Passion at the Heart of Musicians’ Well-being

Arielle Bonneville-Roussy
Robert J. Vallerand


This article proposes that passion for music is an essential element in explaining the well-being of musicians. Based on the PERMA model of well-being and on research on passion for music, this article posits that being passionate about music, and more specifically holding a harmonious type of passion (HP), reduces music-related anxiety and enhances musicians’ life satisfaction, sense of psychological growth and mastery. Furthermore, it is expected that holding an obsessive passion (OP) toward music might thwart musicians’ well-being through increased musical anxiety. These hypotheses were tested with 225 trainee and expert classical musicians. In order to provide a valid measure of passion for music, the Passion Scale for Music (PSM) was first validated. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) results provided support for the hypothesis that musicians who are passionate about music, and even more those who are HP, experience increased well-being, while OP does not contribute to musicians’ well-being. The relationships between passion and well-being in musicians were moderate to strong, confirming that the types of passion musicians hold is a central element in explaining their well-being. The article concludes that being passionate about music acts as a 'sparkle' that brightens musicians’ lives with regards to their global well-being experience. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)