Songwriting Works™ restores joy, hope, health, and community through story and song.
Our team of professional songwriters makes music-making accessible to those who need it most.
We offer life-affirming experiences for elders, youth, and families–diverse in cultural roots, economic situations and physical, cognitive and emotional health.
Everyone is Invited: In the Songwriting Works™ experience, each participant is well met, honored, heard, seen and celebrated for who they are. Our workshops gives participants new ways to raise their voices and express their truths through collectively writing and performing their own original songs.
Stories and melodies rise directly from participants in cahoots with professional songwriters who are trained to facilitate.
Each song amplifies the creative power, memories, wisdom and humor of the people and communities who compose it. Research has proven that our approach has lasting positive impacts of all involved. [Scroll down for health benefit details!]
Engaging thousands of neighbors since 1990, Songwriting Works™ crafts affordable programs to meet acute needs in care and community settings. During the Covid-19 pandemic we're developing online programs to support daily music-making for wellness at home.***
Songs that participants create are often full of love and history.
Soulful and real, their musical genres range from folk to blues to county to rock, rap, and even a cantata about WWII. Poignant, funny, surprising and "greater than the sum of their parts," participants, families and audiences have called the experience: "Game-changing!" "Transformational." "Powerful." "Uplifting." "I didn't think this was possible for any of us!" "Better than pills!" The workshops have led families to re-unite and naysayers to begin to sing.
Celebrating Voices and Raising Awareness:
Once completed, participants' songs are celebrated "in house" in local communities and lifted further through public and broadcast performances, recordings, conferences, festivals and special events.
In this way, their legacy–and the story of what became possible as they became songwriters–reaches hundreds of people around the world, opening minds and changing attitudes about aging, dementia, creativity, and abilities of all kinds.
Participants tell us–and in-depth research has shown–that our programs turn loneliness into connection, depression into happiness, and illness into health. Family members, champions, and leaders in aging and health like how project songs and stories bust through doubts, disease, prejudice, and denial, uplifting people and communities, and awakening wider possibilities for everyone involved. Teaching artists note how the process awakens each person's intelligence, creativity, and musicality.
Bringing the Music Home:
Over the years, in response to requests from leaders in eldercare, education, life-long learning, and advocates for intergenerational creativity and well-being through the arts, Songwriting Works™ has created training programs for for professional care providers and teaching artists, support for family/kinship care partners of persons living with dementia, depression, and chronic pain, and educational programs for teachers of youth and graduate students keen on using music to address the medical and social problems of our time. Like our workshops and direct service programs, all trainings are experiential and based in Songwriting Works™ 8 Principles of Creative Engagement: access, inclusion, originality, authenticity, respect, reciprocity, restoration and celebration.
We welcome you to add your voice to our community and discover how donating, volunteering, hiring or training with us can expand music, joy, hope, health and meaningful connection in your life and the lives of those you love and serve.
Visit our website www.songwritingworks.org to learn more about our 2020-2021 programs and services, including:
• Life's a Song–album release celebrating voices of 200 rural Northwest neighbors age 12 to 103.
• Life's a Song–workshops, house parties, and new online events and interactive activities.....coming soon
• The Mythsinger Legacy Project–keeping alive the songs, stories, and teachings Daniel "3D" Deardorff - songwriter, mythologist, storyteller, author and polio survivor–honoring 3D's vision of restoring myth to culture, psyche and community.
• 108 Squirrels - a national initiative to train professional songwriters in each U.S. state and territory in collaboration with care providers, community leaders, and sponsoring partners to make Songwriting Works™ resources available nationwide.
• Research findings, book chapters and publications including the 2018 study of Songwriting Works™ and Vital Involvement with elder residence of HUD senior housing communities in TX, MN, AL, CT, and IN.
We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your support!
Judith-Kate Friedman, founder and director
and the SongTeam, board, and staff of Songwriting Works Educational Foundation