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Adult Musicians' Perceived and Measured Pulmonary Function

Debbie Rohwer
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 24 Number 1: Page 10 (March 2009)

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Abstract: The research questions for this study were 1) what was the measured pulmonary function of a group of senior adult musicians, and 2) was there a perceived and measured difference between senior adult musicians' pulmonary function scores before and after a rehearsal. The participants in this study were 57 adult musicians in two senior citizen bands in north Texas. Participants completed spirometry tests administered before and after band rehearsals on two occasions to ascertain repeated pulmonary function scores. Results showed that the participants were able to complete the spirometry task at the most basic level. On most pulmonary function measures, younger participants, males, and non-smokers tended to have higher scores. Seven percent of the participants perceived short-term increases in breath capacity after participating in a given rehearsal, and 35% of the participants perceived increases in breath capacity since joining the band. No statistically significant difference between the mean pulmonary function scores were found before and after rehearsal. Implications are addressed concerning the issues related to the measurement and pedagogy of adult music making.

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