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‘We’re all in the same boat’: How participatory songwriting might enhance Singing for Breathing’s psychosocial benefits

Yoeli, H. ORCID: 0000-0001-5505-9366, Durant, S., McLusky, S. & Macnaughton, J. (2021). ‘We’re all in the same boat’: How participatory songwriting might enhance Singing for Breathing’s psychosocial benefits. Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 12(2), pp. 125-144. doi: 10.1386/jaah_00060_1


Within arts and health, participatory songwriting is recognized as an enjoyable and effective way to encourage emotional connectedness and social cohesion. This study used phenomenological ethnography to consider how collaborative songwriting might enhance the participatory experience of a Singing for Breathing group for people with breathlessness and chronic lung disease. Participants used the songwriting process to celebrate and develop their shared identity, musical and cultural heritage. Songwriting enabled participants to share their lived experiences of the anxiety and social isolation of chronic lung disease, and thereby to explore their being ‘all in the same boat’ musically, culturally and existentially. When considered within the context of similar singing-based and writing-based research, this study suggests that participatory and collaborative songwriting projects might confer psychosocial benefits to a group and to its members. While further research is needed, we propose that singing groups aiming to improve health should include songwriting.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in Journal of Applied Arts and Health, Intellect. DOI: This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.
Publisher Keywords: songwriting, singing, Singing for Breathing, breathlessness
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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