The Effects of Creating Mandalas on the Performance Anxiety of Vocal Performers

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McCall, TaKenya
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
The following research documents the use of an art therapy intervention for entertainers who struggle with performance anxiety. Musical instrumentation, public speaking, and theatricalpresentations are acknowledged. However, this study focuses primarily on art therapy and vocal performance anxiety. The researcher found a deficiency in studies surrounding coping strategies for vocalist who struggle with performance anxiety. The literature in this study revealed interventions which may been harmful to a vocalist in various ways, as well as homeopathic strategies. A phenomenological method was applied to allow the researcher to observe participants in the natural environments in which performance anxiety occurs. Three adult participants were asked to create and design their own mandala, within a blank circle outline, directly prior to a vocalist performance. A self-reporting pretest/posttest body-map assessment was used to allow the participants to identify and describe where and how they experienced anxiety. The results from this study imply that utilizing art therapy as an intervention may aid in diminishing the presence of performance anxiety for vocal performers. Due to a small sample size of adult participants and researchers personal biases, further research is suggested to validate this study’s findings.