Music stimuli in mindfulness meditation: Comparison of musician and non-musician responses

Eugenia Hernandez-Ruiz, Abbey L. Dvorak, Kevin Weingarten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of and preference for different auditory stimuli on mindfulness meditation in musicians. A second purpose was to compare musician responses with non-musician responses from a previous study. A repeated-measures design exposed participants to four auditory stimuli of increased complexity. Participants (N = 49) were undergraduate musicians with limited mindfulness experience. Data included absorption in music, mindfulness, and preference and usefulness of auditory stimuli. A repeated-measures analysis of covariance, with absorption of music as a covariate, found no significant differences between stimuli on mindfulness meditation according to musicians. Friedman’s analyses of variance indicated that musician rankings of usefulness and preference were significantly different among conditions. Both musicians and non-musicians ranked Melody and Harmony conditions as most preferred and most useful for mindfulness meditation. A mixed effects model with both groups indicated not only a significant effect of auditory stimuli on mindfulness but also interaction due to group status. A significant result was only obtained when the covariate was not considered. Absorption in music scores between groups was significantly higher for musicians than non-musicians. These outcomes support the hypothesis that absorption in music and music expertise may mediate the effect of a music intervention. Clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-871
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology of Music
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • absorption in music
  • complexity
  • course-based undergraduate research
  • mindfulness
  • music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Music


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