About song writing Paul Simon said, “It’s very helpful to start with something that’s true. If you start with something that’s false, you’re always covering your tracks. Something simple and true, that has a lot of possibilities, is a nice way to begin.”

As a person who tends to write songs about what I know to be true, here are some truths I’d like to share…

For a long time, songwriting was a very personal process to me. Early on, it was something that I would do when trying to make sense of experiences and the way I was growing to understand the world.

While it has been a pillar of expression in my own life, I have been learning about and witnessing the power of songwriting with patients in my work as a music therapist at hospice and in my private practice. Since working at hospice, I have had the chance to write songs with several patients, using their own words, experiences, and outlook on the world, to craft a song together.

Here is a small example of a poem written together with a patient about their spiritual beliefs, which I then put to music:

It’s different every morning

opening your eyes

The green of the trees,

the blue of the skies

It draws you in like a good friend

beckoning you near,

And blesses you with the beauty

of nature, sweet and clear

I thank the man up in the Big House

wonder if he ever gets to rest

Watching over all of us,

doing His best

A capacity for loving

like I’ve never seen

Shows us how to be kind

and live out our dreams


With songwriting, the possibilities are endless.

I have been fortunate enough to be able care for and nurture the songwriting seeds in my brain – I only hope to be able to help others at hospice do the same for their own!

One final truth: There is no right or wrong in songwriting. If you’re stuck, just start with what you know to be true.

Thanks for reading,