Music Participation for Older People: Five Choirs in Victoria, Australia

Dawn Joseph
Jane Southcott


In Australia and across the globe music participation by older people active in the community has the potential to enhance quality of life. A recent review of the literature found clear evidence of numerous benefits from participation in active music making that encompass the social, physical and psychological. This article reports on five phenomenological case studies of community singing groups comprised of older people active in the community in Melbourne, Victoria. These studies are part of a research project, Well-being and Ageing: Community, Diversity and the Arts in Victoria that began in 2008. Interview data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis and are reported under three overarching themes: Social connection, A sense of well-being, and Musical engagement. For older people in these studies singing in community choirs offered opportunities for social cohesion, positive ageing, and music learning that provided a sense of personal and group fulfilment, community engagement and resilience. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)