Although there are many ability-focused activities that older adults can engage in, we contend that group singing may be particularly well suited to enhancing social identity, given the important role of the voice in shaping social identity Many adults will develop acute deficits in vocal production arising from age-associated diseases or milder deficits arising from age-related changes in vocal physiology. Singing directly challenges these deficits, which may result in a positive reconstruction of social identity.
Social identity references: Wertsch, 1991. Blumstein et al., 1980. Torre & Barlow, 2009.
Group singing enables exquisite movement synchronization across individuals, spanning the lungs, larynx, head, and facial muscles. Research by our group and others has demonstrated that synchronous movement in the context of song (or dance) causes individuals to be more likely to share, to be more resilient to pain and to feel more socially connected.
Social connectedness references:
- Müller & Lindenberger, 2011. Thompson & Russo, 2007.
- Good, Choma & Russo, 2017.
- Good & Russo, 2016. Dunbar et al., 2012.
- Weinstein et al., 2016. Wiltermuth & Heath, 2009.
- Good, Choma & Russo, 2017. McGarry & Russo, 2011.
- Pearce et al., 2016.
- Tunçgenç, & Cohen, 2016.
- Valdesolo, Ouyang, & DeSteno, 2010.
- Cohen et al., 2010. Dunbar et al., 2012.
- Sullivan, Rickers, & Gammage, 2014.
- Weinstein et al., 2016. Dunbar, 2012.