Singing for Health, Connection and Care

Amy Clements-Cortés


Singing Together was the third part of a multi-phase investigation examining the benefits of singing with older adults in an adult daycare program (Phase 1), and in a long-term care facility (Phases 2 and 3). Phase 3 focused on residents of a long-term care facility who were diagnosed with mild to moderate cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, and was unique in its extended scope of examining their choral participation with caregivers, or significant others. Pain, energy level, and mood were assessed using multiple objective and self-reported tools. Results of 16 weeks of choir sessions indicate statistically significant reduced perceptions of pain and increased energy and mood for both residents and significant others. Qualitative themes in this study included: encourages maximized participation; facilitates interaction and bonding; promotes enjoyment and fun; encourages improved mood and attitude; facilitates energy and motivation; promotes stress release and relaxation; and singing as a recognized therapy. Future implications of these findings will be discussed as well as overall analysis of the research project. A literature review outlining the effects of clinical choral singing with respect to older adults was provided in Part1: Clinical Effects of Choral Singing for Older Adults [1]of this two part paper.

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by The International Association for Music & Medicine