This research explored the personal development resulting from songwriting interactions of undergraduate liberal arts students in two sections of a first-year experience course working to develop and refine songwriting skill. The goal of the course was to help students communicate and express themselves through songwriting in a supportive and collaborative environment. In-class activities included students collaboratively analyzing and discussing existing songs, interacting with guest songwriters, and discussing two texts. Student assignments included creating five original songs, analyzing pre-existing self-chosen songs, mentoring and collaborating with each other regarding their original songs, performing in a coffee-house presentation, and reflecting on their development in a songwriter’s journal and final reflection paper. Data were the students’ final reflection papers and lyrics from the original songs. Analysis of the data revealed numerous rewards of engaging in the songwriting activity. Songwriting appears to facilitate student development through enabling emotional stability, offering therapeutic benefits, and providing a vehicle for self-expression, self-discovery, and overcoming challenges.
Riley, Patricia E.
"Exploration of Student Development through Sonwriting,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 22, Article 6.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol22/iss1/6