"untold Stories to Tell": Making Space for the Voices of Youth Songwriters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article shares findings from case studies of two eighteen-year-old songwriters, Bradley and James. The study investigated songwriter motivation, writing methods, and school experiences. Data was collected over the course of one year through two in-depth interviews per songwriter, two teacher interviews, and 101 songwriting artifacts. Grounded theory and constant comparison methods were used during data analysis. This study found that Bradley's and James's music emphasizes acceptance of others and critical engagement with social issues. They see songwriting as a masculine alternative to journaling, and they have strong preferences regarding their writing tools, time, and spaces. Additionally, these songwriters prefer to write one line at a time, to skip pre-writing, and to have a choice of topic - preferences that sometimes conflicted with their school experiences. This article concludes by offering suggestions for supporting songwriting in school. FREE author podcast

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-379
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013


  • Adolescence
  • Adult
  • Audience
  • Case study
  • Choice, preference
  • College/university students
  • Digital/media literacies
  • Early adolescence
  • Genres
  • Instructional strategies, teaching strategies
  • Interest
  • Modes
  • Motivation/engagement
  • Narrative, narrative inquiry
  • New literacies
  • Purpose
  • Qualitative
  • Research methodology
  • Specific media (hypertext, Internet, film, music, etc.)
  • Strategies, methods, and materials
  • To learners in which of the following categories does your work apply?
  • Writer's workshop
  • Writing
  • Writing process
  • Writing strategies
  • Writing to learn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of '"untold Stories to Tell": Making Space for the Voices of Youth Songwriters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this