How professional, popular musicians understand their musicking in relation to mental health: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

DPsych thesis


Ficek, A. 2023. How professional, popular musicians understand their musicking in relation to mental health: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. DPsych thesis Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute Psychology
TypeDPsych thesis
TitleHow professional, popular musicians understand their musicking in relation to mental health: an interpretative phenomenological analysis
AuthorsFicek, A.
Abstract

Interest surrounding musicians and mental health has burgeoned in both the popular media and academia. Although research has predominantly focused on classical musicians, there has been a slow move towards the phenomenological understanding of popular musicians in the context of their working environments. This study expands the occupational perspective and incorporates a broader overview that is accommodated through Small’s concept of musicking (1998), including the nuanced experiences of both personal and professional music engagement in relation to mental health. The experiences of seven popular musicians were explored using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, which resulted in four Group Experiential Themes (GETs). The themes consisted of: active use of the musicking relationship as a consistent emotional resource; turmoil of grappling with the shifting selves within musicking; challenge of being ‘me’ against the perceptions of others; good feelings of bringing people together. The study illustrated how the musicians actively relied on their musicking relationship as a consistent source of emotional support, while at the same time experiencing it as a contradictory, fluctuating environment in terms of its impact on self-worth. The musicians also experienced frustrations of objectification, invisibility and compromise, with musicking affording the special relationships of inclusion and the opportunity to give back within communities. By integrating trans-disciplinary and phenomenological insights, the findings develop existing siloed research between musicians, their personal musicking and their professional contexts.

KeywordsPopular musicians; musicking; mental health; music industry; psychotherapy; phenomenology
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Health & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
Department namePsychology
Science and Technology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Metanoia Institute
Collaborating institutionMetanoia Institute
PublisherMiddlesex University Research Repository
Publication dates
Online27 Mar 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Dec 2023
Deposited27 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
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