School of Music
Doctor of Music Education (DME)
Virtual Reality, Music Education
Pace, Keith Brian, "Eliciting Music Performance Anxiety of Vocal and Piano Students Through the Use of Virtual Reality" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3861.
Despite the growth of virtual reality technologies, there is a lack of understanding of implementing these technologies within the collegiate classroom. This case study provides a mixed-method insight into a virtual reality (VR) asset deployed in a music performance environment. The study examined the effectiveness of a virtual reality environment as measured by the physiological response and user feedback. Ten voice and four piano college students participated in the study. Each participant performed musical works within an authentic practice room and the virtual concert hall via a Virtual Reality (VR) headset. Data was collected across four criteria. Participants’ heart rates were recorded before and after the performances. A State-Trait Anxiety Inventory test was presented to participants before and after the performances. Each performance was recorded and then blindly evaluated by two licensed music adjudicators. After the performances, participants completed a self-evaluation. Results indicated that virtual concert hall sessions caused a change in some categories of physiological, performance, and anxiety compared to an authentic practice room. No statistical difference was recorded in heart rate for vocalists between both environments. This project serves as a proof of concept that VR technologies can effectively elicit change in music performance anxiety. Furthermore, the study could encourage further research on mitigating music performance anxiety through virtual environment exposure.