When I Grow Down – Music, Spirituality and Memory Loss: a Performative Lecture on Aging


Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging




This article uses a postmodern methodology to set out a model of life which consists of a time of growing up and learning to speak, and of growing down when the power of speech and cognition gradually disintegrates. It describes how this was presented at a conference partly by means of drama (including movement and music) at the beginning and ending of a lecture which was designed to show the important role of music at the beginning and end of life. The centre of the presentation sets out the research into the role of music in personhood, wellbeing and health. It examines the role of music in connectedness, community and identity. There is much evidence for the relationship between music and health which is leading to the possibility of doctors prescribing music. The growth of community choirs has seen the growth of a musical aesthetic which values wellbeing highly. A phenomenography of the musical experience clarifies the relationship between music and wellbeing and the potentially transformative effects of the liminal space created by the four domains of musicking—Materials, Expression, Construction and Values. It also sets out a way of presenting research that engages the mind, body, emotions and spirituality of the audience. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Cognitive Abilities; Elderly; Memory; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

aging; drama; connection; wellbeing; Spirituality; Well Being; Memory; Memory Decay

Study Type

Editorial, Opinions, Position Papers

Document Type