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Exploring the Use of Psychological Skills Training Interventions in a Music Domain: A Systematic Review

Jessica Ford, Monna Arvinen-Barrow
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 34 Number 4: Page 222 (December 2019)

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Abstract: AIM: The aim of this paper was to systematically review existing empirical literature addressing the use of psychological skills training (PST) interventions commonly employed in sport applied to a music domain. Included PST studies must have an experimental or quasi-experimental design and no clinical or pharmacological interventions and/or assessments. METHODS: The databases MEDLINE (EBSCO), PsychInfo, Psych Articles, CINAHL Plus with full text, Google Scholar, SportDiscus, and Music Index were searched using a combination of the terms. music*, performance psychology, performance enhancement, music performance, intervention, psychological skills training, and music performance psychology. Due to the novelty of the existing literature, there were no limitation restrictions to publication year, the standard of musician (e.g., expert, novice, professional, amateur), participant age, or type of intervention setting. RESULTS: The initial search revealed 323 published articles. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 10 articles were deemed sufficient for review. Four additional articles were found via pen-and-paper method by evaluating the reference sections of the included articles. All reviewed studies demonstrated that aspects of PST interventions commonly employed in sport (except Alexander technique) are effective at subjectively enhancing performance in a music domain. The PST interventions varied vastly in duration, as well as the types of (and a theoretical and empirical rationale for) psychological skills employed. CONCLUSIONS: Music performers may benefit from PST interventions typically used in sport; however, unique considerations of the music performance environment must be addressed in the design of such PST interventions.

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