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The practical application of psychological skills training for musicians: an exploratory multi-method study.

Hawkes, Mary E (2018) The practical application of psychological skills training for musicians: an exploratory multi-method study. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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MEH Thesis 20.5.19 FINAL VERSION.pdf
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Abstract

The research in this thesis developed through making connections between the practical and academic worlds of music and sport. As a practitioner already transferring ideas from sport into piano teaching, and as a researcher concerned by the lack of research about performance training for musicians, the author saw a potential in using psychological skills training (PST), largely researched in sport psychology, as an approach to performance preparation. In the first phase of a two-phase multi-method emergent design, focus group discussions with student instrumental teachers and experienced piano teachers explored the extent to which performance strategies were used by these teachers for themselves and for their pupils. The findings substantiated previous research, which shows that instrumental teachers know little about performance psychology, and added credence to the idea of using PST from sport as an approach to performance training. A small but growing literature shows that group PST programmes can benefit specialist musicians, but some researchers suggest PST may be more effective tailored to the individual. In phase 2 the practical application of one-to-one PST is demonstrated in two separate studies. Interviews with a Performance Coach and seven of her pianist clients show the impact of specialist coaching in a UK conservatoire, and that teachers can work together with an expert consultant to enhance performance. In addition, a year long action research project, with six piano teachers and their pupils, reveals the potential and challenges of psychological preparation for performance in the piano teacher’s studio, and that through training and reflection piano teachers can directly improve the performance experience for their pupils. These studies add to existing research on the use and benefits of PST for specialist musicians, and provide evidence that this type of training can also benefit musicians learning to play their instrument for recreation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Psychological skills training Musical performance preparation Multi-method research Instrumental teaching Specialist musicians Recreational musicians
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Music (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.778754
Depositing User: Mrs Mary E Hawkes
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2019 08:05
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24062

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