Risk and protective factors of music performance anxiety: the role of stress, self–esteem and self–efficacy

  • B. Dobos
  • B. Piko


Background: Performance anxiety – or “stage fright” – is particularly well-known in performance situations which are social situations where artists are evaluated by their auditory. Although music performance anxiety is a common problem, there are only a few studies on this subject in Hungary. Therefore, we investigated the risk and protective factors of music performance anxiety (MPA). Methods: The sample consisted of musicians with an ongoing or completed music education (N = 100; aged between 15–35 years). Study participants completed the Kenny Music Performance Anxiety Inventory (Kenny, 2009), Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen & Williamson, 1988), Self-esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and General Perceived Self–Efficacy Scale (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995). Findings: Females reported higher level of stress and MPA and they had lower self–esteem than males. Low self–esteem was more likely to occur in classical musicians (compared to jazz, folk and pop), with increased stress level during solo performance setting. In multiple regression analysis gender and perceived stress were significant risk factors, while self–esteem and self–efficacy were protective factors. Discussion: There were strong relationships between music performance anxiety and perceived stress, self–efficacy and self–esteem. These results indicate that young musicians are in need of more support from their parents, teachers and health care professionals. In terms of prevention, it is important to strengthen protective factors besides recognizing MPA and detecting stress and anxiety-prone situations. Music teachers should learn to apply certain methods of education and relaxation techniques to lower MPA.
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