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Date of Graduation
Master of Music (MM)
School of Music
William M. Dabback
While researchers have explored concepts relating to both Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) and informal music learning, few have related the two subjects to each other. The purpose of this study was to explore formally trained musicians’ experiences with MPA in informal contexts. Specifically, I examined informal musicians’ learning and performing environments, and the relationships they share with musicians’ perceptions of MPA. Primary data included two rounds of recorded interviews. Findings revealed that physical venues, audience size, audience makeup, financial factors, audience reception, interpersonal relationships among bandmates, creative ownership over music they performed, and motivation to prepare for performances all played a part in how participants perceived MPA in informal contexts. Participants felt that the degree to which their informal learning and performance experiences were dissimilar to their formal school music settings related directly to the genre of the formal ensemble or performance. Recommendations for future practice include encouraging more informal interactions with audiences in classical performances, incorporating generative creativity activities into curricula in order to facilitate students’ sense of creative ownership, and including informal music learning practices in formal music education spaces.
Waylett, Smith R.K., "Formally trained musicians’ perceptions of music performance anxiety in informal contexts: A phenomenology" (2021). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 104.