ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Mindfulness is defined as sustained, non-judgmental attention towards the world and the self. Several recent studies are bringing this concept into cutting-edge research and creating important contributions for the clinical context. In spite of this fact, there is a promising but unmapped field of research around specific contributions of mindfulness to music, and more specifically, for musicians. This article reviews this topic in order to show the state of the art of mindfulness related to music and help further advancement. A total of 27 publications were reviewed. The main conclusion is that despite its youth, this field is yielding some promising results in several dimensions: (1) effectiveness in mindfulness-based intervention programs for professional and hobby performers, (2) attention and concentration boost because of mindfulness induction in music audience, (3) effective induction of mindfulness states by music, and (4) promising contributions of mindfulness and music therapies. Finally, some guidelines and future lines are suggested for expanding and improving results, models, and methods. Keywords:
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... Mindfulness, combined with Buddhist meditation, has a long history. Mindfulness is usually defined as "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally" (Diaz, 2013;Lutz et al., 2014;Rodríguez-Carvajal and Lecuona, 2014). Mindfulness meditation, as a state, trait, or clinical intervention, has been widely used in emotion regulation, attention, psychotherapy, and clinical medicine, among other fields (Brown and Ryan, 2003;Sahdra et al., 2011;Singh et al., 2014;Bueno et al., 2015;Zanesco et al., 2016;Zanesco, 2017;Andreu et al., 2019;Bailey et al., 2019). ...
... Mindfulness meditation, as a state, trait, or clinical intervention, has been widely used in emotion regulation, attention, psychotherapy, and clinical medicine, among other fields (Brown and Ryan, 2003;Sahdra et al., 2011;Singh et al., 2014;Bueno et al., 2015;Zanesco et al., 2016;Zanesco, 2017;Andreu et al., 2019;Bailey et al., 2019). It has brought many positive effects to people, such as regulated negative emotions, enhanced self-awareness, improved well-being, enhanced psychological function, and reduced stress symptoms, and improved cognitive recovery (Brown and Ryan, 2003;Rodríguez-Carvajal and Lecuona, 2014;Tomaselli, 2014;Anderson, 2016;Bell et al., 2016;Baylan et al., 2018;Sorensen et al., 2018;Loo et al., 2020;Misba et al., 2020). Previous studies have shown a certain relationship between mindfulness meditation and specific music activities (Rodríguez-Carvajal and Lecuona, 2014). ...
... It has brought many positive effects to people, such as regulated negative emotions, enhanced self-awareness, improved well-being, enhanced psychological function, and reduced stress symptoms, and improved cognitive recovery (Brown and Ryan, 2003;Rodríguez-Carvajal and Lecuona, 2014;Tomaselli, 2014;Anderson, 2016;Bell et al., 2016;Baylan et al., 2018;Sorensen et al., 2018;Loo et al., 2020;Misba et al., 2020). Previous studies have shown a certain relationship between mindfulness meditation and specific music activities (Rodríguez-Carvajal and Lecuona, 2014). Mindfulness-based music listening can increase listening sensitivity and enjoyment (Anderson, 2016;Baylan et al., 2018), improve well-being (Brown and Ryan, 2003;Rodríguez-Carvajal and Lecuona, 2014;Sorensen et al., 2018;Loo et al., 2020), enhance body awareness and listening experiences (Diaz, 2013;Rodríguez-Carvajal and Lecuona, 2014), and decrease psychological stress and anxiety symptoms (Tomaselli, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Mindfulness meditation is a form of self-regulatory training for the mind and the body. The relationship between mindfulness meditation and musical aesthetic emotion processing (MAEP) remains unclear. This study aimed to explore the effect of temporary mindfulness meditation on MAEP while listening to Chinese classical folk instrumental musical works. A 2 [(groups: mindfulness meditation group (MMG); control group (CG)] × 3 (music emotions: calm music, happy music, and sad music) mixed experimental design and a convenience sample of university students were used to verify our hypotheses, which were based on the premise that temporary mindfulness meditation may affect MAEP (MMG vs. CG). Sixty-seven non-musically trained participants (65.7% female, age range: 18-22 years) were randomly assigned to two groups (MMG or CG). Participants in MMG were given a single 10-min recorded mindfulness meditation training before and when listening to music. The instruments for psychological measurement comprised of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Self-report results showed no significant between-group differences for PANAS and for the scores of four subscales of the FFMQ (p > 0.05 throughout), except for the non-judging of inner experience subscale. Results showed that temporary mindfulness meditation training decreased the negative emotional experiences of happy and sad music and the positive emotional experiences of calm music during recognition and experience and promoted beautiful musical experiences in individuals with no musical training. Maintaining a state of mindfulness while listening to music enhanced body awareness and led to experiencing a faster passage of musical time. In addition, it was found that Chinese classical folk instrumental musical works effectively induced aesthetic emotion and produced multidimensional aesthetic experiences among non-musically trained adults. This study provides new insights into the relationship between mindfulness and music emotion.
... Music contributes to "cultivating emotions that are helpful-and managing emotions that are harmful" and, as such, "it is one of the central concerns of the field of emotion regulation" [6] (p. 1). Previous studies have shown that both mindfulness meditation and effective music listening have significant positive effects on emotion regulation [7][8][9][10]. ...
... Unhelpful listening habits are not conducive to regulating negative emotions; only the effective strategies of listening to music, such as self-chosen music [20], self-awareness, and conscious music listening choices [22], can help regulate daily emotions as well as induced negative emotions. Effective music listening can reduce negative emotional experiences, improve psychological health [10,21,[23][24][25][26][27], and enhance cognitive functions [10,20,21]. ...
... Unhelpful listening habits are not conducive to regulating negative emotions; only the effective strategies of listening to music, such as self-chosen music [20], self-awareness, and conscious music listening choices [22], can help regulate daily emotions as well as induced negative emotions. Effective music listening can reduce negative emotional experiences, improve psychological health [10,21,[23][24][25][26][27], and enhance cognitive functions [10,20,21]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The current study aimed to explore the behavioral and neural correlates of mindfulness-based music listening regulation of induced negative emotions related to COVID-19 using the face-word Stroop task. Eighty-five young adults visited the laboratory and were randomly assigned to three groups: a calm music group (CMG: n = 28), a happy music group (HMG: n = 30), and a sad music group (SMG: n = 27). Negative emotions were induced in all participants using a COVID-19 video, followed by the music intervention condition. Participants underwent the face-word Stroop tasks during which event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. The N2, N3, P3, and late positive component (LPC) were investigated. The results showed that calm music and happy music effectively regulate young adults' induced negative emotions, while young adults experienced more negative emotions when listening to sad music; the negative mood states at the post-induction phase inhibited the reaction of conflict control in face-word Stroop tasks, which manifested as lower accuracy (ACC) and slower reaction times (RTs). ERP results showed negative mood states elicited greater N2, N3, and LPC amplitudes and smaller P3 amplitudes. Further studies are needed to develop intervention strategies to enhance emotion regulation related to COVID-19 for other groups.
... Despite the important role that developing mindfulness skills could play to benefit higher education student musicians' health and well-being and performance, the research evidence in this particular field remains scant (Rodríguez-Carvajal & Lecuona, 2014) with only a few exploratory studies available. In a quasi-experimental study, Steyn et al. (2016) examined the effect of a 7-week mixed program, which integrated mindfulness and sport-related psychological skills, across various psychological and well-being measures on a convenience sample of 36 undergraduate music students allocated to either an experimental or a control group. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Higher education student musicians face high physical, psychological, and emotional demands affecting their well-being and academic experience. This study examined the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of the so-called CRAFT program, based on mindfulness, yoga, positive psychology, and emotional intelligence, to improve psychological well-being, psychological distress, emotional regulation, and physical flexibility amongst tertiary education student musicians. Methods Using a single-arm pre-post study design, student musicians (n = 25) at a royal conservatory of music in Spain followed a 25-week CRAFT program that was curricularly implemented during the academic year 2018/2019, once a week for 50 min. The outcome measures included were the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), the Subjective Psychological Well-Being Subscale (SPWS), the Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), and the Sit and Reach Test (SRT). Results Paired samples t-test and practical significance analyses revealed significant improvements for the total scale of the FFMQ (g = 0.28), the Observe (g = 0.44) and Describe (g = 0.38) subscales of the FFMQ, the SPWS (g = 0.32), the Reappraisal subscale of the ERQ (g = 0.43), and the SRT (g = 0.39). A similar pattern of results was observed in a filtered sample (n = 15) when excluding participants simultaneously engaged in yoga/meditation activities other than the CRAFT program. Conclusions These results indicated that the CRAFT program is a promising intervention for improving mindfulness skills and health and well-being states and abilities amongst higher education student musicians. Further research is needed to substantiate these findings and extend them to similar settings and populations with complex psychophysical concerns.
... Certain aspects of mindfulness have also been included in dance therapy 31,33. Furthermore, research has shown that practising mindfulness during performance helps decrease performance anxiety 34,35 . ...
Article
Existing literature has explored the role of mindfulness and mind-wandering on creative processes. However, it has overlooked the diversity in the creative domains as well as the experience of the artist while accounting for their relationship. In the present study, mindfulness and mind wandering- deliberate and spontaneous were explored among performing artists, i.e. musicians, theatre artists, and dancers. The study also looked at the artists’ experience in their field. After an initial screening using a creativity tool, 66 performing artists were recruited, following which two self-report indices that assessed mind wandering and mindfulness were administered. The data collected was subjected to quantitative data analysis in SPSS. A Oneway ANOVA showed significant effect of the creative domain on mindfulness for the three groups, with a significant difference between musicians and dancers. Among the musicians, a significant negative relationship between mind wandering spontaneous and years of experience was seen. Among the dancers, there was a significant positive association between mind wandering spontaneous, mind wandering deliberate and years of experience. The current study highlighted the need to approach the study of creativity using a contextual perspective. Keywords: Creativity, Dance, Music, Theatre.
Thesis
Full-text available
Music performance anxiety (MPA) seriously affects nearly all musicians at some point in their lives and may cause musicians to abandon their careers or develop maladaptive coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms. While peer-reviewed studies have explored a broad array of psychological treatments for MPA, a paucity of research exists regarding expert classical guitarists’ recommendations for MPA symptom management. Since all post-secondary guitar instructors at the expert level interact with MPA in themselves and their students, and each instrumental discipline has idiosyncratic presentations of MPA, this dissertation seeks to understand common approaches and MPA management strategies from the perspective of classical guitar instructors at the post-secondary level—a cohort which includes the researcher. The project compares guitar experts’ recommendations with existing treatment protocols from psychology to understand MPA from a deeper scientific and heuristic perspective while providing pathways for novel research in this topic. This research concluded that guitarists’ approaches prioritized performance excellence and complete mental and physical preparation to manage MPA, while psychological treatments prioritized cognitive components of MPA, musician’s well-being, and symptom reduction. An impressive convergence of approaches appeared in the guitar and psychology literature, particularly regarding the use of mindfulness strategies and strategies from sports psychology.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Research shows that mindfulness interventions for test anxiety in a college student population are beneficial (Lothes, Mochrie, Wilson, & Hakan, 2021). This study expands on the existing literature by examining how distance learning mindfulness practices may affect anxiety in college students. Aim: This study assessed the effects of online mindfulness practices over a five-week period on test anxiety in college students. Method: Participants included 31 college students that were randomly assigned to either a sitting meditation or music meditation condition. The two groups were also split in half to add a wait list control condition. A weekly schedule of mindfulness practices was given to participants to complete on their own. Results: Participants in the sitting meditation condition showed significant within-group reductions in test anxiety, overall anxiety, and mindfulness from start to finish. The music meditation group showed no changes in test anxiety. However, overall anxiety showed decreases in scores, and overall mindfulness did show significant increases for this group. Conclusion: Mindfulness may play a role in the reduction of anxiety and test anxiety. Further research is needed to more definitively assess how music meditation may impact anxiety.
Article
This paper presents a first prototype of a virtual Theremin instrument for accompanying film scenes with sound. The virtual Theremin is implemented as a hybrid application for the web. Sound control is achieved by capturing user gestures with a webcam and mapping the gestures to the corresponding virtual Theremin parameters pitch and volume. Different sound types can be selected. The application’s underlying research is part of the multi-modal digital heritage project KOLLISIONEN which targets to open up the private archive of the Russian film maker Sergej Eisenstein to a broader public in digital form. Eisenstein, a film theorist and pioneer of film montage, was particularly intrigued by the Theremin as an instrument for film sound design. The virtual Theremin presented here is therefore linked to a film scene from the 1929 Soviet drama “The General Line” by Sergej Eisenstein which was never set to music originally. In its first implementation state, the application connects music interaction design with digital heritage in a modular, flexible and playful way and uses contemporary web technologies to enable easy operation and the greatest possible accessibility.
Article
Full-text available
In a cross-sectional study, associations of global affect with two ways of listening to music – attentive-analytical listening (AL) and emotional listening (EL) – were examined. Based on a two-dimensional model of general affect, we focused on the degrees to which AL and EL are differentially correlated with positive and negative affect. In addition to bivariate relationships, the interactions between different states of general affect were tested. In Study 1, a sample of 1,291 individuals responded to questionnaires on listening to music, positive affect (PA), and negative affect (NA). We used the PANAS, which measures PA and NA as high arousal dimensions. AL was positively correlated with PA, EL with NA. Moderation analyses showed stronger associations between PA and AL when NA was low. Study 2 (N = 499 participants) differentiated between three facets of affect and focused, in addition to PA and NA, on the role of relaxation. Similar to the findings of Study 1, AL was correlated with PA, EL with NA and PA. Moderation analyses indicated that the degree to which PA was associated with an individual´s tendency to listen to music attentively depended on their degree of relaxation. In addition, the correlation between PA and EL was stronger for individuals who were more relaxed; for individuals who were less relaxed, the correlation between NA and EL was stronger. In sum, the results demonstrate not only simple bivariate correlations, but also that the expected associations vary, depending on the different affective states. We argue that the results reflect a dual function of listening to music, which includes emotional regulation and information processing.
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Mindfulness has been explored in the clinical and educational fields but has rarely been studied in the music domain. This study investigated the effects of teaching eight-week Mindfulness for Singers courses on vocalists’ music education and performance. Methods A mixed methods approach was utilized, which included controlled and randomized controlled trials using standardized and novel mindfulness measures pre- and post-intervention, interviews post-intervention and three months later, concurrent diaries, and a blinded teacher study. Participants included singing students (total n=52) and their teachers ( n=11) from a university and a music college over a period of two years. Results Levels of mindfulness increased over the intervention for experimental participants in comparison to controls. Considering their total student cohort, teachers identified 61% of eligible mindfulness singing participants as having completed the mindfulness intervention. Experimental participants reported that learning mindfulness had positive effects in lessons, solo and group instrumental practices, and when performing on stage. They described more focus and attention, positive effects of increased body awareness on singing technique, enhanced socio-collaborative relationships, reductions in performance anxiety, and beneficial effects whilst performing, such as more expressivity and enjoyment. Conclusions Learning mindfulness had positive holistic effects on vocal students and was well received by their mindfulness-naïve singing teachers. Findings suggest that it would be highly beneficial for mindfulness to be made available in music conservatoires and university music departments alongside singing lessons for singers to enhance their present experience as vocal students and their futures as performers and teachers.
Article
Background The role of music on energy intake is conflicting, and recent research has suggested a positive association between classical music listening and mindfulness. Objective The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of music, specifically classical music on state mindfulness and calorie intake of energy-dense foods. Method One hundred participants were randomly assigned to either a classical, popular or no music condition, and were served a variety of sweet (i.e., chocolate and cookies) and savoury (i.e., crisps) energy-dense foods. Results: The results found no significant differences in state mindfulness, overall calorie intake, or intake of sweet foods across the three conditions. However, participants in the classical music condition did consume significantly less savoury food than those in the no music condition. Conclusion Playing classical music may be beneficial in reducing intake of savoury foods, but not through the association to changes in state mindfulness. Future research should explore extended sessions of music listening on state mindfulness and other experiential evaluations of mindfulness to conclude on the direct and indirect effects of music on sweet and savoury foods.
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the efficacy of psychological skills and mindfulness training intervention on the psychological wellbeing of undergraduate music students. Participants were undergraduate music students (n = 36) from the Department of Music at a South African university, 21 of whom were elected to take the psychological skills and mindfulness training intervention. Data on their self-reported psychological wellbeing, psychological skills, mindfulness and performance anxiety levels were collected pre-and post-intervention. The analysis applied non-parametric procedures to determine changes in students’ psychological wellbeing after the seven-week intervention programme. Findings suggest improvements in psychological wellbeing, psychological skills, mindfulness and performance anxiety with training. Psychological skills and mindfulness training may have benefits to the psychological wellbeing of music students.
Article
Full-text available
The process of flow, a psychological state that seems to occur during optimal human experience, is currently unclear. This exploratory study examines how flow begins and what happens during and after a flow experience. A phenomenological approach was taken to examine the flow experiences of an artist, a musician, and a horticulturist. Participants kept journals and participated in semi-structured interviews. The results suggest that two phenomena, “challenge-skills” and “mindfulness,” were identified as being “flow” experiences. Challenge-skills and mindfulness had some common features. Both involved living in the present moment, not worrying, and performing activities because they were intrinsically rewarding. They were distinctly different experiences in regard to the effort involved, the perception of time, and the consequences of the experience. Understanding the process of challenge-skills and mindfulness may have implications for our understanding of the relationship between occupation, consciousness, and health and for occupational therapy practice.
Article
Full-text available
Sonic Cradle is a human-computer interaction paradigm designed to foster meditative attentional patterns. A user's body is suspended comfortably in a completely dark sound chamber while the interaction paradigm subtly encourages them to focus on their breathing to summon and progressively shape an abstract immersive sound experience. Basic interpretive qualitative methods with a purposive sample of 39 participants were used to systematically analyze interview data after a 15-minute experience of the system. Results suggest that this persuasive medium can pleasantly encourage an experience comparable to mindfulness by consistently inducing a calm mental clarity and loss of intention. Surprisingly, participants also reported perceptual illusions, feelings of floating, and emotional responses. Mounting evidence implies mindfulness meditation as an effective practice for self-regulation; this study represents a first step toward realizing technology's potential to increase wellbeing by introducing people to this psychologically beneficial contemplative practice.
Article
This study investigated the effect of meditation on music performance anxiety. Participants were 19 students between the ages of 18 and 41 yrs, who were recruited from the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Yale University School of Music, and State University of New York at Purchase. The experimental group received a series of eight meditation classes, and the control group received no meditation training. After the 8-week training period, all performed in a concert. Pretests and post-tests of music performance anxiety were given and post-tests of state anxiety and of performance concentration. Performance anxiety decreased among participants in the meditation group, in contrast to participants in the control group, whose performance anxiety did not decrease. Differences in regard to post-test state anxiety and performance concentration were not significant. An additional benefit of meditation was a reported increase in relaxation pleasure even in the period immediately before the performance. Results indicate that meditation may be a useful tool for aiding performers to combat performance anxiety.
Book
The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology studies the burgeoning field of positive psychology, which, in recent years, has transcended academia to capture the imagination of the general public. The book provides a roadmap for the psychology needed by the majority of the population-those who don't need treatment, but want to achieve the lives to which they aspire. The articles summarize all of the relevant literature in the field, and each is essentially defining a lifetime of research. The content's breadth and depth provide a cross-disciplinary look at positive psychology from diverse fields and all branches of psychology, including social, clinical, personality, counseling, school, and developmental psychology. Topics include not only happiness-which has been perhaps misrepresented in the popular media as the entirety of the field-but also hope, strengths, positive emotions, life longings, creativity, emotional creativity, courage, and more, plus guidelines for applying what has worked for people across time and cultures.
Article
This study examined the optimal psychological state of flow in a live music performance context at an Australian tertiary music institution in order to advance understanding of this under-researched experience in music performance and education. The Flow State Scale-2 (FSS-2) was administered to 236 students from five instrument families immediately after their performance examinations. A further aim was to examine the psychometric properties of the FSS-2 in order to determine its suitability for use as a measure of flow in music performance domains. The findings provided the first empirical confirmation of the validity and reliability of the flow model in live music performance. The flow experience was found to be consistent with findings from sport performance and did not vary substantially according to instrument type, year level, or gender. Most students in the sample did not believe they were sufficiently skilled to meet the challenge of the performance and most did not experience it as absorbing or enjoyable. The implications of the findings for the enhancement of teaching and learning methods were examined. Future research directions were discussed, particularly in regards to psychological skills training to help improve the music performance experience.
Article
This study investigated the effects of a brief mindfulness meditation induction technique on perceived attention, aesthetic response, and flow during music listening as measured by Continuous Response Digital Interface (CRDI) and questionnaire. Participants were students enrolled in music classes or ensembles at a comprehensive university in the southeastern United States (N = 132), and were randomly assigned to one of four groups: mindfulness induction paired with aesthetic response (n = 34), mindfulness induction paired with flow response (n = 35), aesthetic response (n = 32), or flow response (n = 31). Responses to questionnaire items suggests that participants experienced a subjective ‘heightening’ of attention during music listening compared to baseline in all conditions, with no specific modification attributable to the mindfulness task. However, a majority of respondents in the mindfulness groups reported that the task had modified their listening experience by increasing their ability to focus on the music without distraction. Composite CRDI graphs suggest unique response patterns between groups based on both the presence of a mindfulness task as well as the construct for focus of attention. Additionally, verbal accounts suggest phenomenological differences between flow and aesthetic responses, with each accounting for a unique type of heightened and positively valenced affective experience.