Music Performance Anxiety

January 20, 2018

"The study of performance anxiety, and specific phobias attributed to it, host an ever-
growing amount of new literature that could expand the number of methods available to treat
anxiety. This growing field is impacting society, changing the way people perceive the world
around them. Although fear and anxiety were essential in surviving the primitive lands of
humankind’s ancestors, anxiety plays a different role in today’s society. Anxiety can affect our
capacity to communicate, operate, associate, and process thoughts and emotions necessary for
self-expression. For the musician, the delicate balance between their personal feelings and the
feelings needed to be expressed through music can be undermined by anxiety’s effect on the
body and mind. Like anxiety, treatments that are often prescribed to treat or manage anxiety, can
cause negative side-effects that hinder or alter abilities. An updated review of the available
treatment options and their effectiveness for classical musicians is crucial to the longevity of the
music profession. This information allows musicians to make an informed decision when faced
with debilitating MPA (music performance anxiety)."

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"Every day I remind myself of all that I have been given… With singing, you never know when you are going to lose the voice, and that makes you appreciate the time that you have when you are still singing well. I am always thanking God for another season, another month, another performance."


- Luciano Pavarotti

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