Therapeutic Choir - A Music Therapist Looks at the New Millenium Elderly
AbstractThis paper is the result of qualitative Music Therapy research in Gerontology. It introduces a new concept, - the therapeutic choir - a therapeutic activity conducted by music therapists for the elderly. Data collection was carried out through such instruments as music therapeutic forms, session reports, audio recordings of sessions (later transcribed), footage, final statements (by the majority of participants) and the transcribed and videotaped interviews of ten participants. A written consent was obtained from the group of participants for the entire process of data collection. Another object of analysis consisted of a video of the last session, which was later shown to three professionals pertaining to different areas. Data analysis was based on the phenomenological paradigm and the participants' profile was quantitatively treated. After the analysis process, three essences emerged from the studied element: singing is a means for both self-expression and self- fulfilment; songs reveal the subjectivity/inner existentiality of the being; and finally, the being's self-confidence instills in the participants of the therapeutic choir expectations about the future. Final considerations indicate that the concept of therapeutic choir may be enlarged and extended to other skilled areas. Finally, it was concluded that when dealing with the elderly, the music therapist should reflect deeply on themes related to life and death, in addition to rethinking his/her relationship with time's multiple faces.
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