Learning through teaching: exploring what conservatoire students learn from teaching beginner older adults

Perkins, R. and Aufegger, L. and Williamon, A. (2014) Learning through teaching: exploring what conservatoire students learn from teaching beginner older adults. International Journal of Music Education, 33 (1). pp. 101-117.

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Building on burgeoning research in the field of arts and health, this article explores the role that learning music plays in enhancing wellbeing in older adulthood. Despite an increasing focus on the role of learning in supporting mental wellbeing, there is strikingly little research that examines this in relation to music, or that explores wellbeing as a subjective phenomenon captured through mixed-methods enquiry. This research addresses this gap through two inter-related studies. Study 1 adopts questionnaire measures of wellbeing with 98 music-learning and comparison participants, concluding that learning in older adulthood offers significant wellbeing benefits, with music particularly enhancing some health-promoting behaviours. To explore in more detail what learning music means to older adults, Study 2 adopts qualitative methods with a sub-group of 21 music-learning participants, concluding that learning music can enhance subjective wellbeing through six mechanisms: (i) subjective experiences of pleasure; (ii) enhanced social interactions; (iii) musically-nuanced engagement in day-to-day life; (iv) fulfilment of musical ambition; (v) ability to make music; and (vi) self-satisfaction through musical progress. Drawing the two studies together, the paper concludes by arguing for further research to contribute to the growing body of evidence placing music learning at the centre of healthy ageing agendas.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Music Psychology
Music Education
Division: Performance Science
Depositing User: Professor Aaron Williamon
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 11:13
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2018 11:16
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0255761414531544
URI: http://researchonline.rcm.ac.uk/id/eprint/17

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