Music Performance Anxiety

"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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