Using Cognitive Therapy Methods to Treat Musical Performance Anxiety

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Sarah Masud


When it comes to exams, public speaking, and completing tasks in general, performance anxiety appears to be a common experience. However, it can cause significant distress and impairment, even to the point that some consider it to be a subtype of social anxiety disorder. The difference is that social anxiety is broadly concerned with embarrassment and humiliation in social situations while individuals with performance anxiety specifically fear the consequences of performing poorly. Though they aren’t the same, applying cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) shows promising results for both of them. In particular, people with musical performance anxiety (MPA) can benefit from adapted forms of CBT during private lessons.

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Author Biography

Sarah Masud, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Sarah Masud is a freshman pursuing a dual degree in Psychology and Information Sciences. She also plans to minor in Art & Design. Some of her academic interests include cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and psychiatric disorders. She enjoys drawing and visiting coffee shops as well! Outside of Brain Matters, she is also involved in the Undergraduate Psychology Association and Stitching Illini. She hopes to continue furthering her understanding of neuroscience through writing for the journal.