Music of the night: Performance practitioner considerations for enhancement work in music

Pecen, E., Collins, D., orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7601-0454 and MacNamara, Á. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8110-6784 (2016) Music of the night: Performance practitioner considerations for enhancement work in music. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 5 (4). pp. 377-395. ISSN 2157-3905

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While the domains of music and sport performance share many convergences, performance psychology and enhancement training is less common in music. Consequently, practitioners such as sport psychologists or psychotherapists are increasingly being used to work with musicians. Successful collaboration between disciplines might be particularly beneficial as the domain of music performance is rife with psychological, physical, and systemic challenges for which appropriate support structures are often lacking. Accordingly, this article aims to contribute to effective interdisciplinary communication by reviewing a selection of common sociocultural and systemic issues in music performance that might broaden practitioners’ contextual knowledge of musicians. Although this article is not meant to be a comprehensive review of all available research, we have included ample references to direct readers toward relevant material on the topics being discussed. In addition, we propose that practitioners who are interested in working with musicians apply a positive, culturally sensitive, evidence-based, and holistic approach when translating and communicating psychology principles to musicians. We provide suggestions as to how this might be achieved and also emphasize the importance of exploring a range of methods, prioritizing practicality, and introducing performance enhancement training accurately. In doing so, we suggest that practitioners avoid focusing solely on performer wellbeing, theoretical delivery formats or limited psychological skills strategies.

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