Community music and the coming of aging: A view from down under
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This paper explores the dynamics and diversity of community music practices in Queensland, Australia, with a particular focus on activities that engage older adult participants. It presents an outline of Queensland demographics against which government policy for an aging population is conceived and implemented. A review of scholarly literature on Australian community music practices exposes the prioritizing of youth, Indigenous, and choral programs over musical activities that engage older-adult instrumentalists. The internet was the primary source for seeking established community music ensembles in Queensland. This information was augmented through contacts with musician colleagues in the more densely populated coastal regions of Queensland from Brisbane to Cairns, and through the grapevine of knowledge that exists in local communities beyond the digital world. In spite of government policies that support healthy aging, the reported benefits of active music participation, and the often tacit desire of older adults to learn a musical instrument, there does not appear to be any concerted attempt to engage older adults in community music activities in Queensland, or to create a cohesive program of music facilitation or instruction for older adults. This initial investigation of community music activities in Queensland informs a larger autoethnographic investigation into the leisure choices of older adults and how best to facilitate community music activities for an increasingly aging population.
Innovation and Change in Community Music: Proceedings of the XV International Seminar of the Commission on Community Music Activity, Edinburgh, Scotland
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Musicology and Ethnomusicology