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Innovative Qualitative Study Essay

Decent Essays
The purpose of this innovative qualitative study was to explore the role of music in the lives of healthy older performance musicians (“PMs”). Seven demographic and 18 semi-structured interview questions were asked of a convenience sample of 18 PMs. This study illustrates that lifelong learning of music and participation in community music offers personal benefits of camaraderie, relationships, socialization, and challenging repertory that enhances quality of life. Music was viewed as their life, even if music was their livelihood. The findings have great importance to applied gerontologists, and music education advocates because healthy aging and quality of life emerged on the phenomenon of what the role of music is to PMs.
Key words: lifelong
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Indeed, over the past century, life expectancy increased from 47 years to 80 years due to decreases in mortality due to acute illnesses (Population Reference Bureau, 2002). This resulted in millions of adults living an additional 30 to 40 years of life (Population Reference Bureau, 2013). Many older adults pursue personal interests, and community music (i.e., choirs, symphonies, and bands) is one personal interest that older PMs choose to invest their time, energy, and resources.
Community music is an ancient practice of social entertainment performed by musicians in venues that are either indoors or outdoors, large or small. Community music repertoire reflects a community’s cultural values, beliefs, and behaviors (Veblen, 2007). Veblen states that community music has been internationally researched for the past 100 years; yet there is little agreement among researchers because community music varies in all societies such as characteristics of musicians, conductors, repertoire, and
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Generalized effects of music on illnesses reportedly improved (1) emotions, (2) physical health, (3) cognitive health, (4) spiritual health, and (5) social health (Abdellah, 1988; Goddaer & Abraham, 1994; Karras, 1987; Schweinsberg, 1981; Spitzer & Coutinho, 2014). On the other hand, interdisciplinarians (i.e., educators, epidemiologists and other medical practitioners, demographers, and statisticians to name a few) have investigated NPMs living in communities and quantitatively measured the effects of music on them. Creech, Hallam, Varvarigou, McQueen, and Gaunt (2013) conducted a study with older adults to explore the relationship between singing, other activities, and well-being. The authors reported singing improved (1) mental health, (2) physical health, and (3) well-being compared to other activities such as learning a foreign language, reading books, yoga exercises, and forming social groups, which agrees with other studies (i.e., Bowers, 1998; Hays & Minichiello, 2005; Joseph & Southcott, 2014, and Skingley, Martin, & Clift,
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