Effects of Heart-Rate Variability Biofeedback Training and Emotional Regulation on Music Performance Anxiety in University Students

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Student musicians were recruited to participate in an experimental repeated measures research design study to identify effects of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback training and emotional self-regulation techniques, as recommended by HeartMath® Institute, on music performance anxiety (MPA) and music performance. Fourteen students were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group following a 5 minute unaccompanied baseline performance. Treatment group participants received 4-5 HRV training sessions of 30-50 minutes each. Training included bibliotherapy, using the computerized Freeze-Framer® 2.0 interactive training software, instruction in the Freeze-Frame® and Quick Coherence® techniques of emotional regulation, and also use of an emWave® portable ... continued below

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Thurber, Myron Ross December 2006.

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  • Thurber, Myron Ross

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Student musicians were recruited to participate in an experimental repeated measures research design study to identify effects of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback training and emotional self-regulation techniques, as recommended by HeartMath® Institute, on music performance anxiety (MPA) and music performance. Fourteen students were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group following a 5 minute unaccompanied baseline performance. Treatment group participants received 4-5 HRV training sessions of 30-50 minutes each. Training included bibliotherapy, using the computerized Freeze-Framer® 2.0 interactive training software, instruction in the Freeze-Frame® and Quick Coherence® techniques of emotional regulation, and also use of an emWave® portable heart rate variability training device for home training. Measures included the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Performance Anxiety Inventory (PAI), Flow State Scale (FSS), average heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV). Quade's rank transformed ANCOVA was used to evaluate treatment and no-treatment group comparisons. Combined MPA scores showed statistical significance at p=.05 level with large effect size of eta2=.320. Individual measurements of trait anxiety showed a small effect size of eta2=.001. State anxiety measurement showed statistical significance at the p=.10 level with a large effect size eta2=.291. FSS showed no statistical or effect size difference. PAI showed no statistical significance and a large effect size eta2=.149. HR showed no statistical significance and a large effect size eta2=.143. HRV showed statistical significance at p=.000 level and a large effect size eta2=.698. This study demonstrated practical/clinical significance of a relatively quick and inexpensive biofeedback training that had large effect at decreasing mental, emotional, and physiological symptoms of MPA for university students.

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  • December 2006

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  • May 5, 2008, 3:06 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2008, 2:28 p.m.

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Thurber, Myron Ross. Effects of Heart-Rate Variability Biofeedback Training and Emotional Regulation on Music Performance Anxiety in University Students, dissertation, December 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5428/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .