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Virtual Reality Exposure Training for Musicians: Its Effect on Performance Anxiety and Quality.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Med Probl Perform Art, Volume 30, Issue 3, p.169-77 (2015)

Abstract:

Music performance anxiety affects numerous musicians, with many of them reporting impairment of performance due to this problem. This exploratory study investigated the effects of virtual reality exposure training on students with music performance anxiety. Seventeen music students were randomly assigned to a control group (n=8) or a virtual training group (n=9). Participants were asked to play a musical piece by memory in two separate recitals within a 3-week interval. Anxiety was then measured with the Personal Report of Confidence as a Performer Scale and the S-Anxiety scale from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y). Between pre- and post-tests, the virtual training group took part in virtual reality exposure training consisting of six 1-hour long sessions of virtual exposure. The results indicate a significant decrease in performance anxiety for musicians in the treatment group for those with a high level of state anxiety, for those with a high level of trait anxiety, for women, and for musicians with high immersive tendencies. Finally, between the pre- and post-tests, we observed a significant increase in performance quality for the experimental group, but not for the control group.

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