Effects of choir participation and musical training on auditory processing in older adults
thesisposted on 2021-05-24, 12:13 authored by Ella Dubinsky
Prior studies have demonstrated musicianship enhancements of various aspects of auditory and cognitive processing in older adults, but musical training has not been examined as an intervention for mitigating age-related declines in these abilities. The current study investigates whether ten weeks of choir participation can improve aspects of auditory processing in older adults, particularly speech-in-noise (SIN) perception. Three groups of participants underwent pre- and post-testing: choir singing (n=50), music appreciation (n=13), and an age- and audiometry-matched control group (n=32). Linear mixed effects modelling in a multilevel regression analysis showed that choir participants demonstrated the most improvements across auditory measures. Choir participants’ gains in SIN perception were partially mediated by pitch discrimination, suggesting a possible mechanism for this perceptual improvement. These findings support the hypothesis that short-term choir participation is an effective intervention for mitigating age-related hearing losses.