Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


School of Music

First Advisor

Andrea M. Crimmins


It is important to consider mood and its effect on elderly persons as many older adults will experience symptoms of depression. In prior studies, research indicated that preferred music listening and expressive music making can positively change mood in older adults. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the differences between receptive music listening and expressive music making (presented as a facilitated group music therapy session) and their effect on participants’ mood. The researcher hypothesized that 1) there would be a significant difference for pre and posttest standardized mood assessment (PANAS) scores between the receptive music listening and expressive music making groups in comparison with the control and that 2) the expressive music making treatment would elicit the greatest positive affect change. In this study, 23 participants from four different assisted living facilities were asked to attend three different treatment conditions on separate dates. Using the PANAS questionnaire, participants ranked their mood in both a pre and posttest. At the conclusion of receiving all three treatments, the participants were given three qualitative questions about their exposure to music, the role of music in their lives, and about the study in general. A 3 (Treatment Groups: Expressive Music Making, Receptive Music Listening, vs. Control Group) x 2 (Time of Test: Pretest vs. Posttest) x 2 (Affect: Positive Affect vs. Negative Affect) repeated-measures ANOVA test with a within subject’s factor concluded that positive affect generally increased between pre and posttest with all participants and negative affect was not affected. There was no significant difference between the receptive music listening and the expressive music making conditions; however, positive affect was slightly greater with both music conditions in comparison to the control treatment. The qualitative data suggested that many participants viewed the music treatments to be a positive and enriching experience. There were several limiting factors in this study including a low and convenient sample size. Although it seems that music could be a valuable tool for improving mood in elderly persons, further research is needed to determine the specific differences between the effects of music listening versus expressive music making on mood.


Imported from ProQuest Bolton_ilstu_0092N_10662.pdf


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