Study examines musician-instrument relationship

Posted on: December 12, 2012

Monday (12/10) on the Pacific Standard (Santa Barbara, California), Tom Jacobs writes, “Forging a deep, intense relationship, in which two meld into one, can be a difficult, emotionally draining process. But the end result is so worth it. Especially when that bond is between musician and instrument. That’s the conclusion of new research from Finland, which found musicians who consider their instrument an extension of themselves are more confident, and feel less performance anxiety. ‘Feeling united with the instrument indeed seems to be an advantageous relationship,’ writes a research team led by Veerle Simoens of the University of Finland’s Cognitive Brain Research Unit. Its study is published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. … They received responses from 116 students and 204 professionals. Eighty-three percent were classical musicians; the remainder were divided among such genres as pop-rock, folk-ethnic, and jazz. … Just over 51 percent of the musicians chose the final answer, declaring they feel at one with their instrument. … ‘Musicians who felt one with their instruments had lower scores of social phobia, debilitating music performance anxiety, and general music performance anxiety’ than those in the other groups, the researchers report.”

Posted December 12, 2012