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Increment of Fatigue, Depression, and Stage Fright During the First Year of High-Level Education in Music Students

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BACKGROUND: Public opinion associates music performance with pleasure, relaxation, and entertainment. Nevertheless, several studies have shown that professional musicians and music students are often affected by work-related burdens. These are closely related to stress and anxiety. OBJECTIVE: Scrutinizing specific health strains and work attitudes of music students during their freshman year of high-level education. METHODS: One hundred five students in three Swiss music universities were part of a longitudinal study using standardized assessment questionnaires. Before and after their first study year, some custom-made questionnaires designed to fit the particular work environment of musicians were used together with the already validated inquiry instruments. RESULTS: Fatigue, depression, and stage fright increased significantly. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate more study is needed and attempts should be made to minimize the stress level, improve the students’ ability to cope with stress, and otherwise reduce their risk for injury. This appears particularly important considering the long-term negative effects of stressors on individuals’ health as revealed by modern research.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • Medical Problems of Performing Artists is the first clinical medical journal devoted to the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of medical and psychological disorders related to the performing arts. Original peer-reviewed research papers cover topics including neurologic disorders, musculoskeletal conditions, voice and hearing disorders, anxieties, stress, substance abuse, and other health issues related to actors, dancers, singers, musicians, and other performers.
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