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Examining the health and well-being experiences of singers in popular music

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This study investigated the health and well-being experiences of professional singers in popular music. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of semi-structured interviews with five professional singers identified three main themes: (1) mental and physical experiences of health and support, (2) positive musical experiences and (3) barriers to health and well-being. Participants perceived health as important to their careers and viewed it as both physical and mental in nature. The singers relied on family and industry peers for support, whilst experiencing mental health challenges and physical health problems in the context of an emotionally intense landscape. Positive musical experiences involved the self-expression of songwriting, live music performance and relationships with fans, and barriers to health and well-being included touring, commercial challenges and a perceived lack of support. The findings suggest a need for increased awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by singers in popular music.
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Keywords: health; interviews; popular musicians; qualitative; singers; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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