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

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

@article{68fd6ed7fc6047c2b96ec2aa515ccce0,
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.",
keywords = "Adjustment to disability, Brain injury, Self-concept, Songwriting, Spinal cord injury",
author = "Felicity Baker and Jeanette Tamplin and Raymond McDonald and Jennie Ponsford and Chantal Roddy and Claire Lee and Nikki Rickard",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1093/jmt/thw018",
language = "English",
volume = "54",
pages = "35--54",
journal = "Journal of Music Therapy",
issn = "0022-2917",
number = "1",

}

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

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring the self through songwriting

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

AU - Ponsford, Jennie

AU - Roddy, Chantal

AU - Lee, Claire

AU - Rickard, Nikki

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

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.

KW - Adjustment to disability

KW - Brain injury

KW - Self-concept

KW - Songwriting

KW - Spinal cord injury

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85019881053&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/jmt/thw018

DO - 10.1093/jmt/thw018

M3 - Article

VL - 54

SP - 35

EP - 54

JO - Journal of Music Therapy

JF - Journal of Music Therapy

SN - 0022-2917

IS - 1

ER -