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Music Therapy



Songwriting as Team Building


Music and poetry have always been an important part of Brenda Freed's life.   She started writing poetry in grade school as gifts for special occasions, and at age 16 she added music to her poetry and began writing songs.   She found it easier to express what she wanted to say in song and, because it was a means of expression for her, she understood the value of songwriting as a therapeutic tool for others.   So, on the path to becoming a singer/songwriter, Brenda used songwriting to help patients express themselves in her music therapy practice at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  Many universities still use her article entitled "Songwriting with the Chemically Dependent" in their music therapy curricula.  

Inspired by her music therapy patients' songs and heeding her own words as she encouraged others to go for their dreams, Brenda decided it was time for her to do the same.   In 1990, she teamed up with poet/songwriter, Bob Clark, and they set out on a 9,000-mile bicycle tour.   They went from Iowa north into Canada, over to Nova Scotia, down to Florida and then west to Texas. They were heading toward San Diego when in the spring of 1991 they stumbled into Kerrville and joined the volunteer staff of the Kerrville Folk Festival.  Brenda attended the festival songwriting school and performed in the staff concert that year.   "It literally changed the course of my life," said Brenda. She had always been a performer, but it was not until then that she knew her future was in performing her original material.  

Since then, Brenda has been writing and performing as a singer/songwriter.  She has released seven full-length recordings; four of her own consisting of almost all original material, and three Texas Hot Flash recordings which included some of her original material.   During this time, she has also been building another career she loves: teaching guitar, piano and voice privately.  Her teaching includes coaching some of her students in songwriting, and also incorporating her unique skills in music therapy.

Currently, Brenda’s favorite songwriters include John Prine, Guy Clark, Randy Newman, Lyle Lovett, Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, JB Braden, Russell Clepper, Ellis, Jean Synodinos and Terri Hendrix.  Because she enjoys the spectrum of styles in which those songwriters write, Brenda writes in a variety of styles herself including folk, blues, jazz, pop rock, gospel, and even a little country.   She has also written several a cappella songs.

Brenda loves co-writing because she enjoys sharing with others when the ideas start flowing.  She loves that exchange.  Her co-writers over the years include Bob Clark, Francie Meaux Jeaux, Linda Sriro, John Row (British storyteller/poet), Suzanne Chesshire (mother of Sahara Smith), Val Roessling, JB Braden, Amy Cartee, Karen Peters, Linda Epperson Schroeder, Russell Clepper, Michael D’Eath and Hamp Brockman.  

To hear samples of Brenda's original music recorded on her CD's, or to purchase a CD, please select: Listen or Products.
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Song Writing as Team Building

In early 2012, was hired by an Austin-based corporation to coordinate 7 other songwriters to facilitate a team building event with groups of their international sales representatives to write songs about a new product. The event was such incredible fun and so effective that offering this concept to other organizations was simply the next logical step. Brenda teamed up with longtime colleague and friend, singer-songwriter and professional trainer, Jean Synodinos, and together they formed – write a song, build a team.

Song Team Austin coordinates songwriting team building events with groups from 2-100 participants. The events are fun and unique to Austin, TX.

Visit for more information or Contact Brenda.
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