Do we all enjoy singing? A content analysis of non-vocalists' attitudes toward singing

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The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether people enjoy singing, and to identify the underlying reasons why or why not. A total of 90 university students participated in the study. They were given a survey form with an open-ended question asking whether or not they enjoy singing, and the responses were content analyzed. The data segments were organized through a system of categories and subcategories. Analysis of the data yielded three main categories and nine subcategories. Inter-rater reliability between the two raters completing the content analysis was .92. The three main categories included " enjoyment of singing," " enjoyment of singing when alone," and " no enjoyment of singing." For " enjoyment of singing," there were seven categories of reasons: self-expression, aesthetic experience, interpersonal relationships, stress reduction/mood change, spirituality, empowerment/identity, and self-actualization. Eighty responses (88.3%) out of 90 were categorized into these seven categories. The second main category of singing was " enjoyment when alone (8.2%)." This category included statements emphasizing " alone" as a condition for the singing situation. The third main category of singing experience reflected negative attitude towards singing, " no enjoyment of singing (3.5%)." The results suggested that participants experience different benefits from singing. Those who enjoy singing use it to meet diverse idiosyncratic needs, including emotional, social, existential, and spiritual needs. On the other hand, some participants are uncomfortable about singing in front of other people, or do not enjoy singing at all. Either they are very conscious of other people's judgments or have negative perceptions of their own voice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-124
Number of pages5
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Content analysis
  • Enjoyment
  • Music therapy
  • Singing
  • Voice


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