Songwriting and Transcending Institutional Boundaries in the Nursing Home

Theresa A. Allison

in The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199756261
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 Songwriting and Transcending Institutional Boundaries in the Nursing Home

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This article takes as its starting point the role of music in creating a “vibrant quality of life” in a setting not generally associated with personal growth and social vibrancy, a nursing home. The women and men who live at the Jewish Home described in this chapter, commonly referred to as “the Home,” share a Euro-American heritage and an identity of “Jewishness.” At the same time, however, they bring with them widely divergent spiritual beliefs, family traditions, economic backgrounds, social interests, and language differences. The women and men at the Home use songwriting as a means through which to continue to grow and develop as adults, engage in the production of heritage, remain productive members of society, and create a sense of community that transcends the boundaries of the institutional facility in which they live.

Keywords: music; nursing home; Jewish Home; Euro-American heritage; spiritual beliefs

Article.  13312 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Ethnomusicology

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