Mindfulness for Pre-service Music Teachers

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Teaching can be a very challenging occupation and a number of teachers experience stress and burnout due to factors including demanding workloads, time constraints, student behavioural issues and wider systematic and organisational factors. Ironically, the more committed, dedicated and caring teachers are in their work, the more likely they are to experience emotional exhaustion. Graduate teachers in particular are at risk of an emotional roller-coaster as they typically enter the profession with an idealistic vision about teaching. For music teachers the problem is compounded as they are prone to anxiety, low self-esteem and perfectionism due to the constant judgment on their playing abilities by their teachers, examiners and peers throughout their developmental years.

Recent decades have seen the salutary effects of mindfulness practice in diverse fields such as clinical psychology, neuroscience, sport and K-12 education. This qualitative study aimed to explore the influence of mindfulness practice on pre-service music teachers in terms of their music practice and performance, music teaching and learning, and personal lives. A 5-week Mindfulness workshop tailored for pre-service music teachers was developed and implemented. Data was collected through pre- and post-workshop individual semi-structured interviews, practice journals, a closed Facebook forum and a 6-month follow-up questionnaire. Preliminary findings suggest the utility and relevance of mindfulness practice for pre-service music teacher training. Emergent themes may contribute toward filling the gap in music teacher training and mindfulness literature and may offer a practical, hands-on approach that may be adapted and/or infused into the existing curriculum or school wellbeing program.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventAustralian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference 2020: Phoenix Rising from the Ashes - The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 3 Oct 20204 Oct 2020
Conference number: 42nd


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleANZARME 2020
Internet address


  • Music Education
  • Mindfulness in music education
  • Wellbeing of music educators
  • pre-service teachers
  • Habits of Mind
  • performance anxiety
  • workshop intervention
  • Semi-structured interviews

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