Symposium on Mental wellbeing and musicking of amateur musicians

Βαρβαρίγου Μαρία, Άλκηστις Τόγια, Μυράλης Ιωάννης, Κονδυλίδου Άση


Session Ψυχική ευζωία και μουσική ενασχόληση ερασιτεχνών μουσικών ( Saturday, 16-Apr-22 09:00:00 EEST )

Music in the modern age is estimated to greatly contribute to improving mental wellbeing through an enlarged scope of research, which focus on how musical engagement and creation can develop and promote the positive emotions of people involved in this activity (MacDonald et al., 2012; Kamioka et al., 2014). Research argues that participation in musical sets and groups may create a positive result in reducing negative emotions, such as anxiety and mental pressure (Sanal & Gorseev, 2014).

However, there is still quite substantiated scientific knowledge on the range of aspects of musical activity and how they affect defined conditions or aspects of mental well-being and prosperity. In particular, music reproduction is a complex activity that, among other things, also focuses on its social aspect and is likely to exercise non-verbal physical and spiritual processes (MacDonald & Wilson, 2014).

This symposium focuses on the effect of musical act and creation in the mental well-being of amateur musicians in Greece and Cyprus. Through recent surveys in choral and organic community sets as well as in individual music courses in conservatories, it will be described, explored and analyzed whether amateur musicians experience mental well-being through the musical act.

At Community music ensembles relating to amateur choirs and bands, surveys involve people (mainly adults) who gather regularly (at least once a week) to sing or play a musical instrument in a chorus or a symphonic band in Greece and Cyprus respectively. Participants in musical ensembles (vocals or organic) are a community that contributes to developing important artistic experience with multiple benefits and positive impact on many areas of everyday life. At the same time, the development of relationships and social ties between the members participating in the specific ensembles forms a very important social network with multiple psychosomatic benefits (Scott, 2000).


Manifold musical possible selves and their link to wellbeing through participation in active music making

This presentation proposes a theoretical framework, namely, ‘manifold musical possible selves’ (Creech, Varvarigou and Hallam, 2020) – that enables amateur musicians across the lifecourse and regardless of musical expertise and other characteristics, to think about their engagement in active music making in ways that foster their personal development and wellbeing. Music programmes that encourage amateur musicians to develop manifold musical possible selves will be presented as examples of good practice in sustaining wellbeing through active music making across the lifecourse. Finally, the role that music facilitators could play in supporting wellbeing through active music making amongst amateur musicians will be discussed. 


Mental wellbeing and musicking of amateur choristers in Greece.

This presentation will focus on the results of recent research on amateur adult choirs in Greece. The results refer to the views of amateur adult choirs about their participation in choirs and whether their participation is related to their mental well-being and emotional discharge.


Mental wellbeing and musicking of amateur band members in Cyprus.

This presentation will focus on recent findings regarding the viewpoints of amateur band members regarding the role that the participation in instrumental ensembles play in their lives and effect it has on their mental wellbeing. These amateur music ensembles, which are the backbone of instrumental music education in Cyprus and abroad, consist of people of various ages, levels and abilities who share their common love for musicking and artist creation. Through the thematic analysis of data we will examine the role of the conductor, the effect of the repertoire, their preferred musical activities and the overall impact that music and the ensemble have in their lives. 


One-to-one instrumental teaching and well-being in conservatoires

Music performance students in the field of Western music, often face physical and mental exhaustion related to performance stress and exhaustive study (Moore, Burland & Davidson, 2003) which often leads them to drop out of their studies (Zabuska, 2018). At the same time, one-to-one instrumental teching has being pervasive across eras and has not largely followed the contemporary trends of music pedagogy as has happened with general music education (Gaunt et al., 20221). In many countries specialists have begun to consider ways in which music education in conservatories can be adapted to new trends in order to promote student well-being through free expression, creativity, choice, commitment, continuity and enjoyment in learning (Evans, 2015). According to self-determination theory (SDT), the satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs (BPN) of autonomy, competence and relatedness has a decisive effect on students' relationship with music and promotes their well-being (Bonneville-Roussy et al., 2020). In this paper we will present ways in which these needs can be met in the context of one- to-one instrumental instruction in order to open up discussion about music teaching in concervatories in Greece.

  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες στο σχολείο, στο ωδείο και στην κοινότητα
  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες, δια βίου μουσική μάθηση και ευζωία
Keywords community music, theory of self-determination, well-being and music ensembles, amateur musicians, lifelong learning, conservatory education
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Yiannis Miralis is Associate Professor of Music Education and Saxophone at European University Cyprus. His areas of interest are world music pedagogy, instrumental music education, wind ensemble conducting and history of Cypriot music education. Miralis has a rich teaching experience in schools and universities in Cyprus and the USA. He has presented workshops and papers in various conferences in the areas of music education, ethnomusicology and saxophone and his articles appear in music journals in Cyprus and the USA. Miralis is a board member of ECMTA and chair of the Forum for Instrumental and Vocal Teaching of ISME. He has extensive performing experience as a chamber saxophonist.

Maria Varvarigou is a Lecturer in Music Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Maria has been researching the impact of music making on health and wellbeing across the lifecourse, effective music teaching and learning in higher and professional education and in primary school education, and intergenerational music making for many years. She is the co-author of the books: Active Ageing with Music: supporting wellbeing in the Third and Fourth Ages (2014) published by the IoE University Press; and Contexts for Music learning and participation: developing and sustaining musical possible selves through informal, non-formal and formal practices (2020) published by Palgrave. 

Alkistis Togia graduated with a diploma from the piano and singing school of the Athens Conservatory, Intergrated Master in Music Studies at the nNational KapodistrianUniversity of Athens (2002) and MMus in music education at European University Cyprus. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in music education for adults amateur choir members at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. Alkistis is the conductor of various amateur choirs in Thessaloniki and has been working as a music teacher in Greek public schools. Her research interest focuses on the mental well-being of adult amateur choirs through their participation in choral ensembles. Since October 2019 το October 2021 she was a member of the administrative council of the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki.

Assi Kondylidou (BA, MMus, MA) works as a piano and music theory teacher at the Hellenic Conservatory and the National Conservatory of Greece with specialization in preparing students for the graded exams of ABRSM. She holds a diploma in piano and composition (dipABRSM, Music Performance, Instrumental Teaching, Music Theory G8), a BA (Honors) Humanities with Music (OU), a MMus in Music Education (EUC), and a MA in Technologies of Learning and Communication (EUC). She is PhD candidate at the European University of Cyprus, with basic research interests in new methodologies in instrumental and music theory teaching, motivation and well-being. She is a member of the Hellenic Association for Music Education (EEME), and the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA).