What is it about?

This was a pilot test of an novel group activity that combined bingo with popular songs. Song Bingo was tested in a group of older adults who attended a senior center in a southeastern urban city to examine mood, satisfaction, and acceptability. Five versions with different playlists for each of five musical genres along with bingo cards with squares representing song titles were created. Age relevant songs were selected and represented thematically along the top of the bingo cards as Motown, Music of the 50s, Music of the 60s, Holiday Music, and Current. Each participant received a bingo card with the same theme and songs were played for 45 seconds until someone reported bingo. Then new bingo cards were distributed with a different theme and the game was played again. Seniors reported better moods when pre- and post-game mood scores were compared. They were satisfied with the game and would like to play it again.

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Why is it important?

Science has consistently demonstrated the benefits of music for health and well-being across all age groups. Multi-component activities have also been recommended. Multi-component interventions that combine music with active leisure activities (eg. tai chi, dancing, exercise) have been tested with positive outcomes. However, fewer interventions combining music with passive activities (eg. sedentary games) have been tested. Passive activities have been reported to be beneficial for people with mobility and cognitive impairments, issues relatively common among older adults. This study demonstrated improved mood using a novel intervention that combined music with a passive leisure activity (bingo).


There are many older adults in all of our communities who suffer from chronic conditions that limit their ability to engage in social activities. We hope this article stimulates people to create novel ways to engage older adults in activities to improve their overall health and well-being.

Sue McLennon
University of Tennessee Knoxville

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Testing a Musical Game Activity for Community-Dwelling Older Adults, Home Health Care Management & Practice, August 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1084822319868703.
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