Although many programs aim to develop students’ listening skills and promote the appreciation of Western classical music, relatively few such programs incorporate visual art. This study examined the perceived effectiveness of the Edinburgh International Festival’s (EIF) Art of Listening program in reaching its stated goals to: develop skills for listening, encourage the enjoyment of listening to Western classical music, break down preconceptions held about Western classical music, cultivate a deeper relationship with the imagination through music and art, and encourage students’ personal responses to music. Focusing primarily on the first three goals, this study gathered data from 78 students from six upper primary classes (generally students ages 11 or 12) from four schools located in the Edinburgh, Scotland metropolitan area. Findings from student and teacher surveys before and after the program as well as program observations indicate that participants perceive that the Art of Listening program achieves the specific objectives examined, at least in the short-term. Both students and teachers responded positively to the program’s unique combination of listening skill development, classical music appreciation, and responses to music through visual art. The article discusses considerations for implementing similar programs in other contexts and makes suggestions for future research.
Older adults are a growing segment of the population in the United States and other countries, but museum professionals are generally not as familiar with designing and evaluating programs for the elderly as they are for younger audiences. This study reviews research about, and descriptions of, programs targeted at older adults that can provide models for program development, improvement, and evaluation for museum professionals. Information from the past thirty years was reviewed, and the sources, settings, audiences, methods, types, and outcomes of 142 programs were examined. Five main types of programs were found: reminiscence, object-oriented, art, storytelling, and lectures—along with an array of benefits for participants. The most common outcomes of programs for older adults were increased socialization and improved mood. The review found that many models for museum programming and related research exist in the health sector, and implications for museum research and practice are discussed.
Background: Previous research suggests that group reminiscence offers psychosocial benefits, but studies have focused on multi session programs. This study examines mood changes related to a single-session object-based museum outreach reminiscence program.
Methods: Twelve independent-living retirement communities, with 114 total participants, participated. A pre-test/post-test design was used to collect survey data, and a repeated-measures t-test, linear regression and logistic regression were used to analyze the data.
Results: Mood scores were found to be significantly higher after the program, and mood changes were significantly related to participants' interest in the program's topic. Findings related to participant reactions and survey administration were also presented.
Conclusions: The results of this study support the use of object-based reminiscence in museum outreach to retirement communities, suggesting it may have significant short-term impact on mood. The findings also suggest that it is important to align program content with topical interests of participants. Directions for further research are discussed.
Reminiscence programs that stimulate participants’ memories through discussion are popular as both enrichment activity and clinical treatment for older adults. Museums in multiple countries are starting to offer reminiscence opportunities on-site and through outreach. This study is an investigation of the qualities of the participant experience in a reminiscence museum outreach program using historical artifacts. The outreach program was implemented at 12 retirement communities around the Boston area. Using participant and staff interviews, audio recordings of conversations during the program, and focused observations, the study shows that the program was characterized by sensory exploration, cognitive and emotional responses, memory-sharing, and socialization. These findings support previous research showing the cognitive and emotional benefits of reminiscence in multi-session programs, and they suggest that single-visit object-based museum outreach may also elicit positive psychosocial outcomes.
This paper aims to explore the impact that employees and board members of an organization believe the art in their workplace has on their experience at work and identify the exhibition’s features salient to their experience of the art.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 affiliates of an Australian organization with an institutional art collection. The interview data were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis by two researchers, with a final inter-rater reliability of 0.96.
The results showed that respondents believe there are five main ways they are impacted by the art in their workplace: the art promotes social interactions, elicits emotional responses, facilitates personal connection-making, generally enhances the workplace environment and fosters learning. Participants indicated the salient features of the collection are its changing nature, creativity, diversity, quality and connection to the organization’s mission.
The findings suggest that there may be a number of positive impacts on employees and other affiliates when art is present in the workplace, including interpersonal learning and mission-related content learning. The findings suggest that art connected to the organization’s mission, rotating exhibitions and diverse collections are valued by workplace viewers.
The study highlights the importance of the aesthetic environment in the workplace and is one of the first to examine artworks in the work setting.
The origins of museums as public institutions are often traced to the mid- to late nineteenth century. However, medieval religious sites in Europe satisfy the current definitions of museums and operated in a role similar to that of contemporary museums. Evidence is presented to show that these sites were in fact museums as we conceive of the institution, based on similarities in audience, staff, funding, permanence, collections, exhibitions, social needs, and other purposes. European religious sites from the birth of Christianity to the beginning of the Renaissance are used as illustrations to demonstrate how these institutions were incredibly similar to museums today and should be recontextualized within museological history.