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The effects of meditation on music performance anxiety

Joanne C. Chang, Elizabeth Midlarsky, Peter Lin
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 18 Number 3: Page 126 (September 2003)

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Abstract: This study investigated the effect of meditation on music performance anxiety. Participants were 19 students between the ages of 18 and 41 yrs, who were recruited from the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Yale University School of Music, and State University of New York at Purchase. The experimental group received a series of eight meditation classes, and the control group received no meditation training. After the 8-week training period, all performed in a concert. Pretests and post-tests of music performance anxiety were given and post-tests of state anxiety and of performance concentration. Performance anxiety decreased among participants in the meditation group, in contrast to participants in the control group, whose performance anxiety did not decrease. Differences in regard to post-test state anxiety and performance concentration were not significant. An additional benefit of meditation was a reported increase in relaxation pleasure even in the period immediately before the performance. Results indicate that meditation may be a useful tool for aiding performers to combat performance anxiety.

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