The Effects of Performance Anxiety on Sight-Singing Achievement




Ait, Elizabeth Davidoff

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The purpose of this study was to find some correlation between sight-singing and performance anxiety (PA). The investigator endeavored to identify if the degree of PA that sight-singing students experience lessened with test preparation, depending on the environments. Although research addresses the effects of PA among musicians, there seems to be a lack of studies investigating PA among college students in sight-singing courses. The investigation was conducted among undergraduate music majors and minors at a research university, using a control/experimental group design. The research necessitated an additional 15 minutes of class instruction, four times in total, for the duration of three weeks. During this time, students were sight-singing researcher-written melodies, as well as certain Polish folk melodies from the Solfege Melodic Studies (SMS). At the conclusion of the study, the students sang exercises from Solfege Melodic Test (SMT), taken directly from previously sung SMS melodies, which contained the same number of notes. The three exercises were the same for both groups. The control group took a test and the experimental group played a game of musical darts. In addition, at the commencement and the conclusion of the study, the participants filled out a survey—Sight-Singing Performance Anxiety Measure (SSPAM)—that speaks to their perceived degrees of PA under various conditions. The results suggested that the control group had more anxiety than the experimental group. This finding seemed to point to the observable detail that the control group participants did not like the idea of the assessment. In the current study, the number of years studying piano was the only independent categorical variable approaching statistical significance, F (1, 48) = 2.03; p = .06. This finding supports what previous literature already stated, that years of playing piano (among other variables) contribute to better outcomes in sight-singing.



Music education, Performing arts education, Condition, Game, Performance anxiety, Sight-singing, Sight-singing achievement, Test