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Teacher perspective on music performance anxiety: an exploration of coping strategies used by music teachers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 April 2022

Erin MacAfee*
50 University Ave., Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Gilles Comeau
50 University Ave., Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
*Corresponding author. Email:


The purpose of this study was to explore music performance anxiety (MPA) from music teachers’ perspectives by identifying and describing common coping strategies teachers use to support students with MPA. A quantitative content analysis of scientific and non-scientific MPA literature identified preparation, open communication, realistic expectations, exposure therapy and deep breathing as the five most common coping strategies mentioned in the literature. Qualitative thematic analyses of existing literature and interview transcripts from five piano teacher participants provided descriptions of the five commonly identified coping strategies. A comparison of literature and interview results suggests a gap between research knowledge of MPA and practical teaching application. While music teachers employ a variety of strategies to help students cope with MPA, they may also benefit from formal MPA training opportunities grounded in research to provide additional resources for effectively managing students with MPA.

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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