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Predictors of continued playing or singing - from childhood and adolescence to adult years
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
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2015 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 104, no 3, 274-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: Many individuals play an instrument or sing during childhood, but they often stop later in life. This study surveyed adults representative of the Swedish population about musical activities during childhood.

Methods: We asked 3820 adults (65% women) aged from 27 to 54 from the Swedish Twin Registry, who took extra music lessons to those provided at school, to fill in a web-based questionnaire. Factors analysed were the age they started studying music, the instrument they played, kind of teaching, institution and educational content, number of lessons and perceived characteristics of the lessons, the music environment during their childhood years and their preferred music genre. All variables were dichotomised.

Results: Factors strongly associated with continued playing or singing were male sex, young starting age, cultural family background, self-selected instrument, attending music classes and more than once a week, church-related or private education, pop, rock or classical music, playing by ear and improvisation.

Conclusion: Several significant predictors determined whether a child continued to sing or play an instrument as an adult and many could be externally influenced, such as starting at a young age, taking music classes more than once a week, improvisation and the type of music they played.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 104, no 3, 274-284 p.
Keyword [en]
Age, Family background, Music school, Sex
National Category
Pediatrics Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115997DOI: 10.1111/apa.12870ISI: 000350062400020PubMedID: 25495566Local ID: P3255OAI: diva2:801901


Available from: 2015-04-10 Created: 2015-04-08 Last updated: 2016-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Theorell, Töres
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