Exploring a Music-based Intervention Entitled "Portrait Song" in School Music Therapy
Photo of author Rivka Elkoshi


songwriting, school music therapy, song composition, observational study, music-based intervention

How to Cite

Elkoshi, R. (2021). Exploring a Music-based Intervention Entitled "Portrait Song" in School Music Therapy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 21(3). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v21i3.3144


Songwriting has gained footing as one of the main approaches in music therapy. Many of the publications focus on various techniques whereby children and adults are assisted, individually or in groups, to create songs collaboratively. This study explored a non-collaborative song-based intervention entitled "Portrait Song"; namely, an original song composed by the therapist for and about specific recipients as a therapeutic tool. The "Portrait Song" intervention was initiated and implemented by Ms. Stella Lerner, an Israeli music therapist and composer. Two specific aims were set for the study: (1) to explore the nature of the "Portrait Song" practice as a means for school music therapy; and (2) to examine the effect of the "Portrait Song" intervention on students' outcomes. The author/researcher acted as an outside observer, evaluating the "Portrait Song" intervention and the students' experiences in two schools in Israel, which provide music therapy programs for children possessing a broad range of disorders. Data included field notes compiled during class observations, extensive interviews with the therapist, and examination of musical scores and written material. The study showed that the "Portrait Songs" intervention guided participants to higher levels of social adjustment, refined physical skills, and assisted with areas of self-identity and self-efficacy. Lerner's innovative "Portrait Song" intervention can give music therapists some perspectives about the possibility and benefits of composing complete therapeutic songs (lyrics and music) for and about specific clients in school settings.

Japanese abstract:


ステラ ラーナーのソングベイスドアプローチ









Copyright (c) 2021 Rivka Elkoshi

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