Every life has a story. Every story deserves a voice.
Documentary Songwriting is a method of creating songs from spoken words.
It takes the step beyond witnessing a person’s story. It honors that story by transforming it into an art form – in this case, a song.
What is the method’s appeal?
- It is collaborative. Two people work together.
- No musical knowledge is needed from the person who tells the story.
- It is a step-by-step process. It is flexible, but you still know what to do next.
- The song comes from spoken words. You don’t wait for inspiration.
- The process may lead to a sense of emotional well-being.
- The song can be shared and can cross boundaries.
To whom does it appeal?
- Humanitarian musicians, who say, “I think music has power to awaken empathy. I feel empathy for people who have suffered in a particular way and I want to help them communicate their experiences.”
- People with little or no musical training, who say, “I love music and I’d like to try to write a song, but I could use help.”
- Educators and other group leaders who say, “I want to help a group of people to listen and understand one another at a deeper level.”
What is the goal?
To build connection among people, reduce loneliness, and free up creativity through the writing of original songs.
What is the vision?
People around the world sharing and creating songs from their spoken words
What we do
Documentary Songwriters help people to create songs from their own spoken words.
To bear witness to the human condition and give voice, through music, to people’s experiences.
- For groups living in regions of conflict: Songwriting for reconciliation
- For schools: Oral history, independent study, and choral songwriting projects
- For listeners in remote areas: a Spotify release each month of a new song from a new voice
- For colleges and universities: Online and on-location courses, training internships, independent studies, research, and field work terms
- For musicians: Individual songwriting and recording sessions
- For addiction recovery centers: Small group programs to reduce isolation
- For people seeking asylum: Songwriting with refugees
- For veterans: One-to-one sessions
- For those who have survived sexual trauma: the #MeToo songwriting Project
- For families who want to preserve their cultures and traditions: Songwriting from ancestral histories
Documentary Songwriters is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.