Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Shaina Rush

Faculty Sponsor

Mark Montemayor


Musical performance anxiety (MPA) is a prominent disorder among musicians (Kirchner, 2004/2005). Music therapy is one of the most effective forms of therapy for anxiety in non-musicians; however, it has been overlooked as a coping method for anxious musicians (Martinez, 2009). This study included five sessions of improvisational exercises with college wind musicians. As a result, MPA symptoms subsided, and self-awareness of the body was improved during performances. Anxiety levels were measured via self-reported surveys and personal journals of progress from participants. Research in improvisational practice techniques provided performing artist with a form of self-therapy that may lead to more successful performances and careers.

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