SongwritingWith uses the power of collaborative songwriting to transform lives.
It’s a simple concept. Me, a guitar, a roomful of people. We have a conversation and, together, write a song based on their words. I bring what I have — the craft of songwriting — and everyone else brings their stories. The result is collaboration in its purest sense.
This work began in 2003 with The Be An Artist Program, a creativity program with the message that we are all artists, and that creative thinking comes from attention, intention, and doing what you love. The highlight of this program is writing songs with students, transforming the mystery of how to use their innate gifts and interests into a commitment to live life with passion and purpose.
Building on that experience, I have used SongwritingWith to work with university students, homeless teens at Covenant House in Newark, New Jersey, and in conflict resolution situations with groups from Israel and Palestine to transform seeming barriers into open communication and mutual understanding. Working among people affected by AIDS and HIV in South Africa and Botswana, SongwriitingWith created songs of joy and beauty from stories of profound loss.
Since 2011 I have brought SongwritingWith:Employees to the corporate world — transforming hidden gifts into powerful creative assets that can be employed to create more meaningful work and higher performance.
SongwritingWith:Soldiers, begun in 2012, uses the power of collaborative songwriting to transform pain and isolation into hope and the ability to move forward. For this project we work in retreat settings, putting together teams of professional songwriters and pairing them with active duty and veteran military members to write songs based on their stories of combat and returning home. The result changes, and saves, lives.
No matter who you are or what environment you find yourself in, together we find the story, and experience the magic that happens when we write the song. Something is discovered. Something is healed. And a life is transformed.
If you are interested in any of these programs, or would like to talk with me about creating a custom SongwritingWith project, please contact me.