AN ASSESSMENT OF THE MUSICAL NEEDS AND PREFERENCES OF INDIVIDUALS 65 AND OVER
AdvisorFitch, John R.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to provide an objective evaluation of older adults' self-assessed musical needs and preferences. Older adults were defined as individuals 65 and over. The survey and its analysis provided information from which recommendations have been made concerning musical experiences for this age group. The data for this study was obtained by means of a questionnaire which was administered to two hundred and seventy-six volunteer subjects. Eight sites in the Tucson, Arizona, area and four sites in Mansfield, Ohio, were used. The participants represented a cross-section of the 65-and-over age group. The questionnaire was divided into three parts: (1)personal data and past and present musical experience; (2)a twelve-minute listening preference assessment; (3)five areas of inquiries that included kinds of music classes desired, the meaning of music, individual music skills, music as a leisure-time pursuit, and participation in musical performances. Only a small percentage of the persons involved with the study were taking part in a musical activity, but a significant number of individuals indicated that they would participate under different circumstances. Their preferences were for afternoon classes, once a week, free, and in an age-segregated group. They also indicated that a music class would be a worthwhile and entertaining leisure-time pursit and would fulfill a need for meeting people with similar interests. Reluctance to go out at night, lack of transportation, and expense of programs were frequently given as reasons for non-participation in musical activities. Questionnaire respondents rated music "important" and stated that its importance had increased as they became older. The role of music was considered to be recreational and a personally fulfilling endeavor. The majority of older adults in the survey listen to music daily. The types of music they preferred, in rank order, were: popular, opera, folk, country, classical, jazz, non-Western music, and rock. Recommended areas for research concerning the role and use of music in gerontology might include: vocal versus instrumental music preferences; music education as a continuum throughout the life span; hearing loss of the elderly as it relates to music listening; and the relationship between educational attainment and partcipation in music activities. From the data presented in this study, it is clear that music is an important part of the life of the older adult. It is projected that in the year 2030 the 65-and-over age group will comprise 18.3% of the population. Society must begin to prepare for their needs. Government agencies, educational institutions, music educators and all interested individuals are encouraged to promote and develop music experiences for the aged.
Degree ProgramGraduate College