Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Swart, Inette firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-05222010-165329 Document Title The influence of trauma on musicians Degree DMus Department Music Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Dr W Hartman Co-Supervisor Prof C van Niekerk Supervisor Keywords
- holistic paradigm
- music teachers
- healing therapies
- healthcare professionals
Date 2010-04-20 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe aim of this study was to shed light on the influence of trauma on aspects of musicians’ music-making, particularly but not exclusively limited to its effects on emotional expression and memory during music performance and study. Effects on performers and teachers were considered, explicated and discussed in the light of the rapidly expanding body of knowledge about factors involved in psychological sequelae following exposure to traumatic event(s).
Examples are given of how trauma has affected famous musicians and composers. Questionnaires sent to healthcare professionals and music teachers and four case study investigations illuminated specific signs of trauma. Findings underlined that, while responses to trauma are always of a very individual nature, these often particularly affected emotional expression and altered the perceived experience of emotions. Dissociative symptoms were found to affect memory and concentration. Trauma sequelae caused interference, drained energy levels, affected motivation, interpersonal relationships and self-esteem but also led to growth and trauma-catalyzed transformation. Anxiety and tension-related problems had pronounced effects on music performance and high levels of ‘stage fright’ were reported by previously traumatized participants. Trauma was shown to influence the career paths and decisions of musicians.
As gleaned from the literature and research surveys, the following therapeutic approaches appear to be effective: Psychotherapy, trauma counselling, Cognitive-Behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), EMI (Eye Movement Integration), pharmacological treatment, natural supplements, body therapies such as SE (Somatic Experiencing) and complementary techniques such as acupressure. Sound and music were identified by respondents and participants as playing an extremely beneficial role in the healing process. The possible benefits of incorporating alternative healing modalities are discussed, but it is made clear that this should only be used in conjunction with scientifically proven and thoroughly researched psychotherapeutic intervention strategies.
This study’s results, appropriately disseminated, are intended to increase awareness and knowledge in performers and teachers, and enable particularly teachers to refer students to appropriate healthcare services in ways not risking further traumatization. Findings can assist healthcare professionals to better understand particular manifestations of trauma responses in musicians and enable them to intervene in more effective ways.
© 2009 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.
Due to sensitive information, pp152-164 are withheld on request of the author.
Please cite as follows:
Swart, I 2009, The influence of trauma on musicians, DMus thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05222010-165329/ >
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