An Intergenerational Singing Group: A Community Music Therapy Qualitative Research Project and Graduate Student Mentoring Initiative


  • Guylaine Vaillancourt Concordia University Montreal, QC
  • Danna Da Costa Cambridge, ON
  • Evie (Yi) Han Fondation Dr. Julien Montreal, QC
  • Gloria Lipski Music Therapy Center Toronto, ON



Community music therapy, intergenerational, singing group, community, graduate students


This study describes the implementation and investigation of a community music therapy (CoMT) intergenerational singing group. Participants were a non-clinical group of adults aged 20 to 65 years old. Weekly sessions were held over a 10-week period at a community art studio in a lower-income neighborhood within a large Canadian urban city. Participants reported experiencing increased self-expression, a sense of accomplishment, improved respiration, and feelings of general well-being. They developed new relationships and social and community networks, however participants mentioned limitations regarding the sustainability of this community development. They also indicated challenges with the multilingual repertoire. Three professional music therapy graduate students, acting as co-researchers, were introduced to and mentored in implementing community music therapy practice and research. Potential implications and recommendations for further research are discussed.

Author Biographies

Guylaine Vaillancourt, Concordia University Montreal, QC

Guylaine Vaillancourt, PhD, MTA is an Associate Professor in music therapy  at Concordia University. She holds a PhD in Leadership and Change in the Professions (Antioch University). Her research interests related to mentoring apprentice music therapists, social justice through community music therapy, arts-based and participatory action research. She is a research member of the Concordia University’ Arts in Health Research Collective­­.

Danna Da Costa, Cambridge, ON

Danna Da Costa, MA, MTA is a Canadian music therapist, editor and researcher. She is passionate about promoting music therapy research through the CAMT Research Committee, and as editor of the MTAdvocate. Her research interests include music therapy’s effects on chronic pain, palliative care and community music therapy.

Evie (Yi) Han, Fondation Dr. Julien Montreal, QC

Evie (Yi) Han holds a Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy (Concordia University). She works in Community Social Pediatrics Care with the Dr. Julien Foundation in Montreal.

Gloria Lipski, Music Therapy Center Toronto, ON

Gloria Lipski, MA, MTA holds Master’s degrees in Ethnomusicology (University of Toronto) and Music Therapy (Concordia University). Her thesis research topics comprised inclusivity and difference in community choral singing, and autoethnography on interdisciplinary transition from ethnomusicology to music therapy.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Vaillancourt, G., Da Costa, D., Han, E. (Yi), & Lipski, G. (2018). An Intergenerational Singing Group: A Community Music Therapy Qualitative Research Project and Graduate Student Mentoring Initiative. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 18(1).