The effects of vocal vs. instrumental music on stress relief as measured through anxiety levels

by Noh, Hye-Eun, M.M., MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, 2009, 32 pages; 1478863


This study examined the difference in stress relief between musicians and non-musicians under conditions of instrumental music, vocal music and silence. Fifty one university students, 24 musicians and 27 non-musicians were randomly assigned to one of these conditions. Participants completed the state portion of the State and Trait Anxiety Test (STAI) before and after each experimental condition. An additional question asked participants about relaxation techniques that they regularly used. Only vocal music listeners were asked to rate the effect of the lyric content on their relaxation. Paired sample t-tests revealed that both music listening groups reported significant decreases in anxiety level (p=.000), but no significance with the silence group (P=.110). The results of the 2-way ANOVA comparing 3 treatments on one axis and music training on the other showed a statistically significant difference between groups for state anxiety (F=6.095, P=.005). On the other hand there was no significant difference between musicians and non-musicians across conditions (F=1.922, p=.173). Numerical mean score differences in anxiety levels showed that the instrumental music condition resulted in the greatest decrease in anxiety, over both the vocal music and silence conditions.

AdivserRoger Smeltekop
Source TypeThesis
SubjectsMusic; Counseling psychology
Publication Number1478863

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