“Life’s a Song” Recording Project

“Life’s a Song” is Songwriting Works’ forthcoming album of 13 original songs that rock, swing, croon, groove and celebrate life.

As we complete production…

  • “STREET and COUNTRY ROAD Teams” are forming as we prepare for 2016 album release parties and events – now being booked throughout the Northwest and at select spots across the country.
  • JOIN US as an artist, volunteer or fan spreading the word about the power of community music-making for all ages.
  • CONTACT US to join a team, book a concert or explore partnerships to make your hometown a part of our “Life’s a Song” concert and workshop tour.


A ground-breaking, inspiring set of songs was born when 200 neighbors spanning 5 generations collaborated with professional songwriters in workshops throughout rural Washington’s north Olympic Peninsula.

Seasoned music lovers and first-time composers – ages 12 to 103 – came together in care centers and community gathering spots to lift their stories, voices, and truths into original songs.

All words and melodies were composed by participants – average age 75 – and their families and friends.

At the heart of all Songwriting Works programs is the belief that music-making is everyone’s birthright. Everyone has a story to tell, a melody to share and possibilities to discover. Creativity is with us from the very start to the end of our lives. We need to share it – and society needs this too. The “Life’s a Song” sessions epitomized these beliefs as untold stories rose to the surface through the power of collective songwriting. Examples include baby boomer musicians singing about aging & transformation (“Generations”), four WWII veterans in a memory care residence composing a cantata of gratitude for home (“WWII Homecoming Song”), and an older couple writing a song about their dream home for retirement (“On a Good Piece of Ground”).

THIS ALBUM is like none other:

Toe-tapping, singable, fun and poignant, “Life’s a Song” brims with humor, vibrancy, originality and hope. The overall sound is Americana, set against a landscape of seas, mountains and the evergreen vistas of the great Northwest.

Tight vocal harmonies, guitars, mandolin, dobro and performances by 12 award-winning musicians and producer Orville Johnson bring the joys and quirks of small town life, retirement, parenting and grand-parenting alive with refreshing and unforgettable detail.


“Life’s a Song” is about more than sharing the music. In our mission to restore joy, hope, health and community through song, Songwriting Works will use the album, airplay and special events to raise awareness of how important music is for happiness, community building and keeping our brains, hearts and bodies healthy as we age. These songs were written in “stigma-free zones” where everyone contributed as equals in a creative process – no matter what their age, life situation or state of health. Everyone discovered new abilities and passions in the process.

Songwriting Works is proud to be a part of a larger movement dedicated to social equity, transforming attitudes, and giving people across the health and wellness spectrum full access to expressive artistic opportunities, audiences, and the life-giving experience of learning, teaching and creating music in community.

We work extensively with persons diagnosed with dementia and other forms of memory loss as well as chronic illness, depression and loneliness born of isolation. 8 principles of creative engagement – access, inclusion, originality, authenticity, respect, reciprocity, restoration and celebration – guide our work.

THE ARTISTS (alphabetically): Keeth Monta Apgar, Joe Breskin, Laurence Cole, Alanna Dailey, Daniel Deardorff, Judith-Kate Friedman, Orville Johnson, David Michael, Aimée Ringle, Matt Sircely, Anke Summerhill, Hanna Trailer, and more. Field recordings of participants’ voices woven between songs show how the songs were made.

THIS ALBUM is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Northwest, Northwind Arts/Arts to Elders program, the Washington Health Foundation, host sites and participants at Dungeness Courte Memory Care, Port Angeles Senior Center, Discovery Memory Care, Seaport Landing, Victoria Place, Life Care Center of Port Townsend, SWHQ, the artists and crew of engineers, videographers, artists and volunteers, and more than 180 contributors to our successful Kickstarter® campaign. THANK YOU!

CONTRIBUTIONS to support Life’s a Song touring activities and the work of Songwriting Works Educational Foundation can be made via our secured donation page.