Amateur group singing as a therapeutic instrument

B. Bailey, Jane Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a study of a choir of homeless men who experienced positive life transformations since joining the choir. In view of holistic health constructs which propose that overall health and life satisfaction are rooted in cultural practices, it was considered that involvement in group singing, in a community setting germane to the lifestyle of the participants, may have contributed to the positive outcomes. The results of an interpretative phenomenological analysis of in–depth semi–structured interviews indicated that group singing appeared to promote therapeutic effects which precipitated from emotional, social and mental engagement. The themes are discussed in reference to Ruud's (1997) music therapeutic theory which promotes the importance of culturally relevant musical activities in enhancing quality of life. The similarities between Ruud's themes and those which evolved with the homeless singers emphasize the therapeutic role of commonplace, community–based musical activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-32
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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