Performance Anxiety

Glenn D. Wilson and David Roland

in The Science & Psychology of Music Performance

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195138108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849291 | DOI:
Performance Anxiety

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This chapter provides an overview of the incidence and nature of performance anxiety in music, an issue that is clearly of importance to every musician and music educator. It argues that the best approach for the treatment of debilitating performance anxiety is cognitive-behavior therapy, although drug therapy, clinical hypnosis, and the Alexander Technique also appear to be beneficial to some degree. A key implication of the review is that there are a number of positive strategies that can be employed by every performer, no matter how experienced or inexperienced he or she may be, in order to overcome the types of anxiety problems that all musicians face as they learn how to perform confidently.

Keywords: musicians; anxiety problems; cognitive-behavior therapy; musical performance

Chapter.  6577 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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