Collaborative Songwriting

Darden Smith brings the power of songwriting to help individuals and teams create something deeply personal, highly creative and refreshingly powerful.

Companies and Groups:
In Smith’s collaborative songwriting sessions, participants come together around a specific theme of interest to a client—purpose, diversity & inclusion, conflict-resolution, culture-merging are just a few examples of themes he has tackled thru song. Each session begins with a series of prompts and questions designed to elicit meaningful and often unspoken truths in the room. The chorus and verses are then crafted using the responses as creative fodder. At the end of the session the participants will have written a song that holds their individual and collective story, with the lyric expressing their vision of the present and hopes for the future.

No two songs are alike, and prior to the session, even Smith doesn’t know what the result will be. Smith has written songs with clients on a wide range of topics. No topic is too mundane, too challenging, or too anything really, to be off-limits.  In fact, the fresh approach that collaborative songwriting brings to any topic often unlocks insights necessary to see it in an entirely new and more inspiring way.

Session specifics:
• Each session lasts about 90 minutes
• The process works with any number of participants
• Can be either in-person or online
• The participants are all considered co-writers of the song
• The client will receive an mp3 recording of the song and a copy of the lyrics
• The song can be shared internally within the organization

Darden Smith is a Texas based singer-songwriter. He has released fifteen critically acclaimed albums, toured extensively in the US and Europe. 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. He is the co-founder and former creative director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers. In 2021 he co-founded Frontline Songs, to help tell the stories of frontline healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.

“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 Giegerich, CEO – Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide

For over twenty years Smith has worked with individuals to tell their stories of loss, struggle and triumph. As a conflict resolution tool, Smith has seen firsthand that finding common ground is possible through collaboration. His work with homeless teenagers, veterans and healthcare workers during the recent pandemic has given him insight into the possibilities of helping reframe trauma, tell difficult, and transform a possibly painful story into a thing of great beauty. He has helped memorialize loved ones and celebrate milestones.

Contact Darden for find out more about his work with collaborative songwriting or to schedule a session.