Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"Loving me and my butterfly wings:" A study of hip-hop songs written by adolescents in music therapy
by Viega, Michael, Ph.D., Temple University, 2013, 367; 3552365
Abstract (Summary)

The aim of this arts-based research study was to experience, analyze, and gain insight into songs written by adolescents who have had adverse childhood experiences and who identify with Hip Hop culture. This study investigated the aesthetic components of eleven songs including their musical elements, the compositional techniques, the affective-intuitive qualities, and the interaction between the music and the lyrics. An arts-based research design, rooted in the ethos of Hip Hop, was employed to gain a holistic understanding of the songs.

My artistic encounters and subsequent analyses of the songs revealed the complex inner struggles and developmental challenges for adolescents who have experienced extreme trauma. Three groupings of songs emerged: Songs that Protect Vulnerability, Songs of Abandonment, and Songs of Faith and Love. Each category reflects a different stage of developmental growth for the songwriters. Employing Fowler's (1981/1995) stages of faith development, a music-centered developmental model of therapeutic songwriting with adolescents is proposed in this study. This model consists of three therapeutic songwriting stages: Imitation, Developing Self-Reflection, and Developing Self-Love. The implications for this study include developing an arts-based method of song analysis for students and professionals, developing a music-centered therapeutic songwriting assessment, developing a perspective for music therapy practice and research rooted in the ethos of Hip Hop, and developing longitudinal arts-based research studies that track the life of songs across various stages of developmental growth.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Aigen, Kenneth
Commitee: Dileo, Cheryl, Flanagan, Edward
School: Temple University
Department: Music Therapy
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Music, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Adolescents, Adverse childhood experiences, Arts-based research, Hip hop, Music therapy, Songwriting
Publication Number: 3552365
ISBN: 9781267908230
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