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"A Bed of Nails": Professional Musicians' Accounts of the Experience of Performance Anxiety From a Phenomenological Perspective

Papageorgi, I; Welch, GF; (2020) "A Bed of Nails": Professional Musicians' Accounts of the Experience of Performance Anxiety From a Phenomenological Perspective. Frontiers in Psychology , 11 , Article 605422. 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.605422. Green open access

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Abstract

Most investigations of musical performance anxiety have employed quantitative methodologies. Whereas such methodologies can provide useful insights into the measurable aspects of the experience in a larger group of participants, the complexity, subtlety and individuality of the emotional experience and the importance of the individual's interpretation of it are often overlooked. This study employed a phenomenological approach to investigate the lived, subjective experience of performance anxiety, as described in professional musicians' narratives. Semi-structured interviews with four professional musicians (two males, two females) specializing in Western classical and jazz music genres were conducted and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The analysis revealed the presence of four overarching themes: (1) Intensity of performance anxiety experience, (2) perceived effects, (3) development of coping strategies, and (4) achieving release from anxiety. Findings suggest that the lived experience of performance anxiety is multifaceted, characterized by a physical and a psychological dimension. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis is a useful research tool that can facilitate our understanding of the subjective experience of performance anxiety (how it is felt and understood at an individual level) and can thus be useful in the development of tailor-made intervention programs for musicians.

Type: Article
Title: "A Bed of Nails": Professional Musicians' Accounts of the Experience of Performance Anxiety From a Phenomenological Perspective
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.605422
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.605422
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 Papageorgi and Welch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, lived experience, music performance anxiety, professional musicians, semi-structured interviews
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115180
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