Classical performing musicians have command of a wide range of cognitive, physiological and musical skills. However, the literature on facilitating optimal music performance has tended to focus on treating the pathological aspects of performance: on reducing debilitating music performance anxiety (MPA). This study explores the suggestion from positive psychology that optimal functioning cannot be attained solely by the absence of pathology, but that methods for facilitating positive functioning need to be actively cultivated. Twenty-four music students participated in a semester Music Performance Skills course or wait-list control condition. The course comprised mental skills training, physiological awareness, enhancing musical communication and simulated performances. Significant pre-/post-test reductions in self-reported MPA, and significant improvements in performance quality, judge-rated MPA, positive and negative affect and state anxiety were reported in the intervention group. No significant changes in measures of flow were observed. The implications of the findings for musical educational establishments are discussed.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Psychology of Music|
|Early online date||11 Feb 2018|
|State||Published - 1 Jul 2019|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.
- music performance
- music performance anxiety
- optimal music performance
- peak performance
- performance skills