Performance Anxiety : Anxiety, Fear, Or Persistent Phobia Essay

Performance Anxiety : Anxiety, Fear, Or Persistent Phobia Essay

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Performance Anxiety
Performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience. More specifically, music performance anxiety is a combination of the fear of negative feedback from the audience and the fear of not showcasing one 's true potential and ability. In many instances, people become confused in distinguishing the difference between stage fright and performance anxiety. While both performance anxiety and stage fright cause individuals to feel uneasy about performing, some people believe that stage fright is more severe than performance anxiety because it is an extreme amount of fear felt during a performance that can cause the performer to “freeze up” or forget what was practiced. Others believe that performance anxiety digs deeper into the psychological level because an individual can experience performance anxiety weeks before actually performing, making it more intense than stage fright. Both arguments make valid points but, performance anxiety can also cause a performer to “freeze up” or forget what was practiced, making stage fright a part of or an effect of performance anxiety rather than its own category. Performers are conditioned to absorb and rely on the opinions of others which causes performance anxiety and it leads to negative emotions, lack of self-worth, a weakened performance, and in some cases it can be a motivational fear. Lessing the intensity and pressure that comes with the evaluation of a performance can stop or reduce music performance anxiety.
Although people have been experiencing evaluation or judgment since birth, there is still a negative perception attached to it which causes performers to h...


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...ied to combat those thoughts by practicing more and incorporating exercises that help with memory, in the end Crappell still suffered with anxiety. He continued to suffer with his stage fright and felt uncomfortable when performing. Crappell is a great example of how a musician can have doubt that they will not perform to the best of their ability even if they are very talented and have intense preparation. Though Crappell practiced frequently, Nagel’s article, Performance Anxiety and the Performing Musician: A fear of Failure or a Fear of Success, exemplifies that “The anticipation of a public performance can undermine the confidence of the most talented performer at a time that competence is needed most” (Nagel, 37). Even though Crappell is an experienced performer, he let his negative thoughts destroy his confidence in his ability to perform a piece he mastered.

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