Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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After the Curtain Falls: On the Post-Performance Adjustment of Solo Singers

Ehud Bodner, Moshe Bensimon
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 23 Number 4: Page 172 (December 2008)

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Abstract: The purpose of our study was to examine the psychological experience of a particular type of performing musicians, solo singers, upon finishing their stage performance. Thirty-eight professional rock singers completed questionnaires related to their self-esteem, positive and negative affects, and purpose in life, at 3 days before and after their performance. The contribution of these variables to the prediction of the participants' sense of purpose in life before and after performance was analyzed. We also compared the scores obtained from the singers' mental health condition with the scores of nonsingers who were nonpatients, ambulatory-neurotic patients, or inpatient-psychiatric patients tested by Florian and Drory in 1990. Results showed a post-performance decrement in emotional intensity and in the singers' sense of purpose in life. The singers' ability to maintain their sense of purpose in life after the performance was predicted by their professional experience, psychological well-being, and psychological mental distress. The singers' mental health appeared better than both the ambulatory-neurotic and inpatient-psychiatric groups, but it was worse than the mental health of the nonpatients. The meanings of these findings and their implications for post-performance psychotherapy are discussed.

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