Notes from the Green Room: Coping With Stress and Anxiety in Musical Performance

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9780669250107: Notes from the Green Room: Coping With Stress and Anxiety in Musical Performance
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Almost everyone who sings or plays a musical instrument gets nervous when having to perform in public, whether in school, at a church recital, before friends and guests, or before a paying public who expects an absolutely top-notch performance. In a recent survey of the music department at a midwestern university, two-thirds of the students experienced significant levels of performance anxiety, and virtually none of them knew what to do about it.
Notes from the Green Room explains the causes of musical performance anxiety and suggests ways to deal with them effectively. Salmon and Meyer draw on cognitive and behavioral psychology to show how proper preparation as well as techniques such as learning experiments, relaxation training, tension management, graded exposure to groups of various sizes, and self-criticism can relieve the compulsion that often accompanies an individual's musical performance. Achievement as a performer at all levels can be aided by access to educational, medical, and psychological resources that, when coupled with genuine ability and hard work, can help performers refine their skills, cope with stress more effectively, and generally limit the probability of physical or psychological impairments both on- and offstage.
Notes from the Green Room merges contemporary psychological theories of stress and anxiety with a consideration of the pragmatic aspects of becoming an effective performer. Many of the techniques and ideas described throughout the book were developed in conjunction with clients who have participated in the performance skills program at the University of Louisville. This book will be essential to the performances of musicians at any level - from church organist to world-class operatic soloist.

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From the Back Cover:

Essential Reading for Performers at Any Level

"Notes from the Green Room is a welcome and unique addition to the literature on performance anxiety for both musicians and clinicians. Educational and practical, it will inspire a variety of possible therapeutic approaches."?Alice G. Brandfonbrener, M.D., Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

"These talented and knowledgeable authors offer musicians a very clear description of the mechanisms involved in performance anxiety and suggest concrete ideas for channeling the negative aspects of anxiety into a positive force. Especially effective are the case histories offering real life examples of musicians dealing with the stresses and strains of performance. This should be required reading for all musicians!"? Gail J. Berenson, professor of piano, Chair Keyboard Division, Ohio University School of Music

"A superb job? beyond the notably obvious beneficial implications built into this book for musicians, the authors have compiled a thorough and comprehensive treatise which deals with every facet of anxiety and stress management for performers, regardless of their discipline . . . this work should be obligatory reading."? Lee Bash, chair, Department of Fine & Performing Arts, Bellarmine College and director, Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts

"Notes from the Green Room is a superb study of musical performance anxiety. Beginning students, seasoned performers, and teachers can all benefit from the practical help it provides. It will certainly become required reading for all my students."? James Kibbie, University of Michigan School of Music


About the Author:

PAUL G. SALMON is an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Louisville, director of clinical research at the Genesis Center, and a professional musician. ROBERT G. MEYER is a professor of psychology at the University of Louisville.

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Salmon, Paul G.; Meyer, Robert G.
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