ERIC Number: ED406636
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Aug
The Maestro Music Teacher and Musicians' Mental Health.
Persson, Roland S.
Society tends to look upon promising and highly able musicians as fortunate individuals, yet research has shown that musicians seldom are to be envied in terms of working conditions and the longtime results of their professional commitment. A majority amongst particularly orchestral musicians suffers from a wide variety of stress and stress-related injuries--physiological as well as psychological. These injuries do not occur suddenly without a longterm build-up. They start with the somewhat paradoxical maestro phenomenon and the teacher-student relationship in a context of higher musical education. The key questions explored in this paper are: Why do musicians accept the harsh treatment of conductors? What kind of teachers do brilliant performers make? Naturalistic case studies were conducted of seven performance teachers and their students. Results indicated that, among the participants, potential stressors may be structured along four dimensions: (1) the handling and pacing of informational flow; (2) the rationalized and standardized, rather than the existential and individualized understanding of music and playing; (3) the product-oriented teaching at the expense of person-oriented teaching; and (4) a superordinate stressor which is connected to the nature of the teacher-student relationship, and which--if optimal--seemingly lessens the impact of other stress factors. It is thought that students may tolerate poor treatment due to their desire to be associated with a famous figure arising from a distortion of their social perceptions. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (104th, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 9-13, 1996).