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Transcending the limitations of institutionalization through music: ethnomusicology in a nursing home

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Title: Transcending the limitations of institutionalization through music: ethnomusicology in a nursing home
Author(s): Allison, Theresa
Director of Research: Nettl, Bruno
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Nettl, Bruno
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Cunningham, Clark E.; Solis, Gabriel; Turino, Thomas R.
Department / Program: Music
Discipline: Musicology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Ethnomusicology Nursing Home Ethnography Music and Aging Gerontology
Abstract: This is an ethnographic study of the music life of the English speakers in a 430-bed not-for-profit nursing home. Research took place between August 2006 and June 2008, and included participation in both musical and non-musical activities at the home, formal and informal interviews, volunteering with the activities staff, and large-group observations. In this monograph, I treat the nursing home as an artificially constructed community in order to examine the role of music in daily life for the people to who live in, work at, and visit the Home. Particular attention is paid to the role of songwriting in an institution, the role of the sing-along for its participants, and the role of music and memory in the context of end-stage dementia. The study was designed to elucidate the following humanities research question: how do institutionalized elders use music to cope with increasing physical, cognitive and social limitations? What I learned was that they do no such thing. The elders at the Home use music to transcend the limitations of illness and the institution that cares for them.
Issue Date: 2011-01-21
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18488
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Theresa Anne Allison
Date Available in IDEALS: 2013-01-22
Date Deposited: 2010-12
 

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