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Article Date: 09 Jun 2010 – 0:00 PDT

Traditionally, the most successful methods used to combat stage fright have been prescribed medications (beta blockers) and aerobic exercise. In the most recent issue of Biofeedback, researchers studied another technique: the effect of biofeedback training on Musical Performance Anxiety (MPA). MPA is a severe form of stage fright marked by high anxiety levels and impaired performance.

Up to 72% of all musicians may suffer from MPA. Like other forms of stage fright, MPA is a complex experience that has mental, emotional, physiological, and psychological components.

In this study, university student-musicians performed in front of an audience and were assessed. Later, they participated in four 30- to 50-minute sessions during which they were taught techniques to control their heart rhythm patterns and focus their thoughts and emotions. A heart rate biofeedback device provided feedback, so participants could tell when the techniques were working. At the end of the training, they were asked to perform for an audience again.

The results showed a 71% decrease in performance anxiety and a 62% improvement in performance. Once the techniques were learned, participants were also able to use them in other areas of their lives and reported an increased sense of calmness, improved anger management, better sleep and generally more relaxed feelings. Previous studies have shown that biofeedback training also increases test-taking ability, decreases stress and relieves depression.

…. Full text of the article, “Effects of Heart Rate Variability Coherence Biofeedback Training and Emotional Management Techniques to Decrease Music Performance Anxiety.”

Read in Full:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/191246.php



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