This paper assesses the prevalence of substance use in Spanish music students as a strategy for coping with Musical Performance Anxiety (MPA). We also assess the relation between substance use and thoughts of abandoning one’s musical career in connection with the degree of self-reported MPA. We carried out this survey on a sample of 463 students studying different music specialties and enrolled in five superior music academies in Spain (mean age: 22.71 years). Among other questionnaires, all participants completed the Spanish version of the Kenny Music Performance Anxiety Inventory and responded to a series of additional questions associated with MPA, substance use and thoughts of abandoning their musical career. Of those surveyed 33.9% indicated that at one point or another they had used substances in order to cope with MPA, and 19.0% had considered abandoning their musical studies. Those students who indicated that they had used substances to cope with MPA tended to have had more frequent thoughts of abandoning their musical career and suffered from a higher level of MPA than those who did not. A high percentage of music students who are attempting to cope with MPA also tend to adopt poorly adaptive strategies. These, in turn, lead to even greater levels of anxiety.
International Journal of Music Education – SAGE
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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