I’ve never sung before in my life and now I’m singing.

-E.N., Participant, Age 90

A very creative process, and important…It inspired me…We had so much in common, really. I loved hearing the repartee among the people…

-G.L., Volunteer

The lyrics did some cathartic mending of places deep within my heart”

-Jonathan Toste, benefit concert host

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

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

My work with Judith-Kate Friedman is one of the highlights of my thirty years as rabbi. I consider it a turning point in my work with Jewish elders.

-Rabbi Sheldon Marder, Chaplain, Jewish Home San Francisco

What have I learned? Can you put a count on a sunset?

-J.D., participant age 87

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

-F.G., Participant, Age 84

“I just never thought this was possible for me in my lifetime.”

-Songwriting Works Participant, Age 87

“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

“Songwriting Works has resulted in quite dramatic improvement in depressive symptoms such as isolation, tearfulness and poor appetite.”

-Dr. Jay Luxenberg, Chief Medical Officer, OnLok, speaking of his experience of SW as Medical Director of the Jewish Home San Francisco (1996-2011)

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


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)

A most empowering, creative activity…Participants hear their own words and life experiences and are affirmed.”

-Kelly Philpott Brisbois, Elder Care Advocates of Marin

We sang and played as way of learning. And that’s my way of learning. I find myself singing when I walk the dogs now instead of just doing a little rhythm. This afternoon I found myself sharing two songs with the boys…I don’t think I would have done that before. I can bring words to what I call the street corner – anytime anywhere – and if I love something I can speak, but I “could” not ever go so far as to dare sing…. I sing quite often now. I’m practicing. I had a dream that I was singing everything and that’s never happened before.”

-Maureen Piper, Music Teammate

When they see—it makes me cry and I can’t talk. I’m going to take this (songbook) home and show it to my children so they can take it to my grandchildren.

-B.C, age 86


“We were thrilled to welcome Songwriting Works back to Edmonds Center for the Arts for a 2-day Community Songwriting Workshop. We consistently see music providing that “spark” that engages people with memory loss, and that creates an opportunity for these individuals and their care partners to experience joy together. I saw firsthand the impact this program made on our community, and look forward to partnering with Songwriting Works again!””

-Gillian Jones, Director of Programming, Edmonds Center for the Arts