African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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A cross-over from Sport Psychology to the Psychology of Music: An intervention study on undergraduate music students

BJM Steyn, MH Steyn, DJF Maree, C Panebianco-Warrens


The primary aim of this research was to evaluate whether the cross-over from Sport Psychology to the Psychology of Music in terms of the knowledge base, intervention Psychological Skills Training (PST) protocols and psychometric measurements was meaningful. A second aim was to ascertain whether the psychological skills levels and mindfulness levels per se have improved amongst the undergraduate students. Extensive research on psychological benefits of PST in sport has been conducted in Sport Psychology, with unambiguously positive results. Mindfulness training, and specifically the mindfulness-acceptance-commitment (MAC) approach have been applied in sport and as in the case of PST, it has not yet been fully utilized in the context of music. This specific combination of PST and the MAC approach were tested on undergraduate music students in a seven-week intervention program. A quasi-experimental design was implemented in this research. Voluntary participation was adopted to ensure that the participants were fully engaged in and committed to this study. A convenience sample of 36 undergraduate music students from the Department of Music at the University of Pretoria was selected. The experimental group consisted of 21 students, and the remaining 15 students composed of the control group. Within the experimental group significant improvements in performance anxiety, psychological skills and mindfulness indicated that the cross-over from the performanceevaluative context of sport to music was meaningful and partially successful.

Keywords: PST, MAC approach, performance anxiety, concentration, music students.

AJOL African Journals Online