Finding a place for personal growth in an Australian community singing group for older people

Joseph, Dawn and Southcott, Jane 2013, Finding a place for personal growth in an Australian community singing group for older people, in AEC-APSMER 2013 : Arts Education and the Community : 9th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research, National institute of Education, Singapore, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore, pp. 1-1.

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Title Finding a place for personal growth in an Australian community singing group for older people
Author(s) Joseph, Dawn
Southcott, Jane
Conference name 9th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research (2013: Singapore)
Conference location Republic Polytechnic, Singapore
Conference dates 17-19 July 2013
Title of proceedings AEC-APSMER 2013 : Arts Education and the Community : 9th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research
Editor(s) Hoo, Chee
Publication date 2013
Conference series AEC-APSMER : Arts Education Conference - Asia Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research
Start page 1
End page 1
Total pages 1
Publisher National institute of Education, Singapore
Place of publication Republic Polytechnic, Singapore
Keyword(s) music engagement
community singing group
ageing and wellbeing
Summary As in many countries, Australia is faced with an aging population. This creates challenges for the maintenance of well-being which can be enhanced by active engagement in society. Music engagement encompasses a range of social participation and has the potential to recognise the contribution of older people to their local communities. Engagement in music by older people (50+) is positively related to individual and community well-being.  Music participation can contribute to a better quality of life, particularly in relation to health and happiness. The possible forms of music engagement are myriad.

This paper focuses on two members of a mixed voluntary singing group formed by older residents of an outer suburban community in Melbourne, Australia.  This study frames music as a positive way for older people to find a place for personal growth and fulfilment in a singing group. This phenomenological qualitative single case study focuses on two members of a small singing ensemble, the Skylarkers, formed to perform at retirement villages, nursing homes and facilities for senior citizens. In this study, data were gathered by interviews and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Two significant themes emerged. The first concerned the nature of the choir and its fluid membership and notions of self-identity. The second theme concerns the validation offered to individual members by active music participation through which they gained a sense of purpose, fulfilment and personal growth. This emphasis is unusual in discussions of community music engagement that ordinarily identify the importance of social connections. Groups such as the Skylarkers provide a place for members to continue their active engagement with music performance and music learning.
Language eng
Field of Research 190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)
HERDC Research category E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055490

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Education
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