This qualitative heuristic study explored the subjective experience of transformation resulting from the practice of songwriting in nonclinical populations, through semistructured interviews with 12 songwriters, 6 men and 6 women, aged 35-69. Thematic content analysis yielded 6 top-level themes: Connecting, Communicating, Wellbeing, Affirmation, Personal Growth, and Making A Difference. Subthemes of Connecting reflect a wide variety of transpersonal experiences. The Communicating subthemes capture ways in which songwriting afforded participants a language superior to speech for Expressing Feelings, Sharing Self, and Sending A Message. Participants reported Personal Growth, expressed through subthemes Processing Experience (making meaning of painful material) and Empowerment. Learning explicitly that one of their songs had had a significant impact on a listener was the mostly strongly articulated transformative experience for participants, described in Making A Difference. The findings support models of transformation in the expressive arts literature; through transpersonal encounters in liminality, both songwriter and listeners are transformed.
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Beech, H. F. (2015). Beech, H. F. (2015). Songwriting and transformation: The subjective experience of sharing self through song. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 34(1-2), 187–201.. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 34 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2015.34.1-2.187