First Advisor

Mari Schay

Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Music: Education and University Honors






Performance anxiety, Music -- Performance, Musicians -- Psychology




In a combination of research-oriented and creative endeavors, I analyzed and reflected on my own struggles with music performance anxiety (MPA) in hopes to manage my levels of MPA for my undergraduate recital. Through this deep dive, I discovered numerous strategies for minimizing MPA, including (but not limited to): physical activity, meditation, and the concept of flow. Of all the techniques I implemented into my practice, the concept of flow proved to be the most beneficial by far. Flow experiences occur when an individual is so enveloped in their craft (music, art, athletics, etc) that they lose touch with their surroundings while still performing to the best of their abilities. In music performance, this could look like a harpist practicing for five hours straight without a water break or a vocalist performing for a packed auditorium without noticing the crowd at all. Using Eve Newsome’s Flow Music Method, I began to include improvisation, creativity, and connection to emotion into my practice time, and within days I felt reinvigorated as a musician. I discovered deep feelings that I had never felt through reflecting on my repertoire and was able to convey these emotions within my performing. These flow strategies greatly enhanced the outcome of and my pride in the undergraduate recital. I hope that this research and retelling of my experiences encourages other musicians struggling with MPA to adapt facets of flow into their practice and performance.


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