Artful Wellness: Attending Chamber Music Concert Reduces Pain and Increases Mood and Energy for Older Adults


The Arts in Psychotherapy




The purpose of this study was to examine the experience of providing professional chamber music to cognitively intact and cognitively impaired older adults in various long-term care and community settings. A total of 30 concerts involving 4 types of chamber music performances were prepared and offered to the participating facilities over a 6-month period. 3 participant groups were involved in the data collection: performing musicians, staff at the long-term care and community centres, and older adults. Data were collected via surveys of the 3 participant groups, pre- and post-tests of older adults, informal comments recorded by the researcher and/or musicians, and observations. Results from pre- and post- tests using paired t-tests indicate that pain was reduced, and energy and mood increased for the older adults each at the (p < 0.01) level. 4 large themes emerged from the survey and observation data and demonstrated that when attending the concerts, older adults experienced: engagement, enjoyment, and special moments with others; and connection and meaning were fostered. Additionally, it was found that some of the benefits extended to the performing musicians. Further research is implicated on the impact of choral experiences for older adults diagnosed with cognitive impairment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Elderly; Inpatient Rehabilitation; Live Music Listening; Mood; Mood Scales; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Self-Report Measures

Indexed Terms

Chamber music; Older adults; Wellness; Engagement; Community; Aging; Chronic Pain; Emotional States; Cognitive Impairment

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type