NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ909314
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4294
Performance Stress and the Very Young Musician
Boucher, Helene; Ryan, Charlene A.
Journal of Research in Music Education, v58 n4 p329-345 Jan 2011
Performance anxiety is a common experience among musicians. Recent studies have found it to be an issue not only for adult performers but also for developing musicians as early as third grade. The question as to its developed or innate nature led to the present inquiry pertaining to young children's responses to performance situations. Sixty-six 3- and 4-year-olds taking group music lessons that culminated in two concerts served as participants. Self-report of anticipatory anxiety, cortisol secretion, and observation of anxious behaviors were the primary measures. Results indicated that young children did experience anxiety with respect to music performances and that responses seemed to have both innate and developed components. Children with prior performing experience reported less anticipatory anxiety, but had higher cortisol levels, than those without prior experience. Additionally, performance location seemed to play a role in children's anxiety responses. Those who were familiar with their performance environment responded with less anxiety than those who were not. Overall, second performances within a short time frame elicited much lower anxiety responses than initial performances. Findings pertaining to performance location and second performances appear to have direct pedagogical implications, which may help to reduce performance stress in young children. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A