Painting with words: portraits of adult singers' perceptions on meaningfulness in two community choruses
Rickard McCoy, Krystal Laura
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The purpose of this study was to investigate what adult singers find meaningful about their participation in a volunteer community chorus and to consider the implication of the choral place on participant sense of meaningfulness. The researcher collected data from four adult singers, their family members, and two conductors. Bridging the gap between science and art, the researcher used a qualitative research method called portraiture, wherein narrative portraits are developed and written by a researcher in a descriptive manner providing voice to understanding the phenomenon of interest, to create portraits of four adult singers. Portraiture researchers seek to discover resonant stories within the complicated framework of daily life. Semi-structured interviews with each participant provided data. In addition, adult singers kept personal journals for the researcher, and the researcher observed participant behaviors before, during, and after rehearsals. The researcher implemented axial, focused, and theoretical analysis during data analysis and interpretation to construct a narrative portrait of each participating singer reflecting the emergent patterns and themes. The two emergent themes were connectedness and achievement. Overall, connections with other people and achieving surmountable challenges were highly valued aspects of this study. Further analysis for the impact of sense of place on meaningfulness noted the impact of the choral place and the choral process on participants’ perceptions of meaningfulness.