Musicians, Rumination and Anxiety: Is there a connection?
Rumination: excessive repetition, often uncontrollable or difficult to control.
Are musicians more likely susceptible to anxiety because of poor practice habits; rumination of new exercises, pieces, and techniques?
It is my "belief" there is a connection, but I need to know what others think or experience. I believe that rumination in musical practice can also be transferred to other areas in a person's life: social anxiety, stage fright, education, etc...
Finding causes so you can work towards better piece in both music and life has nothing to do with anxiety. The key is love. If you do not love what you are doing, whatever things or methods that you do will increase stress. And if you do not know how to deal with stress or manage it, you will get anxiety. And if anxiety happens often, in the long run , you can suffer from anxiety disorder.
I agree with Norfolk Southern.
I’m not sure exactly what you mean by anxiety, but I assume that you mean the “bad” or excessive or inappropriate kind. From a medical perspective, not enough “anxiety” tends to degrade perseverance for a task, or the will to succeed in a learning a difficult task. Too much anxiety can degrade performance of a practiced task, or interfere with learning of a new one.
Paul Deck: Norfolk Southern...I like that :D
@ Charlie - there should be nothing controversial about using beta blockers. Some people are naturally hyperactive in this way and the unfortunate results (bow shakes etc.) are beyond their control.
It is a stress-ridden career.
Re beta blockers - I have no direct experience using them, but I have noted for years that in public speaking, my first few sentences might sound outwardly nervous, but once I get into my topic it goes away. Though I am very new to violin performance, I did a recital recently and a similar thing happened - the first few bars had some bow bounces, that went away as I “settled in”. The critique I have heard about beta blockers is that one risks removing some emotion from one’s playing, but maybe that’s a reasonable trade for avoiding gross degradation of performance due to the effects of excess anxiety. Maybe just adjusting the dose...
Rumination is a form of worry (which is different than anxiety) in that one typically worries/ruminates on the past, something that is out of one's control but one metaphorically keeps chewing on the material. Rumination prevents progress.
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