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Life’s a Song Album and Tour

Life’s a Song Album and Tour

Now booking Summer 2017 and Spring/Summer 2018

Songwriting Works’ “Life’s a Song” Ensemble is as a “supergroup” of award-winning singer-songwriters united in their mission to heal through music and compose songs with entire communities. On tour in July 2017 and Spring 2018 in support of their studio album,”Life’s A Song,” the Ensemble brings the Songwriting Works’ internationally acclaimed song composition workshops, trainings for arts and health providers and concert celebrations to venues in the Western U.S. and Canada. Available for 2018 and 2019 conferences and keynotes worldwide.

 

SONG TEAM to Perform at the IAGG Global Conference

SONG TEAM to Perform at the IAGG Global Conference

AGE STAGE 7/26/17

Songwriting Works’ award-winning trio Judith-Kate Friedman, Keeth Monta Apgar and Ashleigh “Ash” Devine will delight conferees with an uplifting multi-media concert celebrating the artistry, stories, and voices of rural elders and friends, ages 12 to 103, in Washington State. Through ancient oral tradition practices with breakthrough insights from neuroscience, biology, and social engagement research, elders experience the power of music and take us on a journey into family life, heritage, WWII service, the Big Band era, and more. Theresa Allison, MD, PhD, medical ethnomusicologist and physician, moderates.
3:40pm. For conference registration and information click here.

5/17 SW´s Judith-Kate Friedman at the Washington State Nonprofit Conference!

5/17 SW´s Judith-Kate Friedman at the Washington State Nonprofit Conference!

On Tuesday, May 17th, SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman was honored to be among a distinguished set of presenters at the annual Washington State Nonprofits Conference where over 700 nonprofit and community leaders will come together to listen, learn, and explore ways that “human centered design can connect, transform programs, and advance causes.”

One of 21 other workshops, aimed at sparking creativity and enhancing skills at the conference, Judith-Kate’s Music as Innovation, Participation as Leadership, explored what the arts, improvisation, and neuroscience can teach us about restoration, empowerment, healing and collective transformation.

In an effort to help non-profit organizations solve social problems and enhance well-being for individuals, families, and entire neighborhoods, this workshop went beyond considering music’s common uses to address how community leaders can:

  1. Apply lessons from the field of creativity and cognition to achieve organizational missions and visions
  2. Integrate and use music more intentionally to support successful outcomes

Attendees were introduced to Songwriting Works’ 8 Principles of Creative Engagement – access, inclusion, originality, authenticity, respect, reciprocity, restoration and celebration – and be invited to explore hands-on the application of these principles to their real life situations and goals as non-profit leaders. Judith-Kate shared case studies and results from projects based upon the premise that all individuals – and the collective – are inherently intelligent, creative and musical. Facilitation methods that integrate consensus process, creative inquiry, improvisation, story sharing and participant leadership were also explored.

To learn more about the conference, click here.

Q&A Interview with SW Founder Judith-Kate

Q&A Interview with SW Founder Judith-Kate

We’re kicking off our new Q&A series with a nod to National Poetry Month as SW’s founder/director Judith-Kate Friedman and Community Relations Coordinator Sam Robinson discuss the intersection of poetry, spontaneous group creation, and SW’s Signature Songwriting Workshops!

Sam: A poem is the distillation of an individual’s memories, artistic influences, current mood, and intention. An SW-workshop composed song consists of a similar distillation, except it emanates from the group, rather than the individual. Could you comment on the similarities and differences between these two creative environments?

JK: SW’s song process is a grand improvisation that moves from conversation and inquiry….(“What should we write about today?”) to the crafting of lyric, poetry, rhythm and melody. As participant’s thoughts are captured verbatim on the easel sheets the group sees as well as hears their individual – and soon collective – natural rhythm, cadences, rhymes, off-rhymes and alliteration that show up.

Sam: What role does that facilitator play in helping crystallize the thoughts, emotions, melodies, and mood of the participants?

JK: SW’s facilitators bring their love of the musicality within words and their experience crafting lyrics and poetic forms from random phrases to teach and illustrate what the group is bringing forth. They use repetition and call and response to help the group entrain to the rhythms of keeper lines (though this also happens very organically with no prompting from a professional!). Participants focus on elements of speech, image and emotion as facilitators read from the easel sheets and recap what’s been said in the group. As words, images and lines are circled and phrases are spoken out loud to feel their rhythm, melodies may pop out or be invited for a great line (“Who has a melody for that?”). Poetic aspects are addressed and learned about in the process – not so much intellectually as literally and viscerally. This way, participants in all cognitive situations and of all levels of experience are equally in-the-moment of creativity together.

Sam: Are there any poems or poets in particular that infuse your approach to workshops?

JK: While there isn’t a particular poem or poet that has influenced the Songwriting Works™ process or my approach to facilitating, poetry itself informs me all the time. The SW approach to listening involves creating a relaxed environment in which people are truly themselves, talking the way they really talk about things they care about or dream about. As they share their stories, the facilitator’s job is to show the group the beauty in the poetry of their own speech as we select “keeper lines” and build upon their images to make the lyric and find the music of the song.

See that process in action through this clip:

 

“True Colors” Weekend April 22&23 Explores and Celebrates Intersections of Culture

“True Colors” Weekend April 22&23 Explores and Celebrates Intersections of Culture
True Colors Weekend ~ April 22nd and 23rd
Exploring and Celebrating Intersections of Culture, Identity, Ethnicity,
Race and Class through Music, Poetry, Improvisation

Quanita Louise of Nzuzu and Judith-Kate Friedman of Songwriting Works join in creative collaboration for two-related community building events.

Saturday April 22 at 7pm to 9pm: True Colors – An Interactive Concert
Physical Location
: Madrona Mindbody Institute
310 Fort Worden Way, Ft. Worden State Park, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Tickets
truecolorsconcert.brownpapertickets.com
Streaming live on the web: Concert Window  (Click here for live streaming tickets and details!)

Sunday April 23 at 3pm to 5pm: Being Curious Together About Race: A Time for Learning and Connection
Location: The Cotton Building
607 Water Street, Downtown Port Townsend, WA 98368  Fully ADA accessible.
Tickets: 
 beingcuriousaboutrace.brownpapertickets.com
All events are offered on a sliding scale “pay as you wish” basis with support of the Port Townsend Arts Commission

For more info, reservations by phone, or to volunteer, contact: Songwriting Works 360.385.1160 or songwritingworks@gmail.com

EVENT DETAILS: 
 Internationally acclaimed teacher, healer, singer and ritualist Quanita Louise of Nzuzu and Port Townsend-based singer, songwriter and community music-maker Judith-Kate Friedman of Songwriting Works will offer two distinct, yet related, in-depth experiences intended to engage, delight, and catalyze community on the weekend of April 22 and 23rd, 2017 in Port Townsend.

On April 22nd at 7pm, an evening concert – “True Colors” – will give an all ages audience an opportunity to participate as well as listen. The artists will share poetry, song, conversation and improvisation with each other and engage all who are present in the spontaneous creation of poems and a song on the theme of “being our full selves with each other in community.” From exploring inner landscapes and stillness, to raising our collective voices in song and exuberant celebration, the evening will open the way for fresh insights, heart-felt exchange, and deepening authenticity.

This experience will expand further on Sunday, April 23rd, at 3pm, as the two artists facilitate a community conversation entitled “Being Curious Together About Race: A Time for Learning and Connection.”

Judith-Kate puts the weekend in context:
“Creating welcoming communities is about affirming culture. As artists, we wish to bring tools to support collective inquiry and uphold freedom to express one’s identity and celebrate our differences–in terms of culture, ethnicity, race, religion and also age, ability, class, sexual orientation, etc. We’re seeing a rise in – and greater awareness of – hatred, fear, and divisiveness between all kinds of people these are all often rooted in confusions that reach back centuries. Together, we can change this. We use the arts to address what’s happening around us.”

Quanita adds: “What has our attention has really deep heart and meaning. All these can be used as portals to knowing ourselves and each other.”

Both artists create supportive environments for authentic expression, inclusion, inquiry, and social transformation. They will engage participants in a new kind of conversation: One that rises from deep-heartedness and supports individuals and communities to move from judgment to curiosity and from isolation to real connection. As stated on the event flyer: Join us to “discover what happens when we are curious together. We’ll build understanding and trust, allow fear, despair, and grief to be catalyzed in healing, and find new levels of honesty, courage, freedom and connection with each other.”

The True Colors Concert and the Being Curious Community Event are presented with support from the Port Townsend Arts Commission. Admission is open to the public and all ages are welcome. Tickets are available on a “Pay As You Wish” basis in advance (as noted on ticket links above) or at the door. Reservations are suggested.  All revenues will support event costs and the local work of Songwriting Works Educational Foundation. Volunteers are invited to help with outreach and on the days of event.  Contact: Songwriting Works at songwritingworks@gmail.com or call 360.385.1160

ABOUT THE ARTIST-FACILITATORS:

Quanita Louise M.A. is an international spiritual teacher, speaker, author, life coach and a personal and professional development resource dedicated to addressing embedded trauma through healing workshops, retreats, and rituals. In 2016, she presented at the NAACP National Convention on Community/Police Relations and served as the Keynote Speaker for The National Diversity Conference in Brazil. She holds a master’s degree in Organizational Management and Development with a concentration in Integral Theory. Quanita is a keeper of ancient indigenous wisdom from the Dagara Tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa. As a water spirit, she brings the gifts of forgiveness and reconciliation—serving as a peacemaker and bridge builder to communities around the world. www.nzuzu.com

 

Judith-Kate Friedman is a songwriter, vocalist, improviser, producer, speaker, and music catalyst. As founder of Songwriting Works™ Educational Foundation, she is internationally recognized as an innovator in music education and community building through song. On stage and off, Judith-Kate creates contexts in which people of all ages raise their unique voices together. Working in the Oral Tradition, her collaborations connect those diverse in culture, physical and cognitive health, education and economic circumstances. To date, she has co-written more than 320 original songs in collaboration with 3,400 elders, youth, and families, ages 4 to 106. www.songwritingworks.org

ABOUT SONGWRITING WORKS:
An independent 501c3 educational foundation based in Port Townsend, WA, Songwriting Works Educational Foundation (SW) is internationally recognized as an innovator in intergenerational education, creative aging, arts and wellness, and cultural equity and restoration. SW fulfills its mission to restore joy, hope, health and community by engaging neighbors across the continuum of health, age, and musical background in collectively composing and performing their own original songs. Originally founded as an artist-in-residence project in California in 1990, SW began serving North Olympic Peninsula and Salish Sea/Puget Sound communities in 2009, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Improvisation and Song Bring All Ages Together in East Jefferson County, WA

Improvisation and Song Bring All Ages Together  in East Jefferson County, WA
Instruments from around the world beckon Mountain View YMCA summer campers to play. Photo: Keeth Monta Apgar
Instruments from around the world beckon Mountain View YMCA summer campers to play. Photo: Keeth Monta Apgar

Playful rhythms, voices and melodies rang out in August as Songwriting Works (SW) brought its Summer MusicTeams™ program to three Puget Sound locations.

At the Boiler Room youth-run coffeehouse, the Jefferson County YMCA, and the Chimacum YMCA, SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman and Keeth Monta Apgar arrived with guitar, ukulele, a basket of hand percussion instruments from around the world, and an invitation to discover, explore, and refine the musical possibilities inside all of us.

Musical Discovery at the YMCA

SW Facilitator Keeth Apgar engages the group at the Chimacum YMCA
SW Facilitator Keeth Apgar engages the group at the Chimacum YMCA

Five to Twelve year olds and staff at the North Olympic Peninsula YMCA’s Mountain View site (Port Townsend) and 3rd to 7th graders at the Chimacum “Y” took each other on musical journeys improvising in solos, duets, and trios. Some were improvising for the first time ever!

Listening and discovery games like “Where’s this sound from? Where is it going?” tuned our ears and imaginations as the group, with eyes closed, listened to different hand percussion instruments, describing the sensations that arose and using them to guess where the instrument came from. Curiosity energized cooperation and musical adventure. Literacy got a boost too as we riffed on the alphabet with Dr. Seuss and sang “It Makes Me Happy (Me Hace Alegre),” an SW song in English and Spanish.

[pullquote cite=”Judith-Kate Friedman, speaking about the MusicTeams” type=”left”]”We’ve all got musical intelligence. We’re here in a failure-free zone to see what we can do together!”[/pullquote]
Other highlights from the YMCA sessions included the groups finding an equilibrium between the raucous parades in and out of focus to the deep, quiet musical reflection and communication that allowed everyone’s voice to be heard, including students with special needs and divergent attention spans in whom we were able to witness the emergence of striking creativity and contribution to the group.

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A Month’s Worth of Collaboration and Song at the Boiler Roomboiler-room

The 4-week series of workshops at the Boiler Room included breath and body warm-ups, vocal technique, rhythm, improvisation and music confidence-building games, “Music Lifelines™” story and song sharing, a blues jam and a good dose of conversation about the health and cognitive benefits of music-making. On average, 16 participants collaborated each week. Some came for the full session and others drifted in for coffee and a touch of song. During the third week, the cohesion of the group hit a high point as we turned to songwriting and, together, chose to build our song around the theme of ‘being seen for who one really is.’ Suddenly, the café clamor in the background receded, ushering in resounding focus as even the sideline observers were drawn towards group creation.

The series closed with celebration as the core group polished and performed their new song “In Another Universe” at the Boiler Room’s open mic on September 1st (video below).

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Many thanks to the Port Townsend Arts Commission, the North Olympic Peninsula YMCA, the Jubilation Foundation’s Fellowship Award (a program of the Tides Foundation) and individual contributors to last Spring’s “MusicTeams™ Fund” campaign who together made the success of the Summer MusicTeams possible!

Starting this Fall and flowing into 2017, SW builds upon the successes of the Summer season by bringing what we’ve learned to the Port Townsend Schools with a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission (aka Arts WA). ArtsWA_Logo

The “Songwriting Works in the Port Townsend Schools” project will have at its heart the shared vision of Arts WA and partners to make meaningful music education available to all students, regardless of age, ability, background, or cognitive situation. SW’s facilitators and teachers will team up with Port Townsend School District educators and administrators to design and implement a curriculum through which students will experience SW’s 8 principles of creative expression, learn fun “science of music facts,” and, of course, create meaningful, community-building music together. And just like with the Summer MusicTeams, the project will culminate with public celebrations, featuring performances and testimonials from the collaborations!

7/21-9/1, Summer MusicTeams in Port Townsend and Chimacum

7/21-9/1, Summer MusicTeams in Port Townsend and Chimacum

Three distinct MusicTeams™ series are taking place between July 21 and August 18, giving music lovers of all ages opportunities to collaborate together. In each series they’ll enter a “failure-free zone” where they’ll gain music and leadership skills, practice SW’s 8 Principles of Creative Engagement (see below), and make original music with each other and their neighbors. While they’re at it, they’ll also build new friendships, spark new neural connections and discover “science factoids” about music’s power to boost the immune system, increase brain and body health, transform emotions and spark creativity. Friedman and SW teammate Keeth Monta Apgar of the Harmonica Pocket will co-facilitate. See below for dates and details.

Everyone is Invited to Play

Songwriting Works, the Boiler Room, and the Jefferson County YMCA are eager to bring the power of music learning and improvisation to music lovers of all ages, abilities, and health situations. No prior skills are required. The Boiler Room sessions are free of charge and financial assistance is available for the YMCA series.

So, what can people expect at each of this Summer’s MusicTeams™ series?

“By embracing the idea that everyone has musical intelligence, we’ll give everybody the opportunity to be on a level playing field of creative exploration,” says Friedman. “Studies show that step-by-step mastery of a subject boosts immune system response and creativity, so we’ll start with musical stepping stones, using our voices and instruments to find a common language of sound and rhythm. Building from there, we’ll listen and jam together, using call and response, and solo and ensemble experiments in melody and harmony. The process is very improvisational, yet inclusive and fun!”

MusicTeams™ 2016 Details  

In Series #1 at the Boiler Room (Free. 4 Thursdays: 7/21, 7/28, 8/11, 8/18 from 4:30-6:30pm) each MusicTeam workshop session builds upon the previous one, although everyone is welcome at any time. During the first session of the series, 5 participants (ages 12 to 72) talked about music’s role in their lives and joined in vocal warm-ups, musical improvisation games and more. Those who are inspired to share what they’ve learned in between sessions will become “musical instigators.” They’ll bring music to someone 10 to 30 years older or younger than themselves and receive additional mentoring in musical leadership. No registration required. For more information, contact Amy Howard at the Boiler Room, boilerroomed@gmail.com, (360) 379-8247.

SERIES #2 August 8-12
MusicTeams™ with Songwriting Works at the YMCA
This series is a 5-day musical adventure held as part of the Jefferson County YMCA’s Summer Day Camp for children, ages 5-12. MusicTeams™ sessions are in the afternoon (1-4 p.m.), August 8-12.

SERIES #3 August 9-10
This 2-day adventure is for 3rd-7th graders and takes place at the YMCA in Chimacum. August 9-10. 10am-noon.

For Series #1 and #2, participants must register through the Jefferson County YMCA For more information, contact the YMCA office on the Mountain View Commons campus (360-385-5811) or online at www.jeffersoncountyymca.org Scholarships are available for the YMCA series.

Community musicians are encouraged to join as musical mentors in all three series. To sign up to become a volunteer mentor or assist SW’s SongTeam, email or call SW at songwritingworks@gmail.com or 360.385.1160 by July 25.

The MusicTeams Summer Series will culminate on September 1st at 7 p.m. with a community celebration and participant performance as part of the Boiler Room’s open mic. Save the date!

To sign up to become a volunteer mentor or assist SW’s SongTeam, email or call SW at songwritingworks@gmail.com or 360.385.1160 by July 25.

5/17 SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman Presented at the Washington State Nonprofit Conference!

On Tuesday, May 17th, SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman was honored to be among a distinguished set of presenters at the annual Washington State Nonprofits Conference where over 700 nonprofit and community leaders will come together to listen, learn, and explore ways that “human centered design can connect, transform programs, and advance causes.”

One of 21 other workshops, aimed at sparking creativity and enhancing skills at the conference, Judith-Kate’s Music as Innovation, Participation as Leadership, explored what the arts, improvisation, and neuroscience can teach us about restoration, empowerment, healing and collective transformation.

In an effort to help non-profit organizations solve social problems and enhance well-being for individuals, families, and entire neighborhoods, this workshop went beyond considering music’s common uses to address how community leaders can:

  1. Apply lessons from the field of creativity and cognition to achieve organizational missions and visions
  2. Integrate and use music more intentionally to support successful outcomes

Attendees were introduced to Songwriting Works’ 8 Principles of Creative Engagement – access, inclusion, originality, authenticity, respect, reciprocity, restoration and celebration – and be invited to explore hands-on the application of these principles to their real life situations and goals as non-profit leaders. Judith-Kate shared case studies and results from projects based upon the premise that all individuals – and the collective – are inherently intelligent, creative and musical. Facilitation methods that integrate consensus process, creative inquiry, improvisation, story sharing and participant leadership were also explored.

To learn more about the conference, click here.