Notes from the Green Room: Coping With Stress and Anxiety in Musical Performance
Almost everyone who sings or plays a musical instrument gets nervous when having to perform in public, whether in school, at a church recital, before friends and guests, or before a paying public who expects an absolutely top-notch performance. In a recent survey of the music department at a midwestern university, two-thirds of the students experienced significant levels of performance anxiety, and virtually none of them knew what to do about it. Notes from the Green Room explains the causes of musical performance anxiety and suggests ways to deal with them effectively. Salmon and Meyer draw on cognitive and behavioral psychology to show how proper preparation as well as techniques such as learning experiments, relaxation training, tension management, graded exposure to groups of various sizes, and self-criticism can relieve the compulsion that often accompanies an individual's musical performance. Achievement as a performer at all levels can be aided by access to educational, medical, and psychological resources that, when coupled with genuine ability and hard work, can help performers refine their skills, cope with stress more effectively, and generally limit the probability of physical or psychological impairments both on- and offstage. Notes from the Green Room merges contemporary psychological theories of stress and anxiety with a consideration of the pragmatic aspects of becoming an effective performer. Many of the techniques and ideas described throughout the book were developed in conjunction with clients who have participated in the performance skills program at the University of Louisville. This book will be essential to the performances of musicians at any level - from churchorganist to world-class operatic soloist.
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Getting Help for Stress and Anxiety
The Cognitive Side of Performing
Basic Stress Management Skills
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achieve activation ance Anxiety Disorders approach aspects assessment attention attitude audience autonomic nervous system BASIC ID become aware begin behavior beliefs beta-blockers Betsy Betsy's breathing cognitive cognitive restructuring Cognitive Therapy comfortable common concept consider deal detail develop diaphragmatic breathing difficult distracting distress effective emotional evaluate evoke example experience factors feedback feel anxious focus focused formance hypervigilance idea iety images important intense involves learning Meichenbaum memory ment mental imagery mental rehearsal muscles musical expression musical performance skills musical skills musicians one's onstage overall particular performance anxiety performance situations performer's perspective physical pianist piece of music practice performances preparation progressive relaxation psychological psychologist quieting response recital relationship relaxation techniques relaxation training rience score self-assessment self-talk sensations stage stage fright stress and anxiety stress management symptoms teachers tend tense tension therapeutic therapist therapy things thoughts tion tive visual