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Music for LifeMusic Participation and Quality of Life for Senior Citizens$
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C. Victor Fung and Lisa J. Lehmberg

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199371686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199371686.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

The Graceful Singers

The Graceful Singers

A Traditional Church Choir

(p.123) Chapter 6 The Graceful Singers
Music for Life

Lisa Lehmberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the first of two case studies examining prominent, but dissimilar, senior citizen musical groups in Evergreen Town. The aim was to learn about the specific aspects of music participation that were relevant to group members’ quality of life. The Graceful Singers, a traditional church choir, was studied using an ethnographic approach, with the researcher in the role of participant-observer and interviewer. An examination of the church home and choir history; participants’ musical histories, music learning processes, and beliefs; and the choir’s function in the church and community showed that the choir’s role in participants’ quality of life was complex. It was a juxtaposition of fulfilled expectations derived from past musical histories and participation and fulfilled psychological and spiritual needs, through a culture that was extremely welcoming, interactive, and supportive. Overall, participants’ membership in the Graceful Singers choir was or had been a vitally important contributor to their quality of life.

Keywords:   case study, ethnographic approach, music learning processes, music participation, musical histories, psychological needs, quality of life, senior citizens, spiritual needs, traditional church choir

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