The University of St. Thomas

Music

Larson, Elizabeth

Larson, Elizabeth

Addressing Music Performance Anxiety in Middle School Instrumental Music Students Through Mindfulness Meditation: A Theoretical Model
Elizabeth E. Larson
Abstract

The intent of this study is to create a theoretical model that will focus on mindfulness meditation as a means for managing music performance anxiety in middle school music students.  Before creating this model the researcher had to investigate whether the concepts of mindfulness meditation could be applied to performance anxiety in middle school music students.  After discerning that the concepts of mindfulness meditation could be applied to middle school students, the researcher explored several models of systematic instruction in mindfulness meditation to discover whether the concepts of mindfulness meditation could be developed into a theoretical instructional model for use with middle school music students.

By exploring systematic instructional models that use mindfulness meditation, the researcher was able to find several successful models that address a population experiencing anxiety disorders.  The researcher compared the models and chose elements from several as well as adjusted the main model to fit a middle school population. 

Because this model addresses music performance anxiety and not anxiety disorders in general, the researcher looked for a direct connection between mindfulness meditation and music performance.  The researcher  was able to use that connection to create a theoretical instructional model that addresses music performance anxiety through mindfulness meditation.

The result of this investigation is a six-week curriculum that uses mindfulness meditation to help middle school music students address music performance anxiety.  The seven foundational attitudes of mindfulness meditation are the direct connection between mindfulness meditation and music performance anxiety and form the basis for the direct instruction in the model.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of this model needs to be assessed in further research. If this model proves to be helpful for middle-school students, it is hoped that other music educators will look to this model to help their students address or avoid the debilitating aspects of music performance anxiety.

Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Doug Orzolek