Title page for ETD etd-04072005-170522

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Larsen, Carol W.
Author's Email Address clarse1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04072005-170522
Title The Influence of Solo Performance Opportunities on Self-Reported Levels of Musical Performance Anxiety among Undergraduate College Music Majors
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael Burnett Committee Chair
Geraldine Johnson Committee Member
Marietta Del Favero Committee Member
  • musical performance anxiety
  • solo performances
  • solo performance opportunities
  • desensitization techniques
  • stage fright
  • college music majors
Date of Defense 2005-03-22
Availability unrestricted
Musical performance anxiety (MPA) is a concern for most college age musicians. While low to moderate levels of MPA may enhance performances for some musicians, too much “stage fright” can seriously hinder the quality of solo performances. Musicians use several techniques to manage MPA. One of these, desensitization, involves repeated exposure to solo performance opportunities. The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between the number and type of public solo performances completed and the level of self-reported performance anxiety among students pursuing baccalaureate degrees in music at a research extensive university in the southern United States.

A researcher designed survey included eight questions: five items solicited demographic characteristics; two scaled items asked respondents to rate their self-assessed levels of MPA at both the time of admission as a music major and at the current time; and the final item was an open-ended question that asked students to fill in the number of times they had performed public solos in a variety of listed venues since admission to the School of Music. The surveys were administered during a designated course with a 72% rate of return (n = 226).

Analysis of the data revealed that students’ self-assessed levels of MPA declined slightly while pursuing their undergraduate degrees in music. The researcher concluded that a significant correlation was found between the change in MPA levels and three particular types of public solo experiences: solos performed in jury and barrier examinations; solos performed in studio classes, master classes, and Recital Hour; and solos performed during small and large ensemble concerts. Based on this conclusion, an increase in the number of these types of solo performances is recommended.

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