Volume 1 (1) 2009 – Article
Benefits of Group Singing for People with Eating Disorders: Preliminary Findings from a Non-Clinical Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the possible benefits of participation in group singing for people with eating disorders in a non-clinical context. The creation of a group singing workshop for women that exhibited disordered eating provided the opportunity to explore the participants’ experiences as perceived by them. A qualitative approach utilizing a semi-structured interview was employed to explore in depth the women’s perceptions regarding the group singing workshop. A thematic analysis of the data identified four main categories concerning the benefits of group singing for the population under study. The theoretical model of Sears (1968) of the processes in music therapy and its application on anorexic clients (Parente 1989) informed the discussion of the empirical findings.
Keywords: group singing, eating disorders, emotional expression, self-esteem
Metaxia Pavlakou has completed a Ph.D. in Music Psychology at the University of Sheffield, UK, focusing on the therapeutic effects of amateur group singing on people with disordered eating. Metaxia studied piano at the State Conservatoire of Thessaloniki, holds an undergraduate degree from the Department of Music Studies of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and has a Masters in Music Psychology from the University of Sheffield. She has taught music to children of preschool and school age, with particular interest in children with learning disabilities and for the past five years she has been leading amateur singing groups for adults.