Typologies of Adolescent Musicians and Experiences of Performance Anxiety Among Instrumental Learners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Literature suggests that music performance anxiety (MPA) is prevalent in adolescence, a developmental period with increased likelihood of experiencing anxiety under evaluative conditions. Evidence also indicate that individuals may respond to evaluative situations in distinct ways. Factors contributing to the individuality of responses in evaluative situations (such as test taking and musical performance) are not yet fully understood. This study investigated student typologies in adolescent instrumental learners. Participants included 410 learners who completed the Young Musicians’ Performance Questionnaire. K-Means cluster analysis revealed three typologies: Cluster 1 – moderately anxious students evidencing lower levels of motivation and feeling ineffective but guarding their self-esteem; Cluster 2 – highly anxious students evidencing negative self-perceptions and being susceptible to experiencing maladaptive MPA; Cluster 3 – low anxious students evidencing high levels of motivation and confidence and inclined toward experiencing adaptive MPA. The 3-cluster solution effectiveness was validated with discriminant analysis. Significant associations between examination achievement and cluster membership revealed variations between clusters. Thematic analysis of qualitative data facilitated further understanding of their characteristics. This study adds to the body of MPA literature by exploring the different ways with which adolescent musicians interpret and respond to anxiety inducing situations. Findings have implications for clinical and educational practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number645993
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2021


  • adolescence
  • K-means cluster analysis
  • music performance anxiety
  • thematic analysis
  • typology


Dive into the research topics of 'Typologies of Adolescent Musicians and Experiences of Performance Anxiety Among Instrumental Learners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this