February 2019 MTNA e-Journal

Music Performance Anxiety And The Pre-College Student: The Teacher’s Role In Addressing Performance Anxiety
By Clara Boyett, NCTM

This article equips teachers to address performance anxiety in students, offering a thorough investigation of the symptoms and contributors of anxiety. Readers are introduced to nine treatment options that can be implemented by studio teachers: systematic desensitization, cognitive restructuring, progressive relaxation, flow, yoga, improvisation, deep breathing, imagery/mental rehearsal and performance preparation. The teacher-student relationship can be compared to that of a therapist and client, and this article discusses the implications of this comparison, including the teacher’s responsibilities regarding anxiety and teacher qualities that help create confident performers. Performance anxiety can begin at a very young age and because of this, it is crucial that we address symptoms of anxiety from the very first lesson, and that students are taught how to approach performance in a healthy manner. Ignoring the symptoms and underlying issues will not cure performance anxiety—it is the teacher’s responsibly to proactively combat music performance anxiety in the studio. [Read More]