Songwriting for Nature: Increasing Nature Connection and Well-being Through Musical Creativity

Katherine D. Arbuthnott
Glenn C. Sutter


We conducted two field studies to examine whether songwriting retreats held in a natural setting would increase nature connectedness, as well as improve emotional well-being and performance on a creative reasoning task. In the first study, high school students took part in songwriting instruction either in their school or at a national wildlife conservation area. Results showed that the natural setting uniquely increased nature connection, while both settings improved mood and creative reasoning performance. In the second study, we observed similar effects for adults who attended songwriting retreats at the same conservation area and compared this to results from a science-based workshop in another remote natural area to assess whether nature connection effects were entirely attributable to nature contact. The findings of these studies imply that both musical creativity and outdoor education experiences improve well-being, while outdoor education also increases nature connectedness, and songwriting also increases creative reasoning. [Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 25(12) of Environmental Education Research (see record [rid]2020-06598-010[/rid]). The original article was published with incorrect Figures 5–8. The revised Figures 5–8 are given in the erratum.] (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)