Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Mark A. Belfast

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas J. Gollery

Third Advisor

Dr. Kristine N. Spinks


The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to evaluate bereaved individuals’ responses to a reflective songwriting program intervention (RSPI). The purposive and convenient sample included 30 bereaved adults who were members of the teaching staff at a private, Christian, K-12 school in the southeastern United States and/or past or present members of the church with which the school was affiliated. The researcher developed a simple and succinct RSPI in which study participants were prompted to create an original musical piece using personal reflections, memories, and descriptions in song form to commemorate a deceased loved one. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) was implemented to assess the study participants’ self-perceived levels of mental well-being before and after the utilization of the RSPI. Levels of optimism, self-confidence, positive relations with others, and overall well-being were evaluated from the WEMWBS questionnaire results. The results revealed differences in the participants’ levels of all four constructs of optimism, self-confidence, positive relations with others, and overall well-being. The data suggest an RSPI had a positive effect on bereaved individuals’ levels of well-being. Keywords: bereavement, grief, reflective songwriting, music therapy intervention, music education, music therapy education, creative art therapy, grief intervention, micro intervention, grief counseling, mental well-being, Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, WEMWBS, cognitive therapy, self-reflecting, self-coping mechanism, rumination