Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


The present study examined several factors (performance anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, vocational decidedness, and amount of time in the profession) that are believed to contribute to success in music performance professions. Existing literature highlights the unique role that some of these variables play in career success, however no research has examined the combined impact of these four factors or has attempted to identify the relative weight each predictor holds.

The present study recruited participants through various professional music organizations that require a minimum and standardized level of music training. Participants were invited to complete an on-line survey that consisted of measures of music performance anxiety (Kenny Music Performance Anxiety Inventory), anxiety sensitivity (Anxiety Sensitivity Index-Revised), vocational indecision (5-item likert-like scale developed for this study), amount of time in the profession, and additional demographic questions. A total of 256 usable questionnaires were collected for the data analysis and reflected a largely Caucasian sample (89.5%) ranging in age from 19 to 82.

The study findings showed vocational indecision to have the highest predictive ability (i.e. higher vocational indecision predicted lower level of career success) followed by amount of time in the profession (longer amount of time in the profession predicted lower level of career success), music performance anxiety and anxiety sensitivity (higher levels of both predicting lower levels of career success).

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