An Observational Study of the Impact of Vibrotactile Rhythm Playing on Seniors in Long Term Care Academic Article uri icon

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  • A qualitative ethnographic study was undertaken at a long term care facility in southern Ontario, Canada, to describe the experiences felt by nursing home residents and day program participants taking part in a drum circle program. A total of 20 observations were completed, eight of the day program and 12 of the nursing home program, with multiple observers attending each session. In addition, a research assistant audiotaped individual interviews with drum circle facilitators to document their impressions of the response to the program. The recorded notes were analyzed for common, recurring themes. Data analysis has resulted in the identification of four behavioral categories: empowerment, bringing out, bringing together, and community resonance. The observations and interviews support that vibrotactile instrumental rhythm playing is a positive experience for the majority of the participants, enhancing communication, providing an opportunity for mastery, and promoting communal music-making.


  • Martin, LS
  • McDowell, S
  • O'Leary, Jeanette
  • Hagens, C
  • Bonas, B
  • Waxman, S
  • Abraham, B
  • Morden, P
  • Chong, A
  • Harris, C
  • Rozon, L

publication date

  • April 21, 2004