This study examined the effect of a virtual reality intervention on the symptoms of music performance anxiety among university-level music majors. During the two sessions, subjects (N=12) reported anxiety levels and symptoms before and after performing a short piece or excerpt. I measured treatment (n=6) and control (n=6) groups’ heart rates prior to performance. The treatment group received a 5-minute virtual reality session before going on stage. During the session, I submerged subjects into a natural environment of their choice, after which I measured their heart rates again. The data showed a significant decrease in self-reported levels of anxiety for the treatment group. The treatment group also experienced decreased symptoms of anxiety in all categories, and heart rate measurements significantly decreased after the virtual reality session. Control group subjects showed no difference in heart rate measurements, self-reported anxiety levels, and symptoms experienced during the two sessions. Findings of this study indicate that virtual reality does alleviate symptoms associated with music performance anxiety and results in an improved performance experience.
Zyl, Marise van
"The Effects of Virtual Reality on Music Performance Anxiety
Among University-Level Music Majors,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 35, Article 15.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol35/iss1/15