Our award-winning songs, recordings and films reach international audiences

Our new music video honors WW2 veterans

We are professional songwriters delivering
research-based, musical innovation across the lifespan

We engage elders, youth and families in composing and performing their own original songs

Our approach dissolves depression, boosts brain power and connects people of all cultures and capacities

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What We Do

Songwriting Works™ creates life-affirming musical experiences that restore joy, hope, health, and community through song. Our transformational collaborations bring professional songwriters together with elders, youth, and families, diverse in culture, economic circumstances, and physical, cognitive and emotional capacities. Together, we compose and perform powerful original music that celebrates every voice and affirms each person's intelligence, creativity, and musicality. We offer programs, trainings, and methods that are research-based and vetted, affordable, and fun. Participants tell us that Songwriting Works turns loneliness into connection, depression into happiness, and illness into health. Our award-winning songs and songwriting processes burst through doubts, disease, prejudice, and denial, uplifting people and communities, and awakening wider possibilities for all involved. Thanks for stopping by. If you're moved by what you see and hear, contact us. We'd love to have you join us - in our work - and play!

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Discover "Life's a Song"
Our forthcoming album, with concerts and artist-in-residence events in 2018-19

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Play and train with us
Musicians, care partners, and educators use our methods to support more music-making!

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Bring Us to Your Community
Now booking 2018-19 workshops, performances, keynotes, tributes, and more

Support our WorkYour contribution to our life-affirming work makes so much possible. Thank you.

Donate Now
Judith-Kate Friedman has never failed to amaze me in the incredible work she does with Songwriting Works. Without question, she would be an excellent choice to support creative aging programs nationally.”

-Gloria Cavanaugh, Former President and CEO, American Society on Aging; President, Gloria Cavanaugh Consulting

2017-06-27T17:25:52+00:00

-Gloria Cavanaugh, Former President and CEO, American Society on Aging; President, Gloria Cavanaugh Consulting

“Judith-Kate Friedman has never failed to amaze me in the incredible work she does with Songwriting Works. Without question, she would be an excellent choice to support creative aging programs nationally.”
“I’ve never sung before in my life and now I’m singing.”

-E.N., Participant, Age 90

2017-08-13T15:57:41+00:00

-E.N., Participant, Age 90

“I’ve never sung before in my life and now I’m singing.”
I am convinced that Songwriting Works has helped stave off depression in individuals who are at very high risk.”

-Jay S. Luxenberg, M.D., Director of Medicine, OnLok, speaking of his experience while Medical Director at the Jewish Home San Francisco

2017-06-27T17:18:18+00:00

-Jay S. Luxenberg, M.D., Director of Medicine, OnLok, speaking of his experience while Medical Director at the Jewish Home San Francisco

“I am convinced that Songwriting Works has helped stave off depression in individuals who are at very high risk.”
"Everybody felt they were a part of the program for the day. It was very good for us. 
Better than pills!"

- C.G., Age 89

2017-08-13T16:02:53+00:00

- C.G., Age 89

"Everybody felt they were a part of the program for the day. It was very good for us.  Better than pills!"
Your beautiful performance and songs brought alive the importance and magnitude of what friendship and personal caring attention can do for the elderly, as well as capturing the heartsong of our organization’s mission and purpose.

-Judith Merrin, Executive Director, Love is the Answer (LITA)

2017-06-27T17:26:42+00:00

-Judith Merrin, Executive Director, Love is the Answer (LITA)

“Your beautiful performance and songs brought alive the importance and magnitude of what friendship and personal caring attention can do for the elderly, as well as capturing the heartsong of our organization’s mission and purpose.”
“The lyrics did some cathartic mending of places deep within my heart”

-Jonathan Toste, Benefit Concert Host

2017-08-13T15:59:55+00:00

-Jonathan Toste, Benefit Concert Host

“The lyrics did some cathartic mending of places deep within my heart”
“Dad doesn’t usually participate in things like this. I think he really liked the idea that you could take his song, his rhythm, and you used it immediately…”

-Daughter of Participant

2017-08-13T16:03:52+00:00

-Daughter of Participant

“Dad doesn’t usually participate in things like this. I think he really liked the idea that you could take his song, his rhythm, and you used it immediately…”
My work with Judith-Kate Friedman is one of the highlights of my thirty-eight years as rabbi. I consider it a turning point in my work with Jewish elders.

-Rabbi Sheldon Marder, Chaplain, Jewish Home San Francisco

2017-06-27T17:20:05+00:00

-Rabbi Sheldon Marder, Chaplain, Jewish Home San Francisco

“My work with Judith-Kate Friedman is one of the highlights of my thirty-eight years as rabbi. I consider it a turning point in my work with Jewish elders.”
“I’m very impressed…We are learning a lot”

-F.G., Participant, Age 84

2017-08-13T16:04:46+00:00

-F.G., Participant, Age 84

“I’m very impressed…We are learning a lot”

Now booking concerts & workshops through 2019Songwriting Works’ “Life’s a Song” brings award-winning singer-songwriters together to compose and perform with entire communities. Ask about our artist-in-residency programs.

Press Kit & Contact

 

 

Performance Schedule

 

 

Songs, Film & Research

Audio Story: On the Water

For elders at Life Care Center of Port Townsend, all of whom had moderate to advancing memory loss, the view of Kah Tai lagoon was a daily inspiration. Its gentle waters and the voices of seagulls brought to mind memories of life in Port Townsend and other seaport towns. Participants shared stories and gave all the images and much of the melody for the original song “Out on the Water,” which they composed in collaboration with SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman.

Music Video: Hometown

Video password: swworks

Book Chapter: Recording the Life Review

Between 2007 and 2010 Dr. Theresa Allison, MD, PhD – a physician, geriatrician and ethnomusicologist, studied the impacts of collective songwriting for elders at the Jewish Home of San Francisco. This book chapter, in a festschrift celebrating the work of renowned musicologist Bruno Nettl, gives readers an up-close view of the process of recording the elders Singers & Songwriters debut album “Island on a Hill.” – Recording the Life Review: A Case Study from the Medical Humanities

Hear and purchase the music

Our Partners

Our partners include local, national and international organizations, funders, business sponsors and creative collaborators. In 2017-18 our partners include: