‘The more the merrier’? Understanding the wellbeing of professional musicians in collaborative and solo work settings

Ascenso, S. and Perkins, R. (2013) ‘The more the merrier’? Understanding the wellbeing of professional musicians in collaborative and solo work settings. In: International Symposium on Performance Science 2013, 23-31 August 2013, Austria.

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Recognizing the need to include professional musicians in mainstream wellbeing profiling, and to move beyond a focus on the potentially debilitating factors of the music profession, this study aimed to understand how professional musicians experience wellbeing in the light of positive psychology. In particular, acknowledging the role of inter-personal relationships in wellbeing, the goal was to explore wellbeing profiles in relation to collaborative and solo-oriented working contexts. Participants included six professional musicians, three belonging to fixed-group work settings (orchestra, choir, and chamber ensemble) and three engaged in a solo-oriented musical route (soloist, composer, and conductor). Two indepth interviews were conducted with each participant, separated by a two-week period of individual record-keeping using the Day Reconstruction Method. Results revealed identity as an overarching sustainer of wellbeing. Relationships and “musical moments” emerged as key elements in the construction of wellbeing, while the transition to the professional phase was often challenging. Group identity appeared as a vehicle for wellbeing among the collaborative musicians, although this type of activity also placed demands on social skills. Solo musicians highlighted freedom of expression as a source of purpose although a lack of feedback represented a challenge. Implications are discussed in relation to the role of holistic training in educational settings.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords: wellbeing; positive psychology; professional musicians; flourishing; qualitative methodology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Performance Science
Music Psychology
Division: Performance Science
Depositing User: Rosie Perkins
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 16:30
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2018 16:30
URI: http://researchonline.rcm.ac.uk/id/eprint/347

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