Preventing music performance anxiety (MPA): Music students judge combined Depth Relaxation Music Therapy (DRMT) and silence to be an effective methodology

Eric Pfeifer, Christine Stolterfoth, Claudia Spahn, Hans Ulrich Schmidt, Tonius Timmermann, Marc Wittmann


This article presents the results of a study which focused on the application of combined Hypnomusictherapy (HMT)/Depth Relaxation Music Therapy (DRMT) and silence in preventing music performance anxiety (MPA) in music students. Participants (n=12) were divided into two groups. Each group received either 16 minutes of HMT/DRMT followed by 6:30 minutes of silence or a 16-minute seminar consisting of a moderated group discussion on silence followed by 6:30 minutes of silence. Each of the two groups experienced the alternative condition (within-subject design) with one week in between. Focus groups were held for data gathering after each session. Qualitative content analysis according to Mayring [1,2] was applied to analyze the data. Silence following DRMT/HMT was perceived as more relaxing and longer lasting than silence following the seminar. Participants reported that their distracting or depressing thoughts decreased and their auditive perception of silence changed during the combined silence and DRMT/HMT. The results indicate that the procedure can help prevent MPA.

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