung by Julio Iglesias Jr. on CMT’s Season 1“Gone Country” reality show as well as co-writing "Glorious Train" with Sheila E on Season 3, and his solo c.d. release "Key West Address" is a love letter to the island that reminds him so much of his tropical upbringing, so much so that the mayor of Key West has awarded James the "keys to the city" and proclaimed the song "Key West Address" the island's official theme.
James' latest release is "Barefoot Heart", 14 brand new compositions including the raucous "Mexicoma"…a Tim McGraw favorite in concert...


Among his many accolades over the past few years, Jeffrey Steele has been named to the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame (2013), awarded BMI Songwriter of the Year (2007 and 2003) and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Songwriter of the Year (2006, 2005 and 2003). CMA has twice awarded him the coveted “Triple Play Award” for three No. 1 songs in a year (2010 & 2007). His country and A/C megahits include a string of chart toppers including: “Raise ‘Em Up”, “Knee Deep”, “Here,” “My Wish,” “The Cowboy In Me,” “These Days”, “Everyday” and the groundbreaking “What Hurts The Most,” nominated for Best Country Song at the 2007 Grammy Awards. Additionally, he has won numerous BMI Country and Pop awards, was nominated for a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for Best Original Song “I Thought I Lost You” for the Disney/Pixar animated feature BOLT, performed by Miley Cyrus and John Travolta, been named one of Billboard Magazine’s top 5 writer’s 8 years in a row, as well as Music Row Magazine’s 2006 Songwriter of the Year Award. Steele was featured as an artist and writer on Colt Ford’s song it’s all off his latest Billboard no. 1 Country Album declaration of independence. BMI has recognized Jeffrey for 63 million airplays for hits he penned for a multitude of artists including Montgomery Gentry, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins, Steve Holy, Phil Vassar, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts and Van Zant. Jeffrey’s compositions can be found on recent and up and coming releases by Keith Urban, Cher, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and more!

Jimmy Robbins is a #1 hit songwriter/producer from Raleigh, North Carolina. Jimmy hit the road at a young age and landed his first record deal with Universal Motown when he was 18. A few years into his deal Jimmy began writing and producing for other artists and found that to be his passion.In 2012, Jimmy moved to Nashville, TN. In just over two years he has celebrated 5 #1 songs starting with Blake Shelton’s “Sure Be Cool If You Did”, “It Goes Like This” for Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban/Miranda Lambert’s duet “We Were Us,” “Whatever She’s Got” by David Nail and “Beachin’” by Jake Owen. He has also celebrated Top 5 singles from Tim McGraw, Chase Rice, and Kelly Clarkson, as well as cuts by country artists including Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, and more.Jimmy is a 2014 ASCAP SONG OF THE YEAR award winner for “It Goes Like This” as the most performed song of 2014. He was a 2014 CMA Triple play award winner and was 2014 ASCAP BREAKOUT Writer of the country genre and one of 10 writers worldwide to be recognized alongside artists like Iggy Azalea.Jimmy Robbins hit the #1 spot on the country charts as a co-producer with Canaan Smith’s single “Love You Like That”. Jimmy has co-production credit on Big Machine Recording Artist RaeLynn from The Voice, as well as Thomas Rhett. He is currently in the studio with Valory recording artist Levi Hummon.

Kevin Kadish was already a Grammy nominee with songwriting credits for such stellar names as Jason Mraz and Willie Nelson, but it was a pairing with a then unknown artist called Meghan Trainor that took his career to a whole new level. Under Kadish, Trainor emerged as one of the biggest new music stars of 2014. He not only co-wrote her debut single “All About That Bass”, but programmed the drums and bass, played guitar and produced it. By the end of the year it had sold 4.4 million downloads in the States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the fourth biggest seller of 2014, while topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks, overtaking Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Black or White” as the longest running No.1 hit in the history of Epic Records. It also topped Billboard’s Digital, Radio and Streaming countdowns simultaneously. “All About That Bass” was additionally a substantial hit around the world, including in the U.K. where it debuted at No. 1 with the second highest weekly sales of the year, having previously become the first song in chart history to make the Top 40 there based on streams alone. It spent four consecutive weeks at No. 1 there, while topping the charts in a number of other countries, including Germany, Canada and Australia. Kadish also co-penned and produced Trainor’s next single “Lips Are Movin’”, which reached No.4 in the U.S. and No. 2 in the U.K., while had eight co-writes on her debut album Title, which came out in January 2015 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 195,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It has since surpassed 1 million U.S. sales and generated another Kadish co-penned hit, “Dear Future Husband”. The album also topped the charts in a number of other markets, including the U.K., Canada and Australia. Kadish was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and during the mid-1990s toured the East Coast of the U.S. as a solo artist. He signed a development deal in 1998 with Republic Records, while two years later teamed up with hit record producer Matt Serletic and this led to him co-writing the songs “Be There For You” and “Don’t Fade Away” on Willie Nelson’s 2002 album The Great Divide. He has since worked with a diverse range of other artists, including Miley Cyrus, American Idol winners Kris Allen and Taylor Hicks, Jason Mraz, Meat Loaf, former Journey frontman Steve Perry and Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx. He wrote the hits “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” and “Stuck” for Stacie Orrico and these combined have sold more than 11 million copies worldwide through album sales, soundtracks and compilations. His work with Mraz on the 2005 album Mr. A-Z for which he co-wrote and produced the singles “Wordplay” and “Geek In The Pink” secured him a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album.



Scarritt BennettScarritt Bennett Center
1008 19th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
615-340-7500   Information on Scarritt Bennett Center here


2613 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203

**UPDATE: HOTEL IS FULL. Area hotels fill up quickly. Click here to view more hotel options.


Guidelines for attendees under the age of 18:

16 – 17: Parent must be present at the event venue, but the parent does not have to stay with the child during the actual event and breakouts. If the parent chooses to accompany their child during the event, they will need to pay for a pass themselves.

15 and under: Parent must accompany child during all times at the event. Parent registration price is half of the attendee’s registration price.
*Parent registration price is half of the attendee’s registration price. Please call NSAI to process the parent payment.



Call NSAI at 615-256-3354 or 800-321-6008 or Email: reception@nashvillesongwriters.com