Background: Music is widely recognized as a motivating stimulus. Investigators have examined the use of music to improve a variety of motivation-related outcomes; however, these studies have focused primarily on passive music listening rather than active participation in musical activities. Objective: To examine the influence of participation in musical tasks and unique participant characteristics on energetic arousal. Methods: We used a one-way Welch’s ANOVA to examine the influence of musical participation (i.e., a non-musical control and four different musical task conditions) upon energetic arousal. In addition, ancillary analyses of participant characteristics including personality, age, gender, sleep, musical training, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol revealed their possible influence upon pretest and posttest energetic arousal scores. Results: Musical participation yielded a significant relationship with energetic arousal, F(4, 55.62) = 44.38, p = .000, estimated ω2 = 0.60. Games-Howell post hoc pairwise comparisons revealed statistically significant differences between five conditions. Descriptive statistics revealed expected differences between introverts’ and extraverts’ energetic arousal scores at the pretest, F(1, 115) = 6.80, p = .010, partial η2= .06; however, mean differences failed to reach significance at the posttest following musical task participation. No other measured participant characteristics yielded meaningful results. Conclusions: Passive tasks (i.e., listening to a story or song) were related to decreased energetic arousal, while active musical tasks (i.e., singing, rhythm tapping, and keyboard playing) were related to increased energetic arousal. Musical task participation appeared to have a differential effect for individuals with certain personality traits (i.e., extroverts and introverts).
Lim, H. A., & Watson, A. L. (2018). Musical Tasks and Energetic Arousal. Journal of Music Therapy, 55(1), 109-131. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmt/thx020