Improve your performance

30 June 2022

Hands on a piano keyboard

Music performance is enhanced when musicians concentrate on the sounds they make, not on the movements of their fingers, according to a study led by researchers at the University of St Andrews.

Dr Ines Jentzsch and Yukiko Braun from the School of Psychology and Neuroscience studied the performance of 51 pianists and showed that the accuracy and the quality of a musical performance depended on what the musicians gave focus to while playing.

By concentrating on something external – such as achieving a smooth tone or creating a musical mood – instead of something internal such as concentrating on their fingers hitting the right notes, the pianists performed more accurately, providing an interesting insight that could help musicians learn how to overcome performance anxiety.

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