Macquarie University
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Development and evaluation of two brief, group treatments for music performance anxiety in community musicians: a preliminary study

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posted on 2022-03-28, 02:41 authored by Naomi Carolyn Halls
The purpose of this study was to develop, administer and evaluate two brief group treatments for music performance anxiety aimed at reducing anxiety and improving performance quality. This study also investigated for differences in measurement outcomes between treatments. A cognitive behavioural therapy treatment was developed for the study from an existing empirically proven treatment, Chilled (Rapee et al., 2006), focusing on cognitive, physiological and behavioural symptoms. The second treatment, based on a protocol developed by Gardenswartz and Craske (2001), targeted physiological symptoms and delivered relaxation strategies. Treatments were administered in a workshop format over one day with four treatment sessions, preceded by a pedagogic practice skills session. The practice skills sessions functioned as a placebo treatment and included no active treatment component. A quasi-experimental group randomisation design compared the treatments in a heterogeneous sample of community musicians. Sixty-eight participants completed measures of trait anxiety,anxiety sensitivity, depression, and music performance anxiety. Participants also performed four times (pre- and post-placebo, post-treatment and follow-up) and were assessed for performance quality by an expert judge. The results suggest that both treatments offered significant gains for the musicians: anxiety was reduced and performance quality improved after treatment. Results of a feedback survey suggested that a majority of participants were satisfied with treatment workshops overall (98%),and reported that the treatment had given them strategies for managing anxiety and improving performance (99%). Despite an absence of statistically significant differences between treatments, treatment efficacy was demonstrated at different points, thus indicating the need for further explication.


Alternative Title

Music performance anxiety.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Anxiety disorders and music performance anxiety -- Chapter 2. Theoretical explanations for anxiety -- Chapter 3. Measuring music performance anxiety -- Chapter 4. Method -- Chapter 5. Results -- Chapter 6. Discussion.


Bibliography: pages 123-146 Theoretical thesis. Running title: Music performance anxiety.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis DPsych


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Dianna T. Kenny

Additional Supervisor 1

Carolyn Anne Schniering

Additional Supervisor 2

Bill Thompson


Copyright Naomi Carolyn Halls 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (xiii, 226 pages) illustrations (some colour)

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