Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Education and Music Therapy (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Stephen Zdzinski

Second Committee Member

Don Coffman

Third Committee Member

Rafael Padron


Musical breathing has been identified as breathing patterns shaped by music. Currently, it is known that different forms of breathing affect the body in diverse ways. Physiological evidence has shown a formidable voluntary control of breathing in humans. Research on breathing and music practices suggests great benefit on the physical, mental, and emotional health.The purpose of this study was to test how a musical breathing approach in guitar performance will affect guitarists in terms of performance outcomes, cognitive interference, body connection, well-being, receptiveness and responsiveness towards musical breathing. Participants were selected from the Frost School of Music classical guitar department. A comparison between the control and treatment group was done through non-parametric statistical tests. Results showed better scores in musical performance and mental well-being in the treatment group, as well as an increase in positive attitudes of participants who underwent treatment workshops. Cognitive interference did not affect performers, and interesting trends were observed regarding tension perceptions of participants. The development of a musical breathing system can help in the control of breathing technique and could be an important factor to improve well-being. Guitar performance was improved, and future research should expand and replicate this study with larger samples. Also, different musical instruments, as well as multiple psychomotor and cognitive tasks should be looked at. Physiological and acoustical data should be measured to increase precision. Musical breathing can be incorporated in multiple scenarios where music learning occurs, as it did during this study with guitar performance.


Musical breathing; well-being; breathing education; guitar education; guitar performance; music psycho-physiology