Sharing our stories is important because it helps each of us to believe we have innate value just by virtue of existing.
We live in a time where sharing vulnerability and authentic truth is not encouraged. It is better to avoid pain or suffering and to keep it inside in a hidden place. Many of the individuals with whom I have written songs have told me they used to sing all the time as children until one day, they stopped.
In my creative work as a songwriter, I have heard many people express doubt that they know any stories from their life that are worthy of or interesting enough to become a song. I have also been told by dozens of songwriting participants that they cannot sing or they do not have a “good” voice. It is my belief that every person is an artist, and it is my passion as a songwriter to work collaboratively with individuals wishing to experience the creative process, overcome grief or express joy, offer the gift of song to a loved one, or gain inspiration for their own musicianship and songwriting.
I believe that every person has a story and that this story will make a beautiful song that will speak to other people in a deep and meaningful way. Music is a form of expression beyond the spoken word that allows a person to communicate the raw and vulnerable moments that make up a human life. Having their story heard gives a person a sense that they have value and that they are not alone in whatever they have experienced in their life. Creating a song from their story can be healing and cathartic and may also help a person to process and find meaning from their lived experiences, both joyful and painful.
What I find so very powerful about the STS method of songwriting is that it gives people permission to be their authentic selves. This process creates an opportunity for each person to experience their own creative voice and artistic potential and to have their story heard, thus affirming their own value as an individual being.
The finished songs offer opportunities for building empathy and understanding. People who hear songs crafted from real life stories have an opportunity to make a deeply meaningful connection with a person they have been taught to fear or judge. Hearing a person’s story and making a personal connection to the universal emotion or call to action communicated in the chorus of their song can bring them to life in a way that is wholly unique to music. Whether the listener has had a similar experience in their life, they will likely be able to relate to the emotion being shared.
This method shows that community, empathy, and understanding can be created through the creative process. In sharing our voices and our stories, we discover that we are not alone in our life experiences. We honor each individual life, and we find that there is common ground in our questions and struggles.
It is about giving people the opportunity to share their stories and experience writing a song.
It is about building community and empathy for our lived experiences.
It is about discovering our inner artist.
It is about celebrating and honoring life as we really live it.
It is about personalizing the way we experience music.
And it is about making our passion our profession.
Help me to create the next generation of folk music!
I hope you will join me on this journey.