All-Ages Music-Making

Rachel Carson “Sense of Wonder” Contest

Congratulations to Ella Ashford (age 11) of Port Townsend, WA, who rallied family and friends to perform her original song “Me and You”. Ella won first place in the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest in 2013! Here’s her song:

Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented number of the American readers. She is credited with advancing the global environmental movement through her writing and advocacy.

From 2008-2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held an intergenerational contest called Rachel Carson “Sense of Wonder.”

Songwriting Works™ is pleased to have been a co-sponsoring organization in 2013 and 2014.


Bridging Generations Through Songwriting

San Francisco’s James Denman Middle school students and Jewish Home residents came together to discuss, share, and explore freedom and the meaning of independence.

Students and Elders Discuss Freedom
Students and Elders Discuss Freedom

They then crafted “A Song About Freedom” in the student’s native Spanish and the elders’ second language English – as most were of German heritage, including several survivors of Nazi Germany.

Judith-Kate Friedman facilitates the workshop
Students and Elders Read the Bill of Rights

A Song About Freedom/Una Cancion de Libertad

Sing a song
about freedom
We have a right
to be free
Sing a song
about friendship,
respect and liberty

Families are most important
Our love for them abounds
We support and care for each other
We love to have them around
Love to have them around..

Tenemos derecho
de ser libre
Canta una cancion
de libertad
Canta una cancion
de libertad,
respeto y amistad

Familias son importantes
Abunda por ellos nuestra amor
Suportamos, cuidamos, nos queremos juntos
Nos gustan tenerlos alrededor, alrededor

© 1999 Composing Together Works/Jewish Home Words and Music by Singers and Songwriters of the Jewish Home San Francisco and students from James Denman Middle School, with Molly Hershey, and Judith-Kate Friedman, California Arts Council artist-in-residence.

*SW’s 8 Principles of Creative Engagement: access, inclusion, originality, authenticity, respect, reciprocity, restoration and celebration