Performance Anxiety: A Practical Guide for Music Teachers

Performance Anxiety: A Practical Guide for Music Teachers

Gregory Daubney MSc MBPsS
Dr Alison Daubney

Reprinted from Performance Anxiety: A Practical Guide for Music Teachers
Incorporated Society of Musicians Trust (ISM Trust), February 2017
Free publication available online

Introduction

Your performance is a month away. You have a quick flash of panic but then you realise it is one month away and you calm down. One month is not ‘right now’ and you will be ready by then. You will have practised and everything will be fine. 

Your performance is one week away. One week? How did that get here so fast? Where did those three weeks go? Your heart is racing, your mind is questioning your ability, your hands are sweaty, your muscles tighten and you wonder how you will get through your performance. But wait! One week is still not ‘right now’. You still have time to practise and you will be alright. You hope!

Your performance is tomorrow! Your heart races faster than ever as you realise that this time tomorrow you will be performing. Have you practised enough? Can you remember the whole piece? What happens if you fail? Why are you doing this? Your breathing is short and shallow. Your heart is hammering against your chest wall and getting louder while your mouth is dry. How can I do this? Why did I do this? I don’t want to do this! Don’t make me do this! and…STOP!

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