Participatory Music-making and Well-being Within Immigrant Cultural Practice: Exploratory Case Studies in South East Queensland, Australia


Leisure Studies




Music participation is a way of life for many cultures and is an activity that is often passed on generationally. It can become especially important as a leisure activity for maintenance of self- and national identity for people who have migrated to countries of contrasting cultures, such as Australia. This article describes exploratory, qualitative research into the ways in which participatory music-making within communities from immigrant backgrounds in Brisbane, Australia may influence aspects of participants’ wellbeing. The sample for this research included three broadly-defined cultural groups living in the region: people of Baltic origin; people from Latin American and Caribbean backgrounds; and ‘newly arrived’ immigrants and refugees. Interviews with individuals have been analysed to explore the ways in which this involvement might affect mental, social, and emotional wellbeing. Our qualitative analyses demonstrated that beyond these aspects, factors of subjective wellbeing, both hedonic and eudaimonic, were apparent. This article aims to provoke discussions on the divergent ways in which immigrant communities utilise music-making practices to foster different types of wellbeing and the importance of maintaining diversity through cultural practices. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Music Medicine; Recreative Music Methods; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Music participation; wellbeing; refugees; immigrants; community music; Communities; Immigration; Well Being; Human Migration; Leisure Time

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type