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Performance Anxiety

Define performance anxiety

<Musicians Way>
Anxiety is a natural response to a perceived threat.
Our brain distinctively protects us from danger and does not
discriminate. (Relate to practise methods?) The adrenaline rush is
sent out whenever we feel fear irrespective of whether we are afraid
of getting run over by a truck or performing badly
Symptoms of performance anxiety
<Musicians Way>
Pg. 136-138
Symptoms can be classified under Pre-performance Effects, Atperformance Effects and Post-performance Effects.
When and where do they occur? (before/halfway through
performance, recording, sports, public speaking, in front of an
audience, during examinations my palms sweat)
Symptoms: accept them, do not fight them, instead use them to
your advantage? (research and elaborate, perhaps possible to put it
in another chapter)
<Musicians Way>
Among professionals, 25% claim to be impaired by stage fright.
John Browning suggests many musicians add to their woes by
refusing to confront the topic of performance anxiety at all.
Reflect on causes and effects of performance stress and develop
countermeasures to anxiousness. Figure out what activate our
nerves and realise we can prevail over our difficulties.
<Psychology for Performing Artists, Glenn Wilson)
Anxiety is not always detrimental to performance, a certain degree
of emotional arousal is usually beneficial to performance. Case
study shows nervousness greater during performance than
rehearsal, quality of performance was higher, agreed by both actors
themselves and judges.
Causes of performance anxiety (current educational situations)
<Musicians Way>
Pg. 135
Psychologist Stephen D. Curtis says, The most important
psychological contributor to the onset of performance anxiety is a
performers concern for, or fear of, the outcome of the performance:

that is, the performers thoughts become focused on an imagined

negative outcome or failure
<Musicians Way Pg. 140-142><Psychology for performaning
artists, Pg.188)
Personal Causes general anxiousness, fear of evaluation, history of
stage nerves, shyness.
Task related causes overly challenging repertoire, insufficient
practice, weak practice skills, lack of performance skills.
Situational causes difficult circumstances, public scrutiny, high
degree of concern, poor self-care.
Relate above discussed to personal experiences, friends and
colleagues experiences
<Musicians Way>
Learn to recognise how anxiety manifests in your life, and cultivate
healthy responses. Musicians who do not offset their restlessness
habitually feed their anxiety. Know how performance stress affects
oneself is a decisive step.