Collaborative Songwriting

Collaborative Songwriting is based on a simple idea: I work with people that don’t write songs.
We have a conversation. I listen to their story. Then, together, we write a song based on their words.
Through the songwriting process, people articulate feelings and emotions that they might not otherwise say.

The process of Collaborative Songwriting leads to new ways of thinking, living, problem solving and communication.

Contact Darden for more information on Collaborative Songwriting.

Each Collaborative Songwriting session is built around a story that needs to be told.
Every session is different. Though I begin with a rough idea how the song might unfold, there is no set pattern, structure or melody.
My job is to be fully present, ask the right questions, listen, and then help bring these stories to life in the song.
The results are songs of triumph, joy, love, loss, grief, and hope.

Every Collaborative Songwriting session ends with a finished song. That’s a guarantee.
Sessions last between 60 and 120 minutes, depending on the client.
Online sessions are possible, though in-person is best.
After the session I make a recording of the song and send the client a digital copy along with the finished lyric.
Participants are free to share the song with friends, family, or within their organization.

Collaborative Songwriting can accommodate individuals, a small groups, a conference room with a dozen people or a ballroom with hundreds.
I welcome clients to my studio in Austin, TX for a unique and creative off-site experience.

Contact Darden to schedule a Collaborative Songwriting session.

“The session was excellent, as you could feel from the engagement and reception – we got great comments afterwards like ‘that’s the best thing I’ve had in a GE meeting in 18 years!” – Roland Rott, GE Healthcare

“Darden’s uncanny ability to listen without prejudice, penetrate without digging and turn poignant story to poetic song is nothing short of musical magic.  I am beyond lucky to have met him.” – Matt GiegerichCEO – Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide


Darden Smith has released sixteen critically acclaimed albums across a career spanning more than 35 yearsHis first book, The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (and a Living), a collection of his writings, photos and art was published in 2018. His lates multi-media project, Western Skies was released in 2022. He is the co-founder of both SongwritingWith:Soldiers and Frontline Songs, bringing collaborative songwriting to the veteran and frontline healthcare communities. Past corporate clients include ASCAP, Christus Health, Hitachi Power Grids, Concentrix, Avantor, Churchill Asset Management, Whole Foods, GE Healthcare, University of Texas Health Systems, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, Vidyo and The Rocky Mountain Institute.