Margaret S. Osborne

Margaret S. Osborne
University of Melbourne | MSD · Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences & Conservatorium of Music;

BPsych(Hons), PhD

About

53
Publications
49,770
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Introduction
Margaret is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Music (Performance Science) at the University of Melbourne. Her research evaluates psychological strategies to manage performance anxiety and optimise performance excellence in musicians and athletes. She also convenes the Master of Professional Psychology. Margaret is passionate about formulating best-practice methods to build mental and physical health and resilience, and maximise performance potential.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Honorary Fellow
October 2010 - January 2016
University of Melbourne
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (53)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Students with a strong sense of competence in musical skills and control over their physical and psychological well-being enhance their capacity to exceed their average level of performance and achieve an optimal or peak performance. Musicians transferring from the rehearsal studio to a concert performance demonstrate significant increa...
Article
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) can be distressing for many young people studying music, and may negatively impact upon their ability to cope with the demands and stressors of music education. It can also lead young people to give up music or to develop unhealthy coping habits in their adult music careers. Minimal research has examined the effectiv...
Article
Full-text available
We sought to understand the potential for positive non-musical outcomes for economically and socially disadvantaged primary school students who are involved in instrumental music learning programs. Two schools with students experiencing generational poverty, current or first-generation immigrant or refugee status who were running El-Sistema inspire...
Chapter
Full-text available
The need to perform at one's best in high pressure situations may for many performers, at some point in their learning and professional careers , trigger debilitating performance anxiety. This is associated with marked emotional distress, impaired performance and performance avoidance, presenting a substantial barrier to learning and occupational h...
Chapter
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is a pervasive and frequently debilitating difficulty faced by many performers associated with negative impacts on performance quality, psychological distress, deteriorations in confidence, and, at its extreme, disengagement from performing. MPA typically begins early in a musical career and negatively affects perfor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Music listening exerts a powerful effect on human emotion. However, self-compassion, a strong predictor of mental health, has received little attention in existing music listening literature. Therefore, this study aims to advance the existing literature by investigating music listening and its role in cultivating self-compassion. The benefits of se...
Article
Full-text available
Musicians with absolute pitch (AP) can name the pitch of a musical note in isolation. Expression of this unusual ability is thought to be influenced by heritability, early music training and current practice. However, our understanding of factors shaping its expression is hampered by testing and scoring methods that treat AP as dichotomous. These f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Four decades of research in performing arts medicine have mapped the extent of performance-related problems (PRP) in musicians; however, intervention studies are yet to produce consistent evidence of a protocol that successfully addresses the complexities of musicians’ psychological and physical wellbeing. Our initial step in developing a wellbeing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Music listening exerts a powerful effect on human emotion. However, self-compassion, a strong predictor of mental health, has received little attention in existing music listening literature. As such, this study seeks to advance the current literature by investigating music listening and its role in cultivating self-compassion with a primary focus...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between pitch-naming ability and childhood onset of music training is well established and thought to reflect both genetic predisposition and music training during a critical period. However, the importance of the amount of practice during this period has not been investigated. In a population sample of twins (N = 1447, 39% male, 3...
Poster
Full-text available
Test anxiety is experienced by approximately one third of university students and often compromises academic achievement. Existing test anxiety research has focused on the role of self-efficacy and perfectionism. Research in performance domains such as music and sport recognise mental toughness, decentering and psychological flexibility as features...
Poster
Full-text available
Our poster detailing the creation of a new questionnaire, the Musician's Acceptance & Action Questionnaire, to be presented at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science's 2022 "World Con" conference.
Article
Full-text available
Performers, such as athletes, actors, dancers, and musicians, function within high pressure competitive and often hostile or critical environments. These individuals can be prone to a range of self-critical cognitions and behaviours which may make them susceptible to mental ill-health and psychological distress. Fostering and nurturing self-compass...
Article
Full-text available
This cross-sectional study explored athlete responses to the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale, examining its relationship with well-being. Athlete ( N = 207; mean age 27.9 years) scores were consistent with previous population means. Scores on the Compassion Motivation and Action Scales Self-Compassion Scale did not dif...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Paper 1 for the Symposium led by the University of Melbourne Virtual Performace Lab team, including four papers for discussion.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Simulation training is used to develop performance skills in various disciplines, particularly where performance failures may have devastating consequences. Such training enables learners to acclimatise to real-life stressors and feared scenarios in a physically and/or psychologically safe environment, to protect against performance decrements whic...
Poster
Full-text available
Background Listening to music is a popular leisure activity. Investigations of music in everyday life are dominated by a functional perspective, drawn from work using the theory of Uses and Gratifications. In so doing, we may have neglected to fully appreciate the value people place on music listening. Therefore, the present study considered if, an...
Article
Full-text available
Investigations of music in everyday life are dominated by a functional perspective, drawn from work using the theory of Uses and Gratifications. In so doing, we may have neglected to fully appreciate the value people place on music listening. Therefore, the present study considered if, and why, people value music listening and probed instances when...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster for ACBS World Conference 2021 examining the relationship among psychological inflexibility and variables of interest with university musicians, like music performance anxiety (MPA), flow, and perfectionism. https://doi.org/10.26188/14813457
Article
Full-text available
Performance anxiety can be debilitating, and so researchers and laypeople alike tend to assume that it is desirable to downregulate this emotion. Yet emerging perspectives in the emotion literature suggest that people sometimes aim to upregulate anxiety to aid performance. The present research investigated the emotion goals that musicians hold when...
Article
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is a distressing and persistent anxious apprehension related to musical performance. The experience of MPA forces many musicians to give up performing or develop maladaptive coping mechanisms (e.g., avoidance or substance use), which can impact their career and wellbeing. High levels of MPA in students and vocalists...
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of using a self-directed practice diary on conservatory pianists’ self-regulated learning tendencies. We sought to determine whether the implementation of a self-directed practice diary based on the three-phase model of self-regulated learning would lead students to gradually demonstrate more sel...
Article
Typical musicians devote most of their time to blocks of physical practice and mistake-avoidance, as opposed to mental preparation, desirable difficulties, and strategies that strengthen self-efficacy and autonomy. For this reason, teachers try to steer students away from mindless drill and towards self-regulated learning strategies. Yet, both the...
Article
Full-text available
The way musicians appraise their abilities to succeed in a forthcoming evaluative performance impacts on the range of emotions they will experience. According to Lazarus’ cognitive-motivational-relational theory, emotions may wield powerful consequences depending on whether the performance is interpreted as a threat (high importance/primary apprais...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the development of a music practice microanalysis protocol that is based on the three-phase model of self-regulated learning (i.e., Forethought, Performance and Self-Reflection). Up until now, most studies on music practice have tended to focus on behavioural aspects. The expanded view presented here outlines a technique for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We are pleased to be able to share with you a day of collegial and scholarly discussions around a topic that is vital to the optimal performance and career sustainability of all musicians – their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The symposium is hosted by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) and Music, Mind & Wellbeing at the Unive...
Presentation
Full-text available
In order for artists to flourish as employable, enterprising practitioners in today’s society, they require a robust training program alongside their principal music speciality. This heralds the need for traditional tertiary arts education institutions to offer comprehensive professional development through the emerging discipline of arts entrepren...
Chapter
Full-text available
Young developing musicians are often exposed to a variety of performance experiences, from early informal experiences performing in front of family members, to performing with their school ensemble, to formal examinations from external examination bodies. For each student, these types of opportunities can trigger a range of emotions, thoughts, beha...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing body of evidence that the prevalence of music performance anxiety (MPA) and perfectionism in populations of adult musicians is high, and that both conditions impact negatively on the psychological health and wellbeing of musicians. There is scant evidence on the origins of these two conditions in student populations. The purp...
Article
Full-text available
This study extends an eight-country mapping exercise undertaken (McPherson & O’Neill, 2010; see Research Studies in Music Education issues 2010-2011) to now include students’ motivation to study music within the Australian context. It sought to determine whether music learners (students learning an instrument or voice), might be more motivated to s...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of music participation are low in developed nations. This may be attributed in part to the failure of school music to engage children sufficiently to motivate them to continue learning and participating in music. We tested the Harmonix program of classroom music education, which is currently being designed to maximize engagement in music lear...
Chapter
Full-text available
Archaeological evidence indicates that modern humans have been making music, portable art, and painting the walls of caves for at least the last 35,000 years. Through the activities of drawing and song these two art forms are also the first in which young children take an active part. In this chapter, we review what is known about children’s artist...
Conference Paper
Music affords us many benefits, for our own and other’s mental health and wellbeing. In a cruel twist of fate, the act of performing music can be distressing enough such that it is endured with dread and fear, and in extreme cases, leads some to avoid performing altogether. As a community this denies us the opportunity to hear musicians from a broa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tertiary music students report marked distress, impaired performance and performance avoidance as a result of debilitating performance anxiety, making it a substantial barrier to learning. Yet, our understanding of valid and reliable interventions to reduce music perfor- mance anxiety and optimise performance execution in tertiary education is mini...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA), defined as the experience of intense and persistent apprehension related to musical performance, can have a serious negative impact on musicians. In some instances, severe levels of MPA have been purported to devastate or prematurely end otherwise promising musical careers, and has also been found to be a relatively...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Students with a strong sense of competence and control over their physical and psychological well-being and performance skills enhance their capacity to exceed their average level of performance and achieve an optimal, peak performance. Musicians transferring from the rehearsal studio to a concert performance demonstrate significant increases in he...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research Aims/Questions Evidence from the small field of research investigating music performance anxiety (MPA) in children and adolescents shows that it can present as young as three years of age, peaks in mid-adolescence, and is cognitively mediated, particularly in student retrospective accounts of their worst music performance. These cognitions...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research Aims/Questions Music performance anxiety (MPA) can be a highly distressing experience for many young musicians from early childhood and throughout adolescence. Debilitating MPA during a student’s early music learning years has been cited as a reason for some students to want to discontinue music learning. It may also be associated with dec...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) can be distressing for many young people studying music, and may negatively impact their ability to cope with the demands and stressors of music education. This is a randomized wait-list control study of a performance psychology program to reduce MPA and promote resilience delivered to adolescents in a school envi-ro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aims/questions: Finding ways of overcoming significant decrements in music, sport and school test performance that result from debilitating anxiety has been the topic of performance psychology research for over 40 years. Only in recent years, however, has new evidence come to light showing that strengthening resilience may hold the key to maximisin...
Article
Full-text available
The preamble to the Australian Government’s 2011 National Cultural Policy discussion paper envisages an Australian society in 10 years, when the arts are mainstreamed and embedded into the public consciousness via a range of economic and social portfolios. Through this policy the government acknowledges the important role that arts and creativity p...
Article
Full-text available
Aversive performance incidents play a role in the development of some anxiety disorders. The role of sensitizing experiences in the development of music performance anxiety (MPA) in adolescent music students has not yet been explored. Two-hundred-and-ninety-eight music students were asked to provide written descriptions of their worst performance,...
Article
Full-text available
This study assessed the effectiveness of a combined individual and group cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) program to reduce music performance anxiety (MPA) in adolescent musicians. Twenty-three adolescents with high MPA from a selective high school were randomly assigned to either a seven-session intervention program or a behaviour-exposure-on...
Article
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is a relatively neglected psychological phenomenon that rarely appears in mainstream psychological journals or textbooks. To date, this field of inquiry has focused primarily on professional and amateur adult musicians or college level music students. With the exception of a small number of recent additions to the li...
Article
Full-text available
The Music Performance Anxiety Inventory for Adolescents (MPAI–A), the first standardized measure of music performance anxiety (MPA) for adolescents, was developed using an Australian sample of 381 talented young musicians, ages 12 to 19 years. This study validates the MPAI–A on a younger sample of 84 band musicians from the United States, ages 11 t...
Article
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is a distressing experience for musicians of all ages, yet the empirical investigation of MPA in adolescents has received little attention to date. No measures specifically targeting MPA in adolescents have been empirically validated. This article presents findings of an initial study into the psychometric properties...
Article
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is a distressing experience for musicians of all ages, yet the empirical investigation of MPA in adolescents has received little attention to date. No measures specifically targeting MPA in adolescents have been empirically validated. This article presents findings of an initial study into the psychometric properties...
Article
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety has been investigated either as a discrete phenomenon, or as a variant of social phobia. This study examined the theoretical adequacy of establishing music performance anxiety as a subtype of social phobia, using Rapee and Heimberg's (1997) model of anxiety in social-evaluative situations to account for the cognitions expe...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
This lab explores the affordances of virtual and simulated performance environments to increase student engagement and wellbeing, enhance learning outcomes, and provide equitable learning opportunities, by presenting an alternative to the traditional dichotomy of face to face versus online teaching and learning.
Project
Research examining the effectiveness of a newly created self-report measure for assessing psychological flexibility among university musicians, the Musician's Acceptance & Action Questionnaire (MAAQ). The MAAQ will assess psychological flexibility within both performance and practice contexts, using 3 samples of English-speaking university students (from Australia, UK, USA). Publication due out in 2021.