Notes on ‘Pouring everything that you are’: musicians’ experiences of optimal performances

By Jessica L. Ford, Justine Vosloo, and Monna Arvinen-Barrow

According to a 2015 study of flow theory in music, both enjoying and engaging in music can induce flow (Ford et al., 142). Engaging in music requires the full attention of the musician and can often result in the musician’s absorption into the piece, which are two facilitating factors for flow (Ford et al., 142). Despite these indications, performance consulting in music is still very new and mostly unimplemented within the music industry (Ford et al., 142).

Excluding “clear goals,” each of the qualifying aspects of flow is satisfied in the performance of music (Ford et al., 148). Musicians can also experience a sort of “group flow” that causes them to feel metaphorically connected and all experience flow to varying degrees through the theory of “emotional contagion” (Ford et al., 148-149).

Ford, Jessica L., et al. “‘Pouring Everything That You Are’: Musicians’ Experiences of Optimal Performances.” British Journal of Music Education, vol. 37, no. 2, 2020, pp. 141–153., doi:10.1017/s0265051720000078.

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