Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) is a widespread epidemic in the world of instrumental and vocal performance. While traditional music education provides a solid training in terms of technical and interpretive execution, attention is rarely given to managing the very symptoms that may challenge one’s ability to perform at an optimum level. As both collegiate study in music performance and the process of acquiring employment as a performer often require the presentation of skill in an evaluative setting, it is imperative that more light be shed on the management of Music Performance Anxiety. Equipping the next generation of musicians with the skills to handle fear, adrenaline, tension, and other threats to their concentration in demanding situations may not only improve the quality of the performing arts henceforward, but also their success and satisfaction onstage. This dissertation highlights findings from an extensive review of the current literature and research on the methods by which Music Performance Anxiety has been and is currently being treated among amateur musicians, conservatory students, and professional instrumentalists. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies (e.g., Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Meditation, Electromyographic Biofeedback, Progressive Muscular Relaxation, and Alexander Technique); Expressive Art Therapies (e.g., Guide Imagery and Music Therapy); Exposure Therapies (e.g., Systematic Desensitization); and pharmacological treatments (e.g., beta blockers, benzodiazepines) will be discussed, as well as implications for future research and current music educators.
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