'Pouring everything that you are': Musicians' experiences of optimal performances
© 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.
British Journal of Music Education
Ford, Jessica L.; Vosloo, Justine; and Arvinen-Barrow, Monna, "'Pouring everything that you are': Musicians' experiences of optimal performances" (2020). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 72.