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Musicians and Health

The research project Musicians and Health is a qualitative research project which focuses on individual music listening as a resource for health for professional musicians and music students. The method Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is applied.

Ten professional musicians and music students from many different countries were offered five individual listening sessions (GIM). The research method was qualitative and explorative, inspired by an interpretive phenomenological procedure to analyse the data. The theory was informed by an intersubjective perspective, as well as context-sensitive theory related to identity and health. The data incorporated music listening, drawing, verbal conversation and semi-structured interview. The results suggested that GIM could be experienced as a creative health resource for professional musicians and students. The outcome arose firstly from music listening as a strengthening of professional identity underpinned by the relationship to the primary instrument, the job, music listening and the musician herself as a person. Secondly, the result showed nurturing of personal and professional resources emerging from the themes self-awareness, self-agency, the process of moving along and integration. On this basis, a resource-oriented music listening approach is suggested — individualized or in groups — in order to integrate and balance the physical/mental and existential dimensions of a musician’s life, while supporting excellence in teaching and performance and enriched personal life.


Trondalen, G. (2011). Musikere, identitet og helse. Musikklytting som identitetsstyrkende handling. In L. O. Bonde & K. Stensæth (Eds.), Musikk, helse og identitet (pp. 107-140). Oslo: Skriftserie fra Senter for musikk og helse. NMH-publikasjoner 2011: 3. Norges musikkhøgskole.

Trondalen, G. (2013a) Musical Performance as Health Promotion: A musician's narrative. In L. O. Bonde, E. Ruud, M. S. Skånland & G. Trondalen (Eds.), Musical Life Stories. Narratives on health musicking (pp. 173-191). Oslo: Norwegian Academy of Music.

Trondalen, G. (2013b) Musicians. In L. Eyre (Ed.), Guidelines for Music Therapy Practice in Mental Health (pp. 840-872). Gilsum: Barcelona Publishers.

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Published: Apr 8, 2014 — Last updated: Jan 8, 2024