Spirituality, Music, and Wellbeing: Sharing Insights from an Australian Setting

By Dawn Joseph.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The relationship between spirituality, music, health, and wellbeing is gaining much theoretical and research attention globally. These related concepts are complex and involve many facets and challenges. This paper explores the relationship between music and spirituality as a way to communicate actively with God, which interconnects with wellbeing and quality of life. The focus of this paper discusses one case study from my wider research project “Spirituality and Wellbeing: Music in the Community” that started in 2013, in Melbourne (Australia). Having gained ethical clearance, case study methodology (interviews, documents, and observation) was employed. For this paper, I only offer a discussion of semi-structured interviews with volunteer participants from an Anglican Church in the southeastern suburbs of Melbourne (Australia). Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), I analyzed and codified the interview data to explore the lived experience of the participant’s perception and how they make sense of it. As IPA is phenomenological, it takes into the account my own ideas through a process of interpretation when analyzing the phenomena under study. The interview data are reported under two overarching themes: music and spirituality and music and wellbeing. The data provides insights into the various ways music contributes to participants’ spiritual journey and growth. I argue that music is a powerful vehicle that connects people with God and others as it fosters an enhanced sense of spiritual growth and self-wellbeing.

Keywords: Spirituality, Music, Wellbeing, Singing, Community, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, March 2015, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 579.419KB).

Dr. Dawn Joseph

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia