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Music as Participation! Exploring Music’s Potential to Avoid Isolation and Promote Health

  • Karette Stensæth
Chapter

Abstract

Public health research states that we have never been lonelier and more socially isolated than today. The same research calls for activities and non-medical interventions that can provide people with new ways of coping and give them a sense of pleasure and mastery. This essay asks: What are the potential connections between isolation and musical participation? Can music activities become a resource for avoiding isolation and promoting participation instead? The essay firstly elaborates upon notions like social isolation, loneliness and participation. Then it suggests a perspective on music as participation. The essay refers to Norwegian research projects in the child welfare system where music is used to promote participation among vulnerable children and adolescents. This author argues that music is as a powerful and valuable (yet still a somewhat hidden) means for participation, one that is both practical and has few negative side effects. Music therapy research is employed to examine in what ways and to what extent music activities might promote health and cultivate local democratic micro-cultures with a positive social ripple effect.

Keywords

Social isolation Loneliness Participation Music activities Music therapy Music and health 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research in Music and Healththe Norwegian Academy of MusicOsloNorway

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