Documentary Songwriters is a non-profit corporation of researchers, performers, and producers who serve the world as part-composers and part-journalists.

To bear witness to the human condition by giving voice, through music, to personal experience.


  • Everyone’s life has meaning.
  • When we create and share beauty, we help ourselves and others feel more alive, more connected, and less alienated.
  • Music is a way of expressing and communicating emotion.
  • “Talent” is a set of skills that anyone can learn.
  • The creative process is indeed a process.

To collaborate with people and work with them to create portable, sharable songs from their spoken words.


  • Compassionate collaboration
  • Artistic excellence
  • Respect for finances and time

Documentary Song
A documentary song is an artistic yet accessible song that expresses an emotion from a lived experience. The song is co-written by a story source and a musical sherpa.

Documentary Songwriter Roles

  • Musical Sherpa – the documentary songwriter who leads the way, eliciting ideas and contributing ideas as well.
  • Story Source – the person who recounts a personal experience, sings the beginnings of a possible melody (with lots of encouragement from the musical sherpa), and collaborates with the sherpa through the entire process.

Documentary Song Method
The documentary song method is a step-by-step process that helps people collaborate to create a song from a spoken personal experience. The method employs laptops and smart phones to make it easy to improvise and record and feel confident that ideas are saved.