A place for singing: Active music engagement by older Chinese Australians | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1752-6299
  • E-ISSN: 1752-6302


Positive, active engagement in community singing groups can provide emotional, social, cognitive and physical benefits to older participants. This article explores these benefits through the experiences of a group of older Chinese Australians still active in their local community. Using a qualitative, phenomenological case study approach, it draws on the participants’ own understandings and experiences with singing and music. In settings such as this, language barriers can compound social isolation and loneliness in individuals, and may hamper studies of culturally and linguistically diverse older people. Thus, participants were interviewed in their first language, Mandarin Chinese. The data from these interviews were thematically analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), which explores how participants make sense of their personal and social world. Four broad themes were identified from the data: Emotional well-being, connections with the past, shared interests and mental and physical well-being. Each of these themes is explored in the article through the words and experiences of the participants.


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