MA: Musical orientation of the elderly people in Japan

My MA which combined music therapy and new musicology was based on ethnographic research with residents of a care home and user of daycare center who participated in music therapy sessions, both field sites were in Kobe, Japan. A key interest for me was to develop a complete picture of what the musical interests and orientation of the users were, and put this into context to better understand how music therapy sessions for the elderly may be improved in the future.

A key finding was that although elderly people generally have a strong link to music through their personal (musical) biography, they tend to regulate themselves in public through selectively ignoring aspects of their own musical preferences if they deem it to not fit in with what is expected of them. (One recent example of someone who fights against such self censorship/ageism is the Young @ Heart Chorus in the USA). Based on my data I did a number of presentations a different conferences (Nara and Hokkaido in Japan, Buenos Aires and Folkstone in the UK) which explained the role of music therapy in social cultural regulation. Click here for an abstract.

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