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The primary research question of this quasi-experimental mixed methods study investigated the effects of positive (superman) and negative (slumped) body postures on students’ individual perceptions of their performance anxiety in three settings: in front of a studio professor, in front of peers, and in a private practice session. This study took place in two phases. Phase one consisted of a 14-question survey completed by 40 music education majors. Phase two included six participants that met with the researcher individually twice for each setting. Each participant followed the same timeline when completing the sessions: pre-session questionnaire, three-minute body posture (either the “superman” or the “slumped”), session task, post-session questionnaire, and post-session video interview. Data collection for phase two included pre-study interviews, pre- and post-session questionnaires, post-session interviews, and post-study questionnaires. Four main themes emerged from the interviews and open-ended questionnaire responses: reduction and increase in anxiety, confidence, sense of calm, and awareness of breathing. The results of this study show the average difference between the perceived positive and negative effects of the “superman” posture was 4.5 (taken from the results of two Likert-type scales assessing the effects from one to ten) whereas the average difference between the perceived positive and negative effects of the “slumped” posture was 0.67. The “superman” posture had more of an effect on the perception of anxiety than the “slumped.” Each participant had a positive reaction to one of the two postures and stated that they would utilize this technique outside of the study to help them with their anxiety.
Farley, Christina, "Body Consciousness: The Effects of Posture on Musicians’ Performance Anxiety" (2017). 2017 Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creative Activity – Documents. 3.