Sage Silver Ambassadors
SiDE Society strand researchers Ranald Richardson and Angela Abbott, with Suzanne Moffatt from the Institute of Health, and Silver Ambassadors from the Sage, Gateshead are conducting research into music and wellbeing among older people who participate in the Silver Programme at the Sage – a leading centre for music in the NE region.
The Silver Programme is a community learning and participation programme aiming to develop a range of musical opportunities for people over the age of 50 - to enhance musical ability, but also to encourage positive mental and physical health. This co-produced research is being led by Silver Ambassadors, members of a community choir called Silver Singers, part of the wider Silver Programme.
Researchers from the university were invited by the Silver Ambassadors to share knowledge and experience on issues which need to be considered before embarking on research projects. The presentation included topics such as: producing research questions, benefits and limitations of various quantitative and qualitative research methods, research ethics, and how to manage research projects. Following a lively discussion on the possibilities and pitfalls of research, it was proposed that SiDE and IHS researchers would build on this initial engagement, and collaborate with Silver Ambassadors to collect and analyse qualitative data to understand the profile and stories of members of the Silver Programme.
This research is now in its formative stage. The preliminary research aims are to draw some conclusions about the perceived benefits to wellbeing for older people involved in the Silver Programme; to highlight the social and other circumstances which support successful participation, and to identify some barriers to participation. Also of interest is gaining understanding of the social and embodied practices involved in older people’s participation in music programmes, and for SiDE researchers, to understand how far these are or can be mediated by digital technology. We are also seeking to better understand the benefits and barriers of co-produced research between university researchers and community researchers.