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The effectiveness of a multimodal concept of audition training for music students in coping with music performance anxiety

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Psychology of Music

Published online on


Music performance anxiety (MPA) occurs regularly before and during a musical stage performance. Coping with MPA optimizes the performance outcome and plays an important role for musicians, especially when auditioning for work in an orchestra. In this study the effectiveness of a seminar to train students to cope with MPA was evaluated. Thirteen music students participated in the intervention program of 14 weekly sessions. Eight students were in the control group. The intervention contained video feedback, exercises in methods of body awareness, and insights into cognitive strategies. All students were required to perform two simulated auditions, at the beginning and at the end of the semester. They filled in self-assessment questionnaires related to MPA at both auditions. Additionally, two judges rated the performances in both auditions. Audio recordings of the performances were also sent to 12 orchestral musicians for appraisal as well. The results revealed significant improvements in coping with MPA, shown in the participants’ self-assessment ratings as well as in the ratings of the judges during the auditions in the trained group compared with the control group. Additionally, the orchestral musicians rated the audio presentations of the intervention group in the second audition significantly better than the control group.