Exploring the self through songwriting

An analysis of songs composed by people with acquired neurodisability in an inpatient rehabilitation program

Felicity Baker, Jeanette Tamplin, Raymond McDonald, Jennie Ponsford, Chantal Roddy, Claire Lee, Nikki Rickard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Neurological trauma is associated with significant damage to people's pre-injury self-concept. Therapeutic songwriting has been linked with changes in self-concept and improved psychological well-being. Objective: This study analyzed the lyrics of songs composed by inpatients with neurological injuries who participated in a targeted songwriting program. The aim of this study was to understand which of the subdomains of the self-concept were the most frequently expressed in songs. Methods: An independent, deductive content analysis of 36 songs composed by 12 adults with spinal cord injury or brain injury (11 males, mean age 41 years +/- 13) were undertaken by authors 1 and 2. Results: Deductive analysis indicated that when writing about the past self, people created songs that reflected a strong focus on family and descriptions of their personality. In contrast, there is a clear preoccupation with the physical self, on the personal self, and a tendency for spiritual and moral reflections to emerge during the active phase of rehabilitation (song about the present self). Statistical analyses confirmed a significant self-concept subdomain by song interaction, F(10, 110) = 5.98, p < .001, ηp 2 = .35), which was primarily due to an increased focus on physical self-concept and a reduced focus on family self-concept in the present song, more than in either past or future songs. Conclusions: The analysis process confirmed that songwriting is a vehicle that allows for exploration of self-concept in individuals with neurological impairments. Songwriting may serve as a therapeutic tool to target the most prevalent areas of self-concept challenges for clients undergoing inpatient neurological rehabilitation programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Adjustment to disability
  • Brain injury
  • Self-concept
  • Songwriting
  • Spinal cord injury

Cite this

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title = "Exploring the self through songwriting: An analysis of songs composed by people with acquired neurodisability in an inpatient rehabilitation program",
abstract = "Background: Neurological trauma is associated with significant damage to people's pre-injury self-concept. Therapeutic songwriting has been linked with changes in self-concept and improved psychological well-being. Objective: This study analyzed the lyrics of songs composed by inpatients with neurological injuries who participated in a targeted songwriting program. The aim of this study was to understand which of the subdomains of the self-concept were the most frequently expressed in songs. Methods: An independent, deductive content analysis of 36 songs composed by 12 adults with spinal cord injury or brain injury (11 males, mean age 41 years +/- 13) were undertaken by authors 1 and 2. Results: Deductive analysis indicated that when writing about the past self, people created songs that reflected a strong focus on family and descriptions of their personality. In contrast, there is a clear preoccupation with the physical self, on the personal self, and a tendency for spiritual and moral reflections to emerge during the active phase of rehabilitation (song about the present self). Statistical analyses confirmed a significant self-concept subdomain by song interaction, F(10, 110) = 5.98, p < .001, ηp 2 = .35), which was primarily due to an increased focus on physical self-concept and a reduced focus on family self-concept in the present song, more than in either past or future songs. Conclusions: The analysis process confirmed that songwriting is a vehicle that allows for exploration of self-concept in individuals with neurological impairments. Songwriting may serve as a therapeutic tool to target the most prevalent areas of self-concept challenges for clients undergoing inpatient neurological rehabilitation programs.",
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author = "Felicity Baker and Jeanette Tamplin and Raymond McDonald and Jennie Ponsford and Chantal Roddy and Claire Lee and Nikki Rickard",
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Exploring the self through songwriting : An analysis of songs composed by people with acquired neurodisability in an inpatient rehabilitation program. / Baker, Felicity; Tamplin, Jeanette; McDonald, Raymond; Ponsford, Jennie; Roddy, Chantal; Lee, Claire; Rickard, Nikki.

In: Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 54, No. 1, 2017, p. 35-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T2 - An analysis of songs composed by people with acquired neurodisability in an inpatient rehabilitation program

AU - Baker, Felicity

AU - Tamplin, Jeanette

AU - McDonald, Raymond

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AU - Roddy, Chantal

AU - Lee, Claire

AU - Rickard, Nikki

PY - 2017

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N2 - Background: Neurological trauma is associated with significant damage to people's pre-injury self-concept. Therapeutic songwriting has been linked with changes in self-concept and improved psychological well-being. Objective: This study analyzed the lyrics of songs composed by inpatients with neurological injuries who participated in a targeted songwriting program. The aim of this study was to understand which of the subdomains of the self-concept were the most frequently expressed in songs. Methods: An independent, deductive content analysis of 36 songs composed by 12 adults with spinal cord injury or brain injury (11 males, mean age 41 years +/- 13) were undertaken by authors 1 and 2. Results: Deductive analysis indicated that when writing about the past self, people created songs that reflected a strong focus on family and descriptions of their personality. In contrast, there is a clear preoccupation with the physical self, on the personal self, and a tendency for spiritual and moral reflections to emerge during the active phase of rehabilitation (song about the present self). Statistical analyses confirmed a significant self-concept subdomain by song interaction, F(10, 110) = 5.98, p < .001, ηp 2 = .35), which was primarily due to an increased focus on physical self-concept and a reduced focus on family self-concept in the present song, more than in either past or future songs. Conclusions: The analysis process confirmed that songwriting is a vehicle that allows for exploration of self-concept in individuals with neurological impairments. Songwriting may serve as a therapeutic tool to target the most prevalent areas of self-concept challenges for clients undergoing inpatient neurological rehabilitation programs.

AB - Background: Neurological trauma is associated with significant damage to people's pre-injury self-concept. Therapeutic songwriting has been linked with changes in self-concept and improved psychological well-being. Objective: This study analyzed the lyrics of songs composed by inpatients with neurological injuries who participated in a targeted songwriting program. The aim of this study was to understand which of the subdomains of the self-concept were the most frequently expressed in songs. Methods: An independent, deductive content analysis of 36 songs composed by 12 adults with spinal cord injury or brain injury (11 males, mean age 41 years +/- 13) were undertaken by authors 1 and 2. Results: Deductive analysis indicated that when writing about the past self, people created songs that reflected a strong focus on family and descriptions of their personality. In contrast, there is a clear preoccupation with the physical self, on the personal self, and a tendency for spiritual and moral reflections to emerge during the active phase of rehabilitation (song about the present self). Statistical analyses confirmed a significant self-concept subdomain by song interaction, F(10, 110) = 5.98, p < .001, ηp 2 = .35), which was primarily due to an increased focus on physical self-concept and a reduced focus on family self-concept in the present song, more than in either past or future songs. Conclusions: The analysis process confirmed that songwriting is a vehicle that allows for exploration of self-concept in individuals with neurological impairments. Songwriting may serve as a therapeutic tool to target the most prevalent areas of self-concept challenges for clients undergoing inpatient neurological rehabilitation programs.

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KW - Brain injury

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SN - 0022-2917

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