• A Songwriting Workshop Handbook

    An Examination of the 2009–2010 Workshop at the Valley Lodge Homeless Shelter

    by Thomas Cabaniss

    “I think everybody has a song in their heart … a story to tell.”
    —David Broxton, participating songwriter and Valley Lodge resident, 2010


    Download the PDF:
    Songwriting Workshop Handbook



    "You gotta keep trying, you gotta never give up." The words of David Broxton, a member of the Valley Lodge Transitional Shelter and participant in the Carnegie Hall Musical Connections songwriting workshops held there.

    In 2009–2010, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute conducted a six-month creative songwriting workshop at Valley Lodge Homeless Shelter in New York City, a residence for seniors ages 50 and up with a range of developmental disabilities. Seven residents participated in the workshop, which met weekly and culminated in a collaborative performance by a professional jazz ensemble and the songwriters themselves. This handbook and an accompanying video were developed to document the workshop process and provide a template for others who may wish to replicate this work.
    —Thomas Cabaniss