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Making Medicine Songs

  • Hawthorn Healing Arts Center 39 Northwest Louisiana Avenue Bend, OR, 97701 United States (map)

Healing and Empowerment Through Music

with Shireen Amini


Sound ~ Music ~ Song

Healing ~ Creativity ~ Purpose

No prior musical experience necessary and experienced musicians welcome

Please email or call 541-330-0334 to register! 

What is a medicine song? A loose definition may be “a song carrying the energy and message in support of healing.” We all know the qualities of a medicine song, one that hooks us in and carries us to the other side of a struggle or fills us with a much-needed feeling we cannot seem to summon on our own. We may already be familiar with medicine songs as they exist in our sacred communities, but they are not limited to such venues. Medicine songs have just as much come about during social movements as they have through legendary artists like Bob Marley or the Beatles. Today, I am proposing that they can come through any of us, to serve us on our paths and strengthen our communities. 

In the process presented in this workshop, we will learn how to produce songs infused with magic and meaning using ancient tools and principles of the modern songwriting craft. What brings the “medicine” into these songs is the intention we put into their making and the mysterious way in which we invite melody and rhythm to emerge as though through a conversation with the cosmos. We will use the most inherently-human points of entry into music-making, the voice and the drum, to tune into our greater support network and to awaken our wild and soulful musical nature as well as our playful, childlike spirits. The medicine melody or groove that shows up in our process is a gift and an energetic blueprint for our song (our healing), carrying the feeling essence that will guide the song’s development. We will then utilize our creativity to come up with lyrics and orchestration for our song. Along the way, we will explore important musical concepts and techniques that help a song to be strong and effective. Once our medicine song is complete, we can then take it home with us and integrate it into our lives and communities. Both the songwriting process and the final song itself become powerful tools for our transformation and well-being.

In addition to being a wonderful practice for holistic health, making medicine songs is also an act of cultural revolution. Uniting through music is one of the most powerful catalysts for change our human history has ever demonstrated. And yet the mainstream songs of our modern era often lack relevance to the needs of our world, so bringing the “medicine” back into it is key. It is my mission to remove the obstacles to self-expression, including negative self-beliefs and constraining cultural notions, so that we can each reclaim music as a force of heart and empowerment for ourselves and our world. Please join me for this endlessly fun, hip, and poignant process and take part in the hope and joy of creating medicine music together.


Earlier Event: November 17
Sound Trek
Later Event: December 8