Popular Music Preferences of Elderly People

Gibbons, Alicia Clair
December 1977
Journal of Music Therapy;Winter1977, Vol. 14 Issue 4, p180
Academic Journal
A basic premise in music therapy practice is that most adults prefer music of their young adult years to music of other life periods, and that preferred music is more likely to promote participation in music therapy activities than nonpreferred music. It is also quite commonly assumed that elderly adults tend to prefer sedative to stimulative musical experiences. In order to test these assumptions about elderly persons' musical preferences, a study was conducted (N = 60) to determine: (a) whether or not elderly people tend to prefer music that was popular in their young adult years to music that was popular later in their lives; and (b) whether or not elderly people prefer stimulative to sedative music. Results of the study indicated that elderly persons strongly prefer popular music of their young adult years to popular music of life periods after young adulthood (p < .001). Results also indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in preferences for sedative or stimulative music. However, the raw data showed that elderly persons tend to prefer stimulative to sedative music in all age categories. The study supports the music therapy premise that adults prefer music of their young adult years, but refutes the notion that elderly persons tend to prefer sedative to stimulative music. If music preference is a factor in successful music experiences for elderly adults, then popular music of young adult years may more likely promote successful experience than popular music of later life periods.


Related Articles

  • The Effects of a Movement with Music Program on Measures of Balance and Gait Speed in Healthy Older Adults. Hamburg, Janet; Clair, Alicia Ann // Journal of Music Therapy;Fall2003, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p212 

    A group of 16 healthy older adults participated in a movement with music program to enhance physical flexibility, balance, and gait speed. The program, designed by a Laban Movement Analyst, consisted of 14 movement sequences set to music composed to reflect the dynamics, rhythm, timing, and...

  • Geriatric Clients' Preferences for Specific Popular Songs to Use during Singing Activities. VanWeelden, Kimberly; Cevasco, Andrea M. // Journal of Music Therapy;Summer2009, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p147 

    Researchers suggest popular music to be primarily preferred by seniors. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine geriatric clients' preferences for particular popular songs to possibly use in singing activities. Specifically, the researchers sought to determine whether the seniors'...

  • Music Therapy Students' Recognition of Popular Song Repertoire for Geriatric Clients. VanWeelden, Kimberly; Juchniewicz, Jay; Cevasco, Andrea M. // Journal of Music Therapy;Winter2008, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p443 

    Previous research has found that music therapists, who work with geriatric clients in singing activities, indicated they know and use 3 times more popular or popular style music (songs from musicals) than folk songs. The purposes of the current study were to determine music therapy majors'...

  • The Music Making and Wellness Project. Koga, Midori // American Music Teacher;Oct/Nov2005, Vol. 55 Issue 2, p40 

    Discusses the findings of the Music Making and Wellness Project which was designed to examine the quality of life and benefits of active participation in music making among aged people in the U.S. Methodology of the study; Psychological problems managed by learning music; Physiological effect...

  • SOME SIMILARITIES BETWEEN MUSIC EDUCTION AND MUSIC THERAPY. Duerksen, George L. // Journal of Music Therapy;Sep1967, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p95 

    The article focuses on the similarities between music education and music therapy. It mentions that both have an important role and goal in the development of human behavior patterns especially in child development. It notes that music in both practices allows children to develop their...

  • A Descriptive Analysis of Music Therapists' Perceptions of Delivering Services in Inclusive Settings: A Challenge to the Field. Jones, Lisa L.; Cardinal, Donald N. // Journal of Music Therapy;Spring1998, Vol. 35 Issue 1, p34 

    The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of music therapists toward inclusion (providing services within general education settings) and to determine their willingness to provide their services in these settings. A questionnaire was sent to 560 music therapists of which 373...

  • Pre-internship Fears of Music Therapists. Madsen, Clifford K.; Kaiser, Keith A. // Journal of Music Therapy;Spring1999, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p17 

    This study examined pre-internship fears of music therapy majors. Additional analysis included comparison of pre-internship fears of music therapy majors with pre-internship fears of music education majors. Subjects for this study were music therapy/music education majors at a large southeastern...

  • Music Therapy Assessment in School Settings: A Preliminary Investigation. Wilson, Brian L.; Smith, David S. // Journal of Music Therapy;Summer2000, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p95 

    The present investigation was undertaken in response to music therapists working in school settings for information relating to the availability of music therapy assessments and the feasibility of standardizing an assessment instrument for music therapists to use in school settings. Five...

  • The Effect of Therapeutic Music Interventions on the Behavior of Hospitalized Children in Isolation: Developing a Contextual Support Model of Music Therapy. Robb, Sheri L. // Journal of Music Therapy;Summer2000, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p118 

    The purpose of this study was to provide preliminary data that support or negate a contextual support model of music therapy. The contextual support model of music therapy, based on Skinner and Wellborn's (1994) motivational theory of coping, argues that therapeutic music environments possess...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics