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Title: Exploring the Meaning and Function of Music in the Lives of Older People
Contributor(s): Hays, Terrence N (author); Minichiello, Victor  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: In this day and age, it would be difficult to escape the presence of music in our lives. Music is everywhere: in advertisements, entertainment, in elevators, waiting rooms, when refueling the car at service stations, in films and television, at sporting events, and in religious rituals. Prerecorded music is available on radio, compact disks, tapes, videos, iPods, and TV. My (Terrence's) qualitative study grew from a personal interest in wanting to understand the psychosocial function of music in people's lives. Prior to starting my postgraduate studies, I had trained as a music educator with a strong background in music performance. I have two grand pianos in my home, give concerts overseas, and play music nearly every day. I am a passionate musician. It was from my experience of performing that I became interested in knowing more about the ways people use music in their lives. In particular, what was the function and meaning of music in people's lives? One important person who inspired my curiosity was Mildred. Mildred described music in her life as giving her meaningfulness. She had been a piano teacher all her life, and although having retired from teaching in her late sixties, told me (at the age of ninety-eight years) that playing the piano each day provided her with a purpose, so that "each day is worth living." Mildred plays and practices the piano as often as she can and draws much pleasure from music. At the age of ninety-seven, she climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge; on her ninety-eighth birthday she parachuted from a plane. Today, Mildred is one hundred and five years old and still going strong.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Qualitative Journeys: Student and Mentor Experiences With Research, p. 141-156
Publisher: Sage Publications
Place of Publication: Thousand Oaks, USA
ISBN: 1412956773
Field of Research (FOR): 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B2 Chapter in a Book - Other
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