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A Yoga Intervention for Music Performance Anxiety in Conservatory Students

Judith R.S. Stern, Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Stefan G. Hofmann
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 27 Number 3: Page 123 (September 2012)

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Abstract: Music performance anxiety can adversely affect musicians. There is a need for additional treatment strategies, especially those that might be more acceptable to musicians than existing therapies. This pilot study examined the effectiveness of a 9-week yoga practice on reducing music performance anxiety in undergraduate and graduate music conservatory students, including both vocalists and instrumentalists. The intervention consisted of fourteen 60-minute yoga classes approximately twice a week and a brief daily home practice. Of the 24 students enrolled in the study, 17 attended the post-intervention assessment. Participants who completed the measures at both pre- and post-intervention assessments showed large decreases in music performance anxiety as well as in trait anxiety. Improvements were sustained at 7- to 14-month follow-up. Participants generally provided positive comments about the program and its benefits. This study suggests that yoga is a promising intervention for music performance anxiety in conservatory students and therefore warrants further research.

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