The Psychology of Music Performance Anxiety


Why are some performers exhilarated and energized about performing in public, while others feel a crushing sense of fear and dread, and experience public performance as an overwhelming challenge that must be endured? What are the factors that produce such vastly different performance experiences? Why have consummate artists like Frederic Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pablo Cassals, Tatiana Troyanos, and Barbra Streisand experienced such intense music performance anxiety? This is a disorder that can affect musicians across a range of genres and of all standards. Some of the ‘cures’ musicians resort to can be harmful to their health and detrimental to their playing.

 “The book will have wide interdisciplinary appeal to performing musicians, educators, psychologists, and psychiatrists; the author who is Professor Psychology and Professor of Music at the University of Sydney, has distinguished herself with a career’s worth of prolific research, including over 200 publications. Her studies in the areas of music psychology and performance anxiety demonstrate strong methodologies and a desire for robust scientific inquiry… This book is an outstanding contribution to the psychology and performance literature.” – Susan Geffen, Editor, Clavier Companion.