Te Puna Puoru National Centre for Research in Music Education and Sound Arts – MERC ,University of Canterbury
Place of publication
In 2008, the Australian Federal Minister for Ageing identified the importance of promoting social engagement amongst older Australians who frequently rely on community arts organizations to enhance quality of life, specifically in health, happiness and community. The arts are identified as a powerful catalyst in building strong communities that have the potential for connection, caring and social development. Greater active engagement in performing arts by older people is positively related to enhanced individual and community well-being. Our research study, Wellbeing and ageing: community, diversity and the arts (begun in 2008), explores cultural diversity and complexity within older Australian society through an examination of engagement with a community choir. In 2009 data were collected via semi-structured interviews that were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis which utilises a phenomenological approach that explores personal experience in the participant’s life-world. Our research study focuses on one community choir, the Bosnian Behar Choir, in Victoria, Australia, as a lens through which to explore active ageing. Three significant issues were identified from this research which will be reported under the themes of well-being, community and cultural diversity. The Bosnian Behar Choir demonstrates how community music making can enhance well-being and positive ageing in contemporary Australia.
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