Eija Liisa Sokka-Meaney

Eija Liisa Sokka-Meaney: Well-being, life-long learning and choir music – and how did they survive covid-19

The wellbeing of the aging population in Finland has become a current issue. The latest findings in music and brain research have shown what impact music has on producing wellbeing as well as on learning processes in music hobbies.

This presentation is based on a case study of a small choir in a mid-size town in Finland. It aims at showing how music activities of the elderly produce social and intellectual well-being and sustainable lifestyle as experienced by the members of the choir.

This is a very current sustainability issue in Finland. The third sector’s involvement in the society and it taking more responsibility of each other. This actually demonstrates itself in the earlier choir surveys e.g. by several members taking care of the older ones. Most of the choir members have retired.

The presentation is based on three surveys – the first one in 2016, the second in 2018 and the third in summer 2021, when the choir got together for the first time after covid restrictions.

Choir activities have been on pause for eight months during 2020-2021 and several months in spring/summer 2020 because of covid.

The third survey aims at finding out how the choir members have experienced the covid time and their feelings of when they gather again to sing and compare them to earlier surveys.

The earlier surveys have shown how choir activities bring well-being, both intellectual and social, even therapeutic and post-traumatic healing experiences, to the members. Some results have been presented at the LTN conference in Tallinn in 2016 and in a workshop in Washington in 2018.

This is a presentation with some singing activities during the presentation and possibility to ask and discuss at the end.