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Community music as a cognitive training programme for successful ageing

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Reflecting upon several music training programmes developed to assist beginning older adult musicians as a cognitive training intervention, the author suggests a model for connecting community music programmes and musical training to successful ageing. Musical training has the capacity to promote cognitive transfer, self-efficacy and overall quality of life, essential for successful ageing and therapeutic rehabilitation. This model provides a holistic perspective regarding the relationship between music participation and programmatic structure necessary to facilitate change in physiological, psychological and emotional health. Interviews from participants suggest that music education programmes, when structured as a cognitive training programme, can enhance cognitive and emotional status. Community music programmes and music education opportunities offer aesthetic enrichment, intrinsic enjoyment and high ecological validity, elements lacking in current cognitive training programmes.
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Keywords: cognitive training; cognitive transfer; community music; musical training; older adult; successful ageing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of South Florida

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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