Judith-Kate Friedman

Judith Kate headshot

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Founder and Director, Songwriting Works™ Educational Foundation
Port Townsend,
Speaker & Consultant

Judith-Kate Friedman has conducted award-winning, research-vetted programs with and for older adults, health and arts professionals, care partners and advocates of Creative Aging for more than 20 years. As originator of Songwriting Works™ and its 8 Principles of Creative Engagement, she has composed 300+ songs with thousands of elders across the cognitive, physical and mental health continuum and trained hundreds of practitioners in the U.S. and beyond. Her keynotes and concerts move seamlessly from illustrative story songs and Songwriting Works’ repertoire to research on music’s role in brain health, and humor and wisdom drawn from the frontlines of care, the back roads of creative imagination, and the legacy of her ancestors. Acclaimed as a trainer, consultant and event producer, Friedman’s approach empowers individuals to claim their creativity and restore health and community one song, family, and neighborhood at a time. Consulting clients as diverse as HUD housing management company AHEPA and the American Society on Aging have created new dynamic, sustainable, cost-effective programs and tools for their constituents, clientele and stakeholders by employing Songwriting Works’ principles of access, inclusion, originality, authenticity, respect, reciprocity, restoration, and celebration.

What people say about working with Judith-Kate Friedman:
“A wonderful team building experience. Judith-Kate’s energetic delivery and “failure-free zone” encouraged our creativity even when we thought we had none.  She taught us to honor our pasts, our talents, and one another. The dynamic was one of trust, amazement, joy, and cooperation. Attendees went back to their homes with renewed energy to promote programming in the arts as wellness programming.” – Linda Duncan, Assistant Vice President, AHEPA Management Corporation, Service Coordination Department

“An exemplary teaching artist, Judith-Kate’s process inspires staff and colleagues as well as elders. She gives people new opportunities to benefit health-wise, socially, and educationally through hands-on participation, and gives audiences opportunities to gain awareness and shift attitudes about the creativity embodied in older people.”
– Susan Perlstein, Consultant, Founder Emeritus, Elders Share the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging

“The work that Ms. Friedman has advanced as an artist and serious researcher plays a significant role in providing cognitive benefits to the older adult population.” -Nancy Ceridwyn, former manager, ASA/MetLife MindAlert program

“My work with Judith-Kate Friedman is one of the highlights of my thirty years as a Rabbi.  I consider it a turning point in my work with Jewish elders.”
–Rabbi Sheldon Marder, Chaplain, Jewish Home San Francisco, Co-founder Psalms, Songs & Stories™

“I’ve never sung before in my life and now I’m singing” – E.N., participant, age 90

Keynote and Training topics include:
• How Singing Heals – Research, Restoration and Renewal
• Music for Wellness: Songs as Keys to Life, Vital Aging, Brain Fitness and Mental Health
• Bring It On Home: Musical Tools for Family and Professional Care Partners
• Musical Miracles: Enhancing Communication in Families Facing Alzheimer’s Disease
• Songwriting Works™8 Principles of Engagement: Enhancing Life, Giving Voice to Community
• Songwriting as Service – New Paths for Professional Musicians
• Psalms, Songs & Stories™ – the Role of Sacred Songwriting in Pastoral Care
• The Power of Intergenerational Songwriting and Performance
• Success and Sustainability in Arts-in-Health and Culture Change Partnerships

Recent publications:
• WWII Homecoming Song ~ Composed with Veterans: video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4-Eu6Faamk
• “The Songwriting Works Model: Enhancing Brain Health and Fitness through Collaborative Musical Composition and Performance,” Chapter 20 in Hartman-Stein, LaRue, eds., Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults: A Guidebook to the Use and Development of Community-Based Programs (Springer, 2011)
• A ‘Specially Wonderful Affair ~ documentary: http://blip.tv/a-specially-wonderful-affair#204103
• Island on a Hill ~ CD project featuring elders of the Jewish Home, average age 87: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/judithkate3

Recent awards:
• 2012 Distinguished Fellow, Global Alliance for Arts and Health/Society for the Arts in Healthcare
• 2012 MetLife Foundation/NCCA Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award, Health and Wellness category.
• 2010 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award, Creative Expression category, The Arthur and Rosalinde Gilbert Foundation/Family Caregiver Alliance
• 2009 National Endowment for the Arts Creativity and Aging in America grant (with Arts Northwest)
• 2008 Blair Sadler International Healing Arts Award, Society for the Arts in Healthcare
• 2007 MetLife Foundation/American Society on Aging MindAlert Award


Arts Management Service Provider
Program and Project Development
Keynote Speaker
Professional Teaching Artist
Aging Services Provider