Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 October 2021
A final discussion emphasizes the unique experience of each person as they continue into later life. We recognize how music may make available new ways to understand the existential challenges of aging, and to direct us in the enterprise of self-actualization and wellness. As Rollo May notes, in the process of aging we seek to bring together and integrate our understandings of all the earlier times of our life and find new ways of adapting to and enjoying life. We point out entrapments of aging (e.g., the belief that aging is all about decline) and how to overcome them. Moreover, recognizing our search for meaning in later life, we note the hope of self-actualizing transformation, and suggest that music may help older adults look at the world in a fresh, new way and to make positive adjustments to life’s challenges. As a universal phenomenon, we note that music breaks down barriers that separate us from others, allows us to see that which is common to all of us, and to celebrate living.