Singing well-becoming: Student musical therapy case studies

Main Article Content

Tim Murphey

Abstract

Much research supports the everyday therapeutic and deeper socialneurophysiological influence of singing songs alone and in groups (Austin, 2008; Cozolino, 2013; Sacks, 2007). This study looks at what happens when Japanese students teach short English affirmation songlet-routines to others out of the classroom (clandestine folk music therapy). I investigate 155 student-conducted musical case studies from 7 semester-long classes (18 to 29 students per class) over a 4-year period. The assignments, their in-class training, and their results are introduced, with examples directly from their case studies. Each class published their own booklet of case studies (a class publication, available to readers online for research replication and modeling). Results show that most primary participants enjoyed spreading these positive songlets as they became “well-becoming agents of change” in their own social networks. “Well-becoming” emphasizes an agentive action or activity that creates better well-being in others, an action such as the sharing or teaching of a songlet. The qualitative data reveals a number of types of well-becoming such as social and familial bonding, meaning-making, teaching-rushes, and experiencing embodied cognition. The project also stimulated wider network dissemination of these well-becoming possibilities and pedagogical insights.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Murphey, T. (2014). Singing well-becoming: Student musical therapy case studies. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 205-235. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2014.4.2.4
Section
Articles
Author Biography

Tim Murphey, Kanda University of International Studies, 1-4-1 Wakaba, Mihama Ku, Chiba-Shi 261-0014

mitsmail1@gmail.com
Tim Murphey, PhD Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland, TESOL’s Professional Development in Language Education series editor, co-author with Zoltan Dörnyei of Group Dynamics in the Language Classroom (2004, CUP), author of Music and Song (1992, OUP), researches Vygotskian socio-cultural theory with transdisciplinary emphasis on community, play, and music at Kanda University, Japan. His most recent books are Teaching in Pursuit of Wow! (2012, Abax) and Meaningful Action: Earl Stevick’s Influence on Language Teaching (2013, CUP), co-edited with Jane Arnold. He also has a critical novel on the Japanese entrance exam system in Italian, Japanese, and English, The Tale that Wags. Tim Murphey grew up in a very musical/sportive family and did his PhD at the Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland on the use of music and song in foreign language learning (while teaching skiing) and in his younger days played his guitar in the Paris subways and college campus cafés producing two LPs and several 45s.

References

  1. Murphey, T. (Ed.). (2010). Music Therapy Case Studies 1 July. A class publication at Kanda University of International Studies. Chiba, Japan.
  2. Murphey, T. (Ed.). (2011). Music Therapy Case Studies 2 Dec. A class publication at Kanda University of International Studies. Chiba, Japan.
  3. Murphey, T. (Ed.). (2012). Music Therapy Case Studies 3 July. A class publication at Kanda University of International Studies. Chiba, Japan.
  4. Murphey, T. (Ed.). (2013). Music Therapy Case Studies 4 Jan. A class publication at Kanda University of International Studies. Chiba, Japan.
  5. Murphey, T. (Ed.). (2013). Music Therapy Case Studies 5 July. A class publication at Kanda University of International Studies. Chiba, Japan.
  6. Murphey, T. (Ed.). (2014). Music Therapy Case Studies 6 Jan. A class publication at Kanda University of International Studies. Chiba, Japan.
  7. Murphey, T. (Ed.). (2013). How do people help you have a great day and meaningful life (volume 7 for this study) Jan. A class publication at Kanda University of International Studies. Chiba, Japan.