Participation in Amateur Orchestra and Subjective Well-being in Korea


Hyun-Jung Kang


The Arts in Psychotherapy




The purpose of this mixed-methods research was to investigate which individual and external factors related to participation in an amateur orchestra influence members’ subjective well-being (SWB) and how those factors contribute to members’ SWB from a community music therapy (CoMT) perspective in South Korean context. The study employed a sequential explanatory mixed-method design and was grounded in the framework of human ecological systems theory. Quantitative data were gathered from 126 members of nine amateur orchestras through a survey questionnaire including demographics and musical background, Perceived Values of the Amateur Orchestra Members (PVAOM), the Basic Psychological Needs Scales (BPNS), the Individualism and Collectivism Scale (INS-COL), and the Satisfaction with the Life Scale (SWLS). Results from hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that four factors were significantly associated with amateur orchestra members’ SWB: musical identity, relatedness, having a common connection among members, and vertical collectivism (VC). In order to illustrate and enhance understanding of the members’ experience related to the four factors, secondary qualitative data were collected from interviews with nine members among survey respondents. Qualitative content analysis of interview data produced the following themes: (a) in terms of VC, experiencing interdependence among members, approving authority of a leader, sharing a communal goal, serving and dedicating to the orchestra, and feeling a sense of togetherness; (b) in terms of musical identity, identifying and expressing interdependent self via playing his or her own instrument; (c) in terms of relatedness, experiencing deep interaction via playing in the orchestra music, and (d) in terms of having a common connection among members, promoting active interaction among members, enhancing community solidarity and a sense of belonging. These themes confirmed findings from the literature but indicated that respect and conformity for leaders and interdependence is more valuable in Korean contexts compared to Western contexts. Overall findings of the analysis showed the values and possibilities of amateur orchestras as a music community for SWB in Korea. This study revealed amateur orchestras as communities where different cultural values are harmonized within contexts of everyday life. The CoMT perspective contributed to findings that music as milieu can reflect and satisfy contemporary sociocultural needs as well as individuals’ needs while mutually interacting with participants and multilayered environments. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Engagement Level; Interviews; Mental Health; Music Therapy; Questionnaires; Sense of Coherence; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Musical community; Amateur orchestra; Subjective well-being (SWB); Ecological systemic framework; Mixed-methods; Community music therapy (CoMT); Collectivism; Well Being; Interdependence; Community Involvement; Systems Theory; Test Construction

Study Type

Mixed Methods

Document Type