Recently, a few of us experienced what can only be described as a trans-formative songwriting and team experience. 2 weekends ago, Sherrie Austin www.sherrieaustinmusic.com, and I joined hit songwriters from throughout Nashville at a rural retreat. The mission was to collaborate on songs that told the very personal stories of soldiers and their families whom are battling PTSD. Phew, talk about a passionate, emotional, inspirational and exhausting experience. How about one more superlative? Rewarding.
For a weekend, songwriters who love nothing better than to write, got the opportunity to put away their appointment books, forget about Music Row, not worry about if a song is “ready for radio,” and write from the deepest spaces in the heart. Primarily, writers acted as conduits for the amazing and personal stories of these men and women heroes. Our Veterans…Their families and their counselors.
On Saturday night we had a traditional “Song-circle” or “guitar pull.” When one by one the writers and veterans performed their songs for this intimately sized group, there was not a dry eye in the house. By the end of the 2nd song, a box of tissues had been placed in the center of the circle….for easy access to all. Suffice it to say that all of us have been changed by this experience.
This collaborative retreat was co-sponsored by The Beat of Life www.thebeatoflife.org and S.A.F.E. (Soldiers and Families Embraced)www.thesafenetwork.org. These are two tremendously cool non-profits whose focus on healing are synergistic with one another. Without the collaboration of these two start-ups, both very small in stature, but large and bold in mission…this weekend could not have happened. “Because Music Can Save a Life,” is the motto of The Beat of Life. We believe it truly can. And one life at a time, that’s what will happen. Through team effort, developing more effective programs and partnerships as time goes by, we can save lives. I’m happy to wear several “volunteer hats” for TBOL. I hope you’ll check out this worthy team and see what you can do to help. Jeni (The Founder and visionary) Kelly (Our Development Director) and Robin, our newest jack of all trades, sharp-shooter. When people come together, whether at a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit or a tech start up, it’s amazing what can be accomplished.