Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Edward Roth

Second Advisor

Dr. Sangwoo Lee,

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Fiore


Singing, social bonding, interpersonal, strangers, familiarity

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Social isolation and loneliness have become major health concerns in today’s world, and the healthcare field needs effective approaches to ameliorating the effects of social isolation and loneliness and increasing opportunities for social bonding. Group singing may be one such approach. This feasibility study focused specifically on interpersonal familiarity during shortterm, small-group singing and its effect on the subjective experience of social bonding. A between-groups design and group interviews were used to examine the subjective experience of social bonding resulting from singing. Two groups of four, including one familiar group and one group of strangers, engaged in a brief group singing task and were then asked to reflect on their experience of social bonding, or lack thereof, during a group interview. Results of this study indicate the methodology was feasible overall. Interview results reveal that short-term, smallgroup singing can have an effect on the subjective experience of social bonding for people in both familiar and unfamiliar groups. While the social closeness effect of singing may be stronger for individuals who are already familiar with one another, singing can also kickstart social bonding amongst strangers. Components of singing together that influenced participants’ experiences included Individual Personalities and Background, Musical Elements, and Social Elements. Results of this study may have implications for future research focused on singing as a therapeutic approach for increasing social bonding.