Title

'Pouring everything that you are': Musicians' experiences of optimal performances

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2020

Abstract

© Cambridge University Press 2020. The purpose of this study was to document the lived experiences of flow during an optimal music performance. Fifteen undergraduate musicians (Mage = 19, 53% male) participated in in-depth, semi-structured interviews, where they were asked to describe an optimal performance experience. Results from an inductive qualitative analysis revealed three main themes: environmental context, emotional connectedness and interpersonal relationships, which synthesised the optimal performance experience. The results also suggest that flow among musicians appears to be a common emotional state and similar to that conceptualised in sport. The ways a musician experiences flow are important, as these can help music educators gain a better understanding of the conceptualisation of flow within music performance. However, given the nuanced differences in the sociocultural environment of a flow experience typical in a sport or music performance, additional research into the divergences of domains may be warranted.

Publication Name

British Journal of Music Education

Volume Number

37

First Page

141

Last Page

153

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1017/S0265051720000078

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