How To “Get Faith”: A Songwriting Experience

by Kimberly on March 13, 2009 · 0 comments

Every once in awhile, therapists (whether music, occupational, art, physical, counselors, etc.) get the opportunity to be involved in something truly beautiful. I had one of those opportunities last month. I had been invited for a second time to facilitate a Hearts of Hope group operated by our local county hospice, Pathways. This group is open to children touched by cancer. Many have a parent or other close relative who is currently fighting the disease. The Hearts of Hope group provides an opportunity for these children to connect with other children who are going through the same experiences and feelings they are. It is a powerful and necessary support system for the children involved, as well as their parents.

I had done one of these groups a year earlier and it was pretty amazing experience, so I was REALLY excited do another. The group included about 6 pre-teens and a handful of adult facilitators. The session ran like this:Pop trio

6:00p Assemble group, Main facilitator (not me) processed the previous session

6:30p My turn. Begin with a lyric analysis exercise of “May I Suggest” by Susan Werner (a gamble to use an acoustic song with a bunch of kids who were into rap and hip-hop). Facilitate short discussion about lyrics that stood out to them and why.

6:45p Time to write a song. Use of comments from lyric analysis to create a theme. Try to create lyrics first that rhyme, then suggest melodies to the group. Use basic chord patterns and harmonic progressions using I, IV, V7, vi. Get their input all along the way – style, lyrics, melody, dynamics, etc.

7:30p We have a song.

Yes – in 45 minutes we wrote a beautiful song they titled “Got Faith.” I don’t think it will win a Grammy, but it sure is touching. Their words, their song. And an amazing testament to their incredible strength and positive outlook in the face of a devastating illness.

Check it out.

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