Neurofeedback has through many studies been shown to be an effective enhancement to sports performance. There are as many other applications to performance as there are human activities. Recently the application of neurofeedback to the performing arts has been a topic of interest and some promising studies.
Neurofeedback benefits those in the performing arts with improvement in creativity, reduced performance anxiety, and better focus. Neurofeedback training teaches your body to relax and be present in the moment, qualities highly valued by performing artists.
Research with neurofeedback has already shown that it improves focus, memory, emotional stability and fine motor skills. It’s easy to see how these improvements in the brain could contribute to fine- tuning one’s musical ability, but the area remained unstudied until a decade ago.
Neurofeedback was first applied to music performance in 2009 in London, when the Royal College of Music (RCM) completed a study on musical performance with 36 participants. This study (Enhancing Imaginative Expression in the Performing Arts with EEG-Neurofeedback, Gruzelier, 2011) demonstrated that Neurofeedback substantially improved students stylistic accuracy, interpretive imagination and incidental error count.
Improvement was found in all three domains: musicality, technique, and communication. The EEG in each protocol was correlated with changes in ratings in all 22 musicians receiving neurofeedback.
Check out this video on neurofeedback and musical performance:
An interesting aspect of the process of using neurofeedback to enhance musical acuity is that as the neurofeedback works to improve musical performance, the actual playing the music further enables improvement through the process of neuroplasticity.
It has been shown that playing music increases performance in other areas of life, and creates greater organizational and higher-order executive functioning in the brain. Combining neurofeedback with musical training is a positive feedback loop, a mind hack that results in ever increasing levels of proficiency in music as well as life!