Participatory Choral Music as a Means of Engagement in a Veterans' Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Setting

Marian Liebowitz
Mark Steven Tucker
Melanie Frontz
Shaila Mulholland


Background: the purpose of this study was to investigate how participation in a music-based performance and instruction program influenced the sense of engagement experienced by participants at a residential setting for at-risk veterans. Methods: semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants in a veterans' choir program conducted at the facility. Results: prominent themes that emerged from the interview included (1) the veterans' personal motivations for participating; (2) emotions associated with participation; and (3) perceptions of intragroup dynamics. Conclusions: primary conclusions drawn include: (1) opportunities to connect with others through shared interests may contribute to sense of engagement; (2) connections forged with other residents of the facility extended beyond relationships established in the choir through increased recognition associated with performances; and (3) the choir represented a diversion from pressing concerns and may have served as a means of facilitating adjustment to change at a measured pace. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)