Singing and companionship in the Hawthorn University of the Third Age Choir, Australia

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The international University of the Third Age (U3A) embodies the principles of lifelong learning and personal fulfilment amongst members. The research reported in this article focused on the Choir of the U3A Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia and the benefits perceived by members undertaking this active music engagement in non-competitive choral singing. This small-scale phenomenological qualitative case study is part of a wider study of active arts engagement by older people that began in 2008. This study was undertaken in 2013 and revealed that participants decided to join the group for a range of factors including a positive attitude to singing, convenience and a desire for social connectedness. Those interviewed considered ongoing choir membership an effective use of leisure time that also provided opportunities for shared learning and personal validation. The data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and are reported under two themes: music engagement and social connections. Membership of the Hawthorn U3A choir provided participants opportunities for friendship, companionship, happiness, a sense of belonging and acceptance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334 - 347
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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