Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat - France

In association with Creative Vacances Music Workshop Holidays and P3 Music

Cognac, France
14-20 September 2014

Learn jazz, gypsy and acoustic guitar with award-winning teacher Martin Taylor



Players of all levels and styles are welcome at the Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat in the beautiful French countryside. Whether you’ve been playing for years, or you just know a couple of chords, you'll be able to immerse yourself in learning guitar at this one week guitar retreat with acclaimed guitarist and teacher Martin Taylor. 

From fingerstyle to acoustic to gypsy to jazz and more, Martin will give you insight into the techniques, styles, and tips to inspire and improve your playing. The retreat is designed to gather guitarists of all levels from around the globe with a common goal - learning, playing, eating and sleeping music.

This is the first time a Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat has been held in France. Don’t miss this chance to spend a week in beautiful surroundings, listening to and playing fantastic music. What could be better than a musical holiday where you really learn something and have a great time with like-minded people?

During the day you'll learn directly with Martin and every evening you can sit back with a glass of wine by the pool and take part in intimate, once-in-a-lifetime jam sessions. Just bring your guitar, get ready learn, jam, make friends and have fun!

What Is The Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat About?

The Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat is all about hands-on playing.  This retreat is about helping you achieve REAL RESULTS.

You will leave the retreat with:

  • Improved technique and a new confidence as a guitarist
  • Plenty of exercises to continue to progress your playing
  • New tunes for your repertoire
  • Inspiration and new friends

The Daily Schedule

Sunday 14th September

03:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Students Arrive

7:30 pm - 10:00pm
Aperos and 4 Course Welcome Dinner

Monday 15th - Friday 19th September 2014

8:30 am - 9:45 am
Buffet Continental Breakfast

10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Morning Session with Coffee Break

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
2 Course Lunch with Wine

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Afternoon Class

4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Rest, Relax, Practice, Jam

07:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Apero and 4 Course Evening Meal

10:00 pm - late
Relax, chat, drink wine, jam

Saturday 20th September

8:30 am - 9:45 am
Buffet Continental Breakfast & Depart

The Location

All retreat activities will be held on a private estate in La Moreau, a small hamlet in the heart of the French countryside, only a 20 minute drive from the historic towns of Saintes and Cognac and less than an hour from the coast.

The Charente Maritime is a largely undiscovered area of France, south of the Loire and north of Bordeaux. The gulf stream ensures a good climate and the region is second only to the Cote D’Azure with regard to the house of sunshine. It is a rare day when we don’t see the sun at some point.

There is no easy public transport to these historic towns. So if you think you would like to explore or do any shopping, we would suggest you bring your car. Whatever you choose we are in an ideal location for a relaxing holiday.

The property is surrounded by vines and sunflowers. The vines produce the eau de vie for the famous Cognac houses of Hennessy and Martell.

Although in the middle of nowhere we are fortunate to have a micro brewery – Brasserie de Bercloux- just a couple of minutes walk away. The french owners do speak english and welcome the Creative Vacances students. It is unsuprisingly very popular at the end of the afternoon session.

The Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat is a chance to indulge your music hobbies while getting a flavour of the real France.

About Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor is a Grammy nominated fingerstyle guitarist, solo jazz guitar virtuoso and online guitar teacher.  Pat Metheny says Martin Taylor is "one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument" while Jeff Beck thinks Taylor "out-shred’s all of us put together….I’ve never seen anything like it".  As one of the world's most popular online guitar teachers and providers of guitar lessons online, Taylor now helps people in over 58 countries learn how to play guitar and become better guitarists.

He has collaborated with the biggest names in guitar music including Tommy Emmanuel, Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, Frank Vignola, Barney Kessell, Earl Klugh, Herb Ellis, Scotty Moore, Julian Lage, Andreas Oberg, Albert Lee, Ulf Wakenius, Tony McManus, Martin Simpson and Laurence Juber.  In addition to this he has been awarded two honorary doctorates, a BBC lifetime achievement award, an IAJE Jazz Educators award, Top 10 albums in both the USA and UK, a record 14 British Jazz Awards and in 2002 he was appointed MBE 'For Services to Jazz Music' by the Queen of Great Britain. Today his online jazz guitar lessons and fingerstyle guitar videos have been watched by over 1 million guitarists worldwide.

About Creative Vacances

For this retreat Martin has teamed up with Creative Vacances, organizers of premier music holidays in France. Creative Vacances is owned by Chris and Jenny Trotter who after 12 years of renting their cottages to family groups in the summer decided to offer a completely different holiday experience. Their passion for music has led them to organise a diverse range of music holidays where you can develop your skills and enjoy playing your instrument with expert tuition from performers and tutors who are experts in their field.

A major highlight for Chris and Jenny has been meeting the guests who come to stay, many of whom have become close friends, They try and make sure that everyone has the best possible holiday, People arrive pale and stressed and after a couple of days its great to see them starting to unwind, relax and enjoy being at La Moreau, away from it all in France.

What Martin Teaches At The Retreat

  • 7 Steps Of Solo Guitar Playing
  • Gypsy Jazz Guitar
  • Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar
  • Jazz Guitar Technique
  • Lead & Rhythm Playing
  • Improvisation
  • Guitar Composition
  • Lots of tunes...

What People Are Saying...

Playing guitar or any instrument can for most of the time be quite a solitary activity if, for what ever reason,you are not able to be involved in any kind of group performance.What I most enjoyed about the week was playing with the group. I had forgotten how much fun that can be. AG

Nice people, good tutors, music, sunshine, good food - all I need to have a good time. Edgar

Was a bit apprehensive to fly in from Australia for the course - its a long way to come. But the course met all my expectations with great tuition, food and holiday atmosphere. Kate

Flew in from Texas for the course. No regrets - had a fantastic time - great food and company and first class tuition from the guys. Rod


Course fees include accommodation in one of the on-site cottages or at nearby lodging. The beautiful on-site cottages are named after birds that migrate to France in the spring- Loriot - Golden Oriol,  and Rossignol,- Nightingale . They both have the most amazing bird song and you'll love to hear them in the morning.

There is room for 9 people on site in shared bedrooms. We have a limited number of single and double rooms available. We have additional accommodation nearby. Single rooms are usually off site.

Loriot has

  • double/twin bedroom
  • spacious treble bedroom
  • bathroom with jacuzzi bath, and WC
  • separate shower room with WC
  • spacious open plan kitchen dining area
  • comfortable lounge area with TV,books etc.

Rossignol has

  • double bedroom
  • twin bedroom
  • bathroom with bath, shower and WC
  • comfortable open plan dining and living area.


The cost to attend the Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat in France is £850.


This price includes:-


  • 20 hours of tuition
  • accommodation in shared bedrooms
  • continental breakfast
  • 2 course lunch with wine
  • 4 course evening meal with aperitifs and wine
  • transfer to and from La Rochelle airport and Saintes train station.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can my partner attend even though they won't participate in the classes.

A. Yes, non-participating partners are very welcome at a price of £800 for the week.

Q. I'd prefer not to share a room. Can I book a single room?

A. Single rooms are available at a supplement of £100. These rooms are usually not on site and are at a B&B walking distance away.

Q. Can you accommodate those with dietary issues?

A. We are happy to cater for  people with diet issues. Vegetarians and basic diet requirements are included in the price. There is a supplement of £50 if we need to buy and prepare specialist meals. You need to notify us in advance.

Q. Is the venue and accommodation suitable for those with mobility issues?

A. We are not able to accommodate anyone with severe mobility problems. Please get in touch to discuss your particular needs.

Q. Who can I contact if I have other questions

A. Please email Chris and Jenny Trotter at [email protected]

Q. How do I get there?

A. The Venue is in La Moreau, a small hamlet equi distant between the historic towns of Saintes and Cognac.

There are various ways of getting here:

*DRIVING – the closest ferry port is St Malo which is approximately a 4 hour drive

Caen is approximately 5 hours

Channel Tunnel  approximately 7 hours

***Please let us know if you would be interested in car sharing

*PLANE – La Rochelle is the closest airport which is served by many regional airports with low cost airlines.

You might find it easier to fly into Nantes, Bordeaux, Paris or Poitier airport. You would then need to take a train connection to SAINTES or LA ROCHELLE railway station.

TRAIN-EUROSTAR/TGV  aim to arrive at SAINTES  or LA ROCHELLE railway station

The transfer from La Rochelle airport and La Rochelle and Saintes train station is included in the price.

**Please note that to organise the transfer transport effectively it might necessitate a wait upon your arrival or before departure.

View Larger Map