In our Mindfulness-Based Music and Songwriting study, caregivers/parents of children with developmental disabilities learned and applied mindfulness principles through the practice of creating original songs about their children and themselves. Songwriting focused on applying mindfulness principles such as paying attention without judgment and loving kindness.
Click here for a selection of songs from participants in the study.
All songs are shared with participant permission.
Mindfulness / Mindful Songwriting Information
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention, in the present moment, without judgment. Mindfulness helps us to tune into our feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Cultivating mindfulness can reduce stress by giving us a new way to be aware of ourselves and our experiences. Songwriting provides an avenue for participants to explore and relate the principles of mindfulness in their own words and through a new experience.
Mindful listening involves paying attention to the sounds in our environment, as well as noticing the silence between sounds. Whether listening to a brand new song or a favorite song that you’ve heard many times before, try paying attention and noticing the sounds of the instrument(s), the voices, or the lyrics, as well as the spaces between these events. If your mind wonders, just notice this, and then bring it back to the sounds of the song. When listening to the Mindful Songwriting songs, try to notice if any specific sounds or lyrics stick out to you. Each time you listen, you can focus your awareness on a specific aspect of the listening experience: Do you notice any physical sensations in your body when listening? Does the song conjure any specific thoughts or feelings? Do you find yourself visualizing anything in response to the sounds or lyrics? Each of these approaches provides a way to mindfully engage with the music.