Yes, studies suggest that females are generally more likely to experience musical performance anxiety compared to males.
Further information is provided below
Yes, studies suggest that females are generally more likely to experience musical performance anxiety compared to males. This gender difference in anxiety levels during musical performances has long been a topic of interest and has been explored by researchers in the fields of psychology and music education.
Females, in particular, tend to experience higher levels of performance anxiety, which can manifest as a variety of physical and psychological symptoms such as increased heart rate, trembling, sweating, self-doubt, and fear of making mistakes during a performance. These symptoms can significantly impact their confidence, enjoyment, and overall performance quality.
One possible explanation for this gender difference could be related to societal expectations and cultural norms. For instance, women, historically, have faced more pressure to conform to traditional gender roles, and this pressure may translate into higher levels of anxiety when performing in a male-dominated field like music. Additionally, research has shown that females are more likely to engage in self-critical thinking and have higher levels of perfectionism, both of which can contribute to heightened anxiety during performances.
According to a study conducted by Osborne and colleagues (2007) on music performance anxiety, they found that “women experienced significantly higher levels of performance anxiety and more marked cognitive symptoms of performance anxiety than men.” This further supports the notion that females are more prone to musical performance anxiety.
To provide further insight into this topic, here are some interesting facts related to musical performance anxiety:
- Anxiety levels can vary depending on the type of musical performance. For example, solo performances tend to elicit higher levels of anxiety compared to group performances or ensemble settings.
- Research has shown a link between the fear of negative evaluation and musical performance anxiety. Individuals who fear criticism or judgment from others are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety during musical performances.
- The age at which individuals start learning a musical instrument can impact the development of performance anxiety. Those who start at a younger age may have higher levels of anxiety due to the added pressure of early exposure and expectations.
- Several techniques have been suggested to help manage and reduce performance anxiety, including deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, visualization, and gradual exposure to performance situations.
In conclusion, studies suggest that females are more likely to experience musical performance anxiety compared to males. This gender difference in anxiety levels can be influenced by societal expectations, cultural norms, and individual characteristics. Understanding and addressing this issue can be crucial in supporting female musicians and providing effective strategies to manage performance anxiety.
Some additional responses to your inquiry
Women tend to report higher MPA level than men (Hildebrandt et al., 2012; Biasutti and Concina, 2014). Musician’s proneness to experience anxiety during music performances, which we call general MPA, varies on a continuum of severity.
When musical performance anxiety is experienced as part of SAD, it is likely due to a combination of factors such as innate temperament and negative early performance experiences. In general, researchers have found that females are more likely than males to experience this type of anxiety.
Of the women surveyed, 98 per cent revealed that they have experienced performance related anxiety during their career. The global studio network posted the study’s results to their website yesterday, noting that female musicians are “28 per cent more likely to experience [performance anxiety] than their male counterparts”.
Many studies report that female adult musicians experience higher levels of performance anxiety (Fishbein et al., 1988; Wesner et al., 1990; Papageorgi, 2008; Iusca and Dafinoiu, 2012; Papageorgi et al., 2013; Coskun-Senturk and Cırakoglu, 2018; Gonzalez et al., 2018).
Research on MPA also investigated associated factors such as gender, age, and performance context to identify possible predictors of MPA. Where it has been shown that females were significantly more likely to experience MPA than males, these findings vary for different age and performance contexts (Kenny et al., 2014).
It is worth noting that women are 85% more likely than men to experience a form of anxiety disorder (Ginsberg, 2004) and that they also tend to report higher MPA (Kenny, 2011). Gender can thus act as a confound if not accounted for.
Answer in video
The video “Performance Anxiety – How Musicians Can Handle This – Part One” discusses various techniques to handle performance anxiety. One technique mentioned is visualization, where musicians imagine themselves successfully performing their music to mentally prepare themselves. The speaker also suggests simulating physical symptoms of nervousness in a controlled environment to practice playing through them. Additionally, a story is shared about a musician who deals with performance anxiety by simulating the effects of cold on his hands. Overall, the video provides strategies for musicians to manage performance anxiety and states that further techniques will be addressed in Part Two.