INSIDE YOUR SONGWRITER'S STARTER KIT:
"Derik and his siblings are so shining! We, Ukrainian songwriters, loved them and they loved us right from the start. Derik showed us numerous techniques how to write songs. He challenged everyone to write a song in 3 days, but more to that, he challenged us not to judge ourselves for what we wrote. Unfortunately, emails can’t show the real excitement and inspiration the songwriters felt after the Nelsons visited.
Ukrainians need people like Derik Nelson & Family. It's so much more than music (though the educational part was very valuable), and it’s more than representing the culture of the USA. Derik Nelson & Family spreads light, peace, acceptance, humanity which often lacks in the modern world. I like to call them ambassadors of love! Thank you for everything always and forever!" —Sasha (Kyiv, Ukraine)
"I want to thank you again for your songwriting incubator— it was an unforgettable experience. You are wonderful, your approach to business was amazing. You paid attention to everyone, helped with music and lyrics, and just chatted with each of us and found out our personal life and our plans! I am especially grateful to you for bringing your program to Ukraine!" —Dee (Kyiv, Ukraine)
“Derik’s incredible vocal talent, songwriting, and genuine discipline sets him ahead of other artists.” – Matthew Morrison (Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe-nominated “Glee” star)
"Having Derik as my teacher was amazing. The Nelson family is so experienced and in tune with each other. They're able to explain things in a way I'm able to understand. Derik guided me in songwriting, AND building my confidence. This week I learned to accept my art and creations, even if they're not what I wanted them to be. This has been such an invaluable experience!" —Maddy, age 17
"Hi Derik, I want to thank you for coming to USC to talk to us— I really appreciate your insights and I feel like we've gained a lot from your hard-earned wisdom. You're a great example of a hard-working and clear-headed artist." —Ben M., University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
Hi, I'm Derik!
I'm a touring singer, songwriter, music producer & educator. Together with my brother & sister as a sibling pop/folk trio, I've toured 150+ cities across the U.S.A, Moldova, Albania, and Ukraine to perform my original music professionally, and teach songwriting & performance workshops. I work with the U.S. Department of State as a Cultural Ambassador, and received a Songwriting Award from Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.
I help students overcome their performing & lyric writing fears, and to craft their own unique and honed composition style so their songs stand out. Through working professionally in Hollywood (as the lead guitarist on the TV show "Glee" for four years) and placing my original music in TV and film, I'm able to confidently perform my original music in ANY public performance situation. Through a lot of creative struggles in the last 15 years of professionally writing, recording, and performing music, I've refined my creative process so I can finally help you fearlessly write powerful lyrics and awesome music.
I was born and raised in Olympia, Washington and I'm the middle child. When I'm not touring, writing, arranging or recording, you'll find me drinking strong black coffee, eating cheese enchiladas, listening to my dad's old records from the 70's, shooting hoops, or ferry-hopping the often stormy seas of the Puget Sound. I'm also very excited to marry the girl of my dreams, Camille, in 2020!