1 University of Naples "Federico II" (ITALY)
2 University Federal de Rio de Janeiro (BRAZIL)
3 University of Kent (UNITED KINGDOM)
4 Hamline University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 589-598
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Music can have a strong psychology effect on people in terms of affect, autobiographical memories, and also mental imagery (Juslin, & Västfjäll, 2008) [1]. Recent research indicates that music can be used as a tool to promote private writing, a type of writing which results from emotions and autobiographical memory (Ramirez, Beilock, 2011) [2]. Moreover, research indicates that such therapeutic writing can work as medium to reappraise passed events (Chen, Penhune, Zatorre, 2008; Conway, 2008) [3] [4].

This paper discusses the didactic value of music motivated autobiographical writing after music listening (Strollo, Vittoria, 2012) [5]. Moreover, results will be presented of a recent study that was conducted among 25 undergraduate psychology students to further explore this topic. As part of this research students were invited to download a list of 100 musical tracks on their I-pod and listen to this music in a classroom while writing about any memories that were recalled during this task. After listening to the music, participants were asked to respond to an administered questionnaire and had to write in a logbook. The questionnaire was constructed and tested ad hoc referring to the scientific literature on the topic and to the analysis of the categories emerging from the logbooks of participants of a prior study.

Results indicate that students could use autobiographical writing as a device of retrospection, self-reflection and self-training. Moreover, students seem to grasp the elements of self-censorship and self-control, to test the role of music on cognitive processes and in particular the association between music, emotions and experiences (Strollo, 2011) [6]. Findings indicated that this project increased people’s awareness of the connections between music, body and cognitive processes as formative tools, particularly thanks to music “projective” potential which allows spontaneous memory recall. The research could be interesting also for the approach of mixed methodologies, which overcome the gap between quantitative and qualitative research.

[1] Juslin, P. N., & Västfjäll, D. (2008). Emotional responses to music: The need to consider underlying mechanisms. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 31, 559-621. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X08005293
[2] Ramirez G., Beilock S.L. (2011).Writing About Testing Worries Boosts Exam Performance in the Classroom. Science, 14 January 2011, pp.3-211
[3] Chen J.L., Penhune V.B., Zatorre R. (2008). Listening to Musical Rhythms Recruits Motor Regions of the Brain. Cerebral Cortex Advance Access, April 3, 2008.
[4] Conway M.A. (2003). Commentary. Cognitive-affective Mechanisms and Processes in Autobiographical Memory, Memory, 11, 2003, pp. 4-217.
[5] Strollo M.R., Vittoria P. (2012). A formação de educadores através de percursos estéticos: teatro, musica e narração. In: VI Colloquio internacional de filosofia da educacao. filosofar: aprender e ensinar. Rio de Janeiro, 15-17/8/2012, p. 1-14, Rio de Janeiro:uerj/maracanà.
[6] Strollo M.R. (2011). Musica e parole. Un progetto pilota. Quaderni di didattica della scrittura, Nr. 15-16/2011. Roma, Carocci Editore.
Music, body, cognitive processes, educational practices, research methodologies in university contexts.