Project Details

Key findings

Having gained access to the highly competitive field of classical music training does not mean that the unique challenge for young musicians is to tame the complexity of instrument- specific motor skills. All the demands on the route to pursue professionally, or at least to a reasonable level, through the journey within a music conservatory, may have a pervasive impact on their functioning in both personal and professional domains. Both professional musicians and music students have one of the activities most likely to be affected by harmful levels of anxiety. Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) may affect up to half of the music students aging between 12 and 15 students [1], many of which do not get the opportunity to self-perceive their limitations or access therapies, to acknowledge and overcome the harmful effects of MPA, leading to the abandonment of a music path. MPA has a wide reach at the psychological, cognitive, emotional and behavioral levels, and is therefore difficult to define. One of the most consensual definitions is that of Kenny [2], according to which, music performance anxiety is the experience of marked and persistent anxious apprehension related to musical performance that has arisen through specific anxiety conditioning experiences. Although still neglected in current treatment approaches, psychological disorders have a critical basis in neurobiological mechanisms. Concerning MPA, most of the approaches either neglect the biological aspects or focus only on psychological or pharmacological treatment. This study approaches the MPA issue by diagnosing the levels of anxiety within a group of 430 music students aged 12 to 14 years old within music conservatoires. Furthermore, this project addresses the need for an extensive therapeutical intervention using traditional and innovative protocols of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Neurobiological feedback and the validation of its effects on the participants’ musical performance. This project gathers institutions and researchers from complementary areas: Music Psychology, Music Performance, Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Neurosciences. The common purpose is to articulate knowledge and know-how from different disciplines to design, implement, and validate an innovative intervention that is useful for music students and teachers at an early stage of music development.
Effective start/end date1/03/2328/02/26


  • Musical performance anxiety
  • Children and adolescents
  • Intervention
  • F NIRS - neurofeedback


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.