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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Well-Being through Live Music: A Heuristic Exploration
by Taylor, Leah Ferree, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2018, 158; 10929749
Abstract (Summary)

Live music is a popular activity that many adults attend regularly. Qualitative research on live music from a listener’s perspective and the meaning it brings to individuals’ lives is lacking. The purpose of this heuristic inquiry was to investigate the lived experience of attending live-music events from the perspective of adult concert-goers between the ages of 18 and 65 years. This phenomenon was explored through the primary research question, “What is the experience of attending live-music events?”

Eight co-researchers were selected to participate via a convenience sample recruitment strategy. Data was collected via open-ended interviews and analyzed through stages following the qualitative method of heuristic inquiry (Moustaskas, 1990).

Three main themes were found to be the core essence of the live music experience: (a) live music connects people deeply; (b) live music is a full body experience; and (c) live music can be transcendent. An increased energy or vitality was evident before, during, and after the live-music events. Co-researchers used these repeated experiences to release, renew, and recharge the positive emotions, and mental resources that they would in turn bring back to their everyday lives.

Findings from this research suggest that listening to live music is a mind-body-spirit practice that can be used by individuals to connect deeply to themselves, others, and something greater than what they know. As an inherently pleasurable activity, live music influenced people’s ability to be open-minded and appreciative for what they have in life. The experience positively impacted the participants physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, which may have implications on overall well-being.

This is the first qualitative study that demonstrated ways in which people can participate in live-music events as a method of self-care to enhance their sense of well-being through meaningful connections, mind-body awareness, and transcendent experiences. Future research studies should examine the effects of live music on overall health outcomes and components of well-being. Keywords: live music, well-being, transcendence, appreciation, mind-body-spirit practice

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Curtis, Devorah
Commitee: Rockwell, Donna, Smirnova, Marina A.
School: Saybrook University
Department: Mind Body Medicine
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music therapy, Mental health, Alternative Medicine
Keywords: Appreciation, Integrative mental health, Live music, Mind-body-spirit practice, Transcendence, Well-being
Publication Number: 10929749
ISBN: 978-0-438-48888-5
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