The Meaning of Music in the Lives of Older People:a Qualitative Study


Psychology of Music




This qualitative study describes the experience of music and focuses on the emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual well-being roles that music plays in the lives of older people. In-depth interviews were used to explore the meaning, importance and function of music for 52 older Australians living in the community aged 60 years and older. The findings revealed that music provides people with ways of understanding and developing their self-identity; connecting with others; maintaining well-being; and experiencing and expressing spirituality. The results show how music contributes to positive ageing by providing ways for people to maintain positive self-esteem, feel competent, independent, and avoid feelings of isolation or loneliness. The study highlights the need to be better informed about how music can facilitate and sustain older people's well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Elderly; Engagement Level; Interviews; Mental Health; Recreative Music Methods; Self-Concept; Social Isolation; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

meaning; well being; positive aging; Aging; Spirituality

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type