Songwriting can be a powerful first step in the healing transformation.
Veteran's Voices is a songwriting/recording workshop in which veterans who have experienced trauma, addiction, PTSD, and mental health issues learn to express themselves through songwriting. Each workshop begins with a drumming circle - a tradition used throughout the ages to prepare warriors for, and help them recover from, battle. This program has been supported by Pearl Jam's Vitalogy Foundation.
Songwriting for post-traumatic symptoms enables traumatized war veterans to get in touch with feelings that may have been isolated and numbed as a result of being in active combat. It allows them to feel and process actual emotions that are not dominated by trauma, start the process of making healthy life choices, and regain control over their own lives.
A Woman's Voice
A Woman’s Voice is a songwriting/recording workshop in which women who have experienced trauma, addiction, violence, or mental health issues learn how to identify and end abuse and gain self-empowerment through songwriting. A Woman’s Voice engages, inspires, and gives participants the opportunity to bring about change in their lives, their communities, and the world.
“I had the personal privilege of attending the first A Woman’s Voice workshop conducted by Robin Lane and I can honestly say it has been one of the most enriching experiences of my creative life. Robin has the ability to be an active and thoughtful participant in the songwriting process while providing needed support and encouragement so that women can access their own voice.” Maria Rodman, ex-director Women's Centers of Western MA
"A Woman’s Voice helped me to address my pain and what needed healing. Through the process of writing my own song, much of my shame has been lifted like a veil, and I can now see what I have to give. I am doing things I never thought possible before doing the workshop.” J - A workshop participant
Giving Youth a Voice
Giving Youth a Voice is a songwriting/recording workshop that identifies and reaches out to girls between the ages of 12 and 18 who have experienced trauma in the form of trafficking, sexual abuse, drug use, or domestic violence. These girls have been silenced by their experiences, losing the ability to tell their stories and becoming isolated in their silence. Giving Youth a Voice encourages them to sing, telling their stories in song, bringing about personal change, and leading to change in the community at large.
“Robin helped me to relax about myself not being perfect. She pushed me to write songs....Yes a positive push. I hope I can keep working with her. Emma F - A workshop participant
“Robin teaches music in a fun and motivational way that builds confidence and allows you to be yourself. She inspires the creative process of writing a song and the results are exciting and fun." Yaeko Miranda, New England Conservatory
The Prison Project
The Prison Project is a songwriting/performing workshop in which incarcerated women who have experienced trauma, addiction, violence, poverty, and mental health issues are given access to the arts and learn how to identify and end abuse and gain self-empowerment. The Prison Project is designed to provide an alternative to risky behaviors and give participants faith in their creative abilities, providing a voice to a silenced and invisible population.
"I have been a witness to the cathartic experience that this group brings to the women. It is truly a miracle to hear broken spirits sing like angels." Coralee Chase, Counselor, Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center
Broken Wings was written by inmates at the Western Massachusetts Correctional and Alcohol Center (Howard Street) in Springfield MA. All of them were just sitting there waiting to see what I was going to do for them. They were hesitant, making comments such as “We’ve never written a song before” in grumpy tones. This song is the second one they came up with. It speaks to the possibility of transformation and that we hold the key to our own healing and the ability to change our lives. I really think you “get” this idea in the songwriting workshops. The powerful experience of songwriting, bonding with others who haven’t chosen wisely or realized their own worth and as a result have had similar experiences from addiction to mental health issues to extremely bad relationships that they can't seem to break free from, that have landed them in jail, gives the women joy and a hope for the future. I firmly believe singing your song, telling your story can set you free…at least get you on the way to freeing yourself from the past.