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Music performance anxiety: an investigation into the efficacy of cognitive hypnotherapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing when applied to grade 8 pianists

Brooker, Mary Elizabeth (2015) Music performance anxiety: an investigation into the efficacy of cognitive hypnotherapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing when applied to grade 8 pianists. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Music performance anxiety (MPA) is widespread and has a detrimental effect on performance affecting amateur and professional musicians alike (Kenny, 2011; Wilson, 2002). Previous approaches for alleviation have focused on the conscious mind; however this research targets both the conscious and unconscious mind through two psychotherapies - cognitive hypnotherapy (CH) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). The efficacy of the therapies was investigated with 52 Grade 8 pianists at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield and at Leeds College of Music, initially a pilot study of 6 followed by 46 in a further study. A multimodal design was adopted using four different measurements: the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1983); a self-report questionnaire (SRQ) testing subjective anxiety; assessments of performance; and subjective perceptions of therapies pre- and post-treatment. To further support the quantitative data, qualitative investigations were conducted through the SRQ and an evaluative log of performance experiences post-research. During the research period participants were randomly assigned to a therapy or control group; the therapy groups received two interventions during a two-week period between two concerts. A significant improvement in performance was found in the therapy groups post-intervention, but not in the control; subjective levels of MPA also decreased significantly in the CH and EMDR groups. Both therapy groups demonstrated a significant reduction in state anxiety which was not evident in the control group, and trait anxiety decreased significantly below baseline levels in the therapy groups. Longitudinal testing of trait levels of anxiety at four months, one year and two years post-intervention demonstrated that significant decreases from baseline were still maintained. This finding, using a large sample, has not been previously reported and has important implications for educators, performers and future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: music performance anxiety, state anxiety, trait anxiety, cognitive anxiety, implicit mental processes, therapeutic intervention
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680924
Depositing User: Dr. Mary Elizabeth Brooker
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 12:29
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12130

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