We Believe:

Music Heals.

Sweetwater Soul Sessions is a weekend songwriting workshop created to help those struggling with addiction to give voice to what they think and feel through music. 

Participants express themselves in a safe, supportive creative environment in which music becomes a path to healing. In the end, they go home with a fully produced recording of the song they wrote.

The Soul Sessions are designed to work within the context of treatment facilities. We work directly with organizations to complement their programming and client services.

 
 
 
 

It’s always so incredible for us to watch the evolution for the participants, as something painful becomes something beautiful that they can be proud of, something they might even want to share with others. 

 

— Alana Sweetwater, Founder of Sweetwater Soul Sessions

 
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The Power of Songwriting

Our sessions have been incredibly successful in complementing individuals' clinical, emotional, and therapeutic path toward healing because songwriting and performing provides a creative platform that can open new pathways for expression. Writing songs and making music challenges us, frees us, and helps us learn new tools to overcome pain and trauma.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Workshop Details

Sweetwater Soul Sessions take place over the course of two weekends in treatment facilities serving those with addiction, abuse, and other challenges. While the program can be customized to the center, the building blocks of our program include:  

 

Weekend 1: Songwriting

During part one of the weekend workshop, participants learn about the components that go into writing a song. Participants are encouraged to share their favorite artists and use their music as examples.

We dive into elements like rhythm, melody, lyrics, and the hook. This is both educational and provides the basis for their own storytelling. The next stage in the creative process includes journal writing, group sharing, and collaborating—opportunities to reflect and share.

Weekend 2: Recording

Once their song has been written, structured, and sketched out, a producer is brought in to professionally record their songs.

Participants go into a fully loaded recording studio to learn the basics of the recording and mixing process and the equipment needed to make that happen. They will then get to hear, for the first time, their songs fully produced being played back to them.

 
 Workshop participant sitting with Alana to review her writing and develop her song. 

Workshop participant sitting with Alana to review her writing and develop her song. 

 Workshop participant (identity protected) recording with professional instruction and support from Marlon. 

Workshop participant (identity protected) recording with professional instruction and support from Marlon. 

 
 
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I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.

— Billy Joel

 
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Here's what our participants are saying:

It’s very cool that kids like us in placement can have an opportunity to create music and have the chance to express ourselves through a song.... Alana and Marlon were super nice and definitely made the class so exciting. They made us feel comfortable and use a voice we never knew we had inside of us.... I would definitely recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to discover a talent they never knew they had.

 Vincente

 
 

My words are not enough, but this class brought music and made it into a place where I can get away.

Antonio

 

I loved it. I really came outside of my shell! I loved it! I am so happy with my song and this experience.

— Lia