Music has a universality that allows people from different backgrounds, cultures and ages to communicate. This research aims to explore the experiences of participants from an intergenerational music therapy group ran by the UK based charity Intergenerational Music Making (IMM). Currently there is little research into how intergenerational music therapy can impact the well-being of both the younger and older generations. Qualitative data was collected via post therapy interviews with two older adults and two younger children. In addition, a further interview was conducted with a therapist of one of these intergenerational groups. Thematic Analysis of transcriptions from these interviews revealed four central themes and a subsequent eleven subthemes which highlight the key experiences from the specified music therapy group. These included both the therapist’s and participant’s data.
The findings suggest that intergenerational music therapy groups can be beneficial for improving the psychosocial well-being for both older and younger participants alike. The facilitating nature of the group providing an environment that nurtured change in participants. While the supportive interactions between generations appeared to be fundamental to the experience. The findings revealed that for participants, self-agency and self-awareness was experienced through a development in confidence, purpose and empowerment. In addition, participants reported feelings of satisfaction and fulfilment because of participation within an intergenerational group.
intergenerational, music therapy, intergenerational music therapy, older adults, young children, well-being, thematic analysis.