Rationale behind investigating positive aging among symphony orchestra musicians: A call for a new arena of empirical study

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15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Musicianship is seen as a life-long process, requiring specific adjustments to changes in age and environment, based on developmental stages each unique in structure of musical activity, motivations, and achievements. Nonetheless, studies relating to music development have focused exclusively on precocious musical beginnings and early childhood, prodigious adolescents, or academy trainees. As yet, there has been no great interest in musicians above age 50, and needless to say while very little is known about older musicians, a small number of studies published highlight underperformance and loss in support of age-linked deficits to music performance. Without a doubt, there is a serious need for attention to be placed on those who still can perform music - not only on those who can no longer perform music. Collective efforts should begin to focus on performing musicians who have maintained a professional career well into the fifth decade of their lifespan, especially as performing musicians live to an older age, extending their phase of active music-making well beyond what was once considered time to withdraw from effective professional activity. The current paper puts forth a call for music science to embrace a new arena of empirical study - positive aging among symphony orchestra musicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalMusicae Scientiae
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Career maintenance
  • Effects of aging
  • Life-span musicianship
  • Music development
  • Seasoned musicians

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