Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Alan Bright 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Alan Bright and I’m a 4th year in the Applied psychology course in IADT. My main areas of interest include musical psychology and music therapy as well as child and abnormal psychology. I chose the practice path during my time here and found the modules and opportunities extremely interesting, particularly forensic psychology. For the past year I have been volunteering in a Foroige group for children with autism spectrum disorder and have found this experience to be incredibly rewarding.

Project Description

The aim of the study was to investigate the if level of musical self-efficacy (low, medium, or high) has an effect on musicians’ levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction. Participants were gathered through purposive sampling, with the inclusion criteria being that they had played a musical instrument within the last two years. This resulted in a sample of 73 participants (43.1% male, 51.4% female and 5.6% non-binary). 93% of the participants were between the ages of 18 and 24, 5.6% were between 25 and 30, and 1.4% were between 35 and 44. A between groups multivariate design was employed during the study. Research was carried out through surveys using the online platform, Microsoft forms. Participants were given a musical self-efficacy scale which was adapted from a general self-efficacy scale for the present study. After this, participants were given well established and reliable scales measuring self-esteem and life satisfaction.

Project Objectives

Music has often been shown to highly improve the life satisfaction and self-esteem of those who engage in it, be that listening or playing. My project aimed to examine the effect of musical self-efficacy (or musical self-belief) on musicians’ self-esteem as well as their life satisfaction. The correlation between self-esteem and life satisfaction was also investigated. The aim of the project was to find this relationship in order to apply it to interventions such as music classes in order to improve individual’s musical self-efficacy. This was in the hope that participants self-esteem and life satisfaction would also improve. My project also aimed to further support the link between self-esteem and life satisfaction.

Project Outcomes

The results of the present study did not find a significant difference in the level of musical self-efficacy and self-esteem. It also indicated no significant difference between musical self-efficacy and life satisfaction. There was, however, a significant positive correlation between participants self-esteem and life satisfaction. An application of the present study is supporting the idea that self-esteem and life satisfaction are correlated, and often when one changes, so does the other. The present study also displayed the need for an appropriate scale measuring musical self-efficacy in a private or practice setting. A further study involving the same variables with a larger sample size could reveal different results.

Thesis Title

The effect of musical self-efficacy on self-esteem and life satisfaction.