the Musical generation experience of the Children of the Finnish Reconstruction Times and the value basis related to this generation experience

Main funder

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 29 250,00

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/01/2021

Project end date: 31/12/2021


In my doctoral thesis I will research, how familiar songs from Finnish elderly people’s childhood period have a remarkable cultural significance and impact on well-being among a certain Finnish sociological generation (see Jyrkämä 2008). The foundation of this research is on my interest on elderly people’s cultural well-being, and one elementary research question is, what is the “musical generation experience” of this sociological generation like, and how this information could be used in increasing their cultural welfare. I inspect the value system of the songs used in Finnish elementary schools during the Reconstruction Times 1945-1959 and study, how these values should be taken into consideration in elderly people’s cultural well-being.

The Finnish elderly people are relatively willing to take part in participatory singing, but the previous research about music in well-being has not concentrated in the songs from this generation’s childhood and school years. Earlier studies have shown that music has multiple positive effects to human mind and brain functions (Cohen et al. 2002; Särkämö et al. 2014) and participatory singing may improve the amount of physical, emotional, social and cultural welfare (Hillman 2002; Skingley & Bungay 2010). It is likely that this generation remembers the songs from their schooltime, because they have been singing the same songs over the school years (Kosonen 2011). Therefore, it is worthwhile to study what kind of significances this certain Finnish generation gives to the songs from their childhood.
The methodological framework of this study is founded on ethnographic Oral History method and Lauri Rauhala’s comprehensive human conception (Rauhala 2006). I collect data by participant observation in singalong focus groups which include interviews. Data collection is now ongoing and will be completed in 2019.

The aim of the study is to help present-day health care operators to understand Finnish elderly people and their cultural values and significances. Most of the songs that I use in singalong focus groups have contents, which are contradicting present-day society’s values, e.g. Christian and patriotic songs. Is there a reason to keep using these songs regardless of their “past” values? If the songs have importance to the generation, it would be possible that singing the songs could help certain Finnish elderly people in maintaining their operating self, their value basis and their cultural identity.

Principal Investigator

Primary responsible unit

Last updated on 2021-17-03 at 12:07