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Older Chinese-Australian and Chinese community music engagement

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posted on 28.02.2017, 02:58 by Li, Sicong
This research study will investigate community music engagement by both Chinese-Australians and Chinese older people at two different older people’s organizations with the aim of exploring the affects of music engagement on older people. The study seeks to explore cultural differences between Chinese-Australian older people and Chinese older people as they relate to their music engagement. The research contentions were that (1) active music engagement can enhance the quality of the life of older people and (2) music engagement offers particular benefits for maintaining and sharing cultural identity. This research will compare the data of two groups of older people who are either Chinese-Australian or Chinese in China to share their understandings about music engagement later in life. This discussion will be contextualized by a description of the Chinese community in Australia and an introduction to society in mainland China. This study will include an exploration of Chinese society, education and music in China as all participants live in China or lived there before migration. This phenomenological qualitative research approach allows an investigation of participants’ understandings and experiences of community music engagement later in life. Phenomenological research seeks understanding through description of lived experience using personal history, culture and society, identifying the true nature or 'essence' of human experiences (Husserl, 1969). This research utilized a case study design. The data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), which aims to ‘explore in detail how participants are making sense of their personal and social world, and the main currency for an IPA study is the meanings particular experiences, events, states hold for participants’ (Smith & Osborn, 2003, p. 53). Four data collection strategies, semi-structured interviews, observations, documents and artifacts, and a researcher journal, were employed in this phenomenological case study. Active music participation offers a way that music can be used in the lives of older people to sustain well-being and health. This research explores the issues and concerns regarding music engagement, music learning and cultural influences among Chinese-Australian and Chinese older people. By exploring the affects of music in Chinese-Australian older people and Chinese older people’s lives, 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 research through the words and experiences of the participants.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Jane Elizabeth Southcott

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Education