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Curricular Unit: Psychology of Musical Performance I
Code: LCM018
Cientific Area: Musical Sciences

Learning Outcomes

> Be aware of the concepts of cognition, emotion, self-efficacy, motivation, anxiety and efficacy.

> Be aware of the importance of emotional motivation in instrumental study and practice.

> Be aware of the importance of preparing for performance.

> Be aware of emotional problems arising from musical performance.

> Be aware of the anxiety manifestation.

> Be able to deal with anxiety, emotional and cognitive problems related to musical performance.


> The music performance anxiety.

> Emotion and motivation in the lives of performers.

> Resources to deal with cognitive and physiological problems related to music performance anxiety:

> Physical relaxation techniques.

> Cognitive aids; Theories of Albert Ellis, Aaron T. Beck.

> Self-confidence; Theory of Albert Bandura.

Teaching Methodologies

Lectures; critical reading of selected texts with extended discussion in class. Training sessions to deal with anxiety, emotional and physiological problems related to music performance.


Alcantara, P. de (1999). The Alexander Technique, a skill for life. Wiltshire, U.K: The Crowood Press Ltd.

Alexander, F. M. (1923). Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual. London, UK: Chaterson Ltd.

Alexander, F. M. (1941). The universal constant in living. In: Alexander, F. The books of F. Matthias Alexander (pp. 493-697). New York: IRDEAT – Institute for Research, Development & Education in the Alexander Technique.

Alexander, F. M. (1992). O uso de si mesmo. São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

Assagioli, R. (1990). The Act of Will. New York, USA: Harper & Row.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215.

Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanisms in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 122-147.

Bandura, A. (1980). Gauging the Relationship Between Self-Efficacy Judgment and Action. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 4(2), 263-268.

Bandura, A. (1988). Self-regulation of motivation and action through goal systems. In V, Hamilton, G. H. Bower, & N. H. Frijda(Eds.), Cognitive perspectives on emotion and motivation (pp. 37-61). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self- Efficacy. The Exercise of Control. New York: Worth Publishers.

Bandura, A., & Cervone, D. (1986). Differential engagement of self-reactive influences in cognitive motivation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 38, 92-113.

Baptista, A., Carvalho, M., & Lory, F. (2005). O medo, a ansiedade e as suas perturbações. Revista Psicologia, 19(1/2), 266-277.

Barlow, D. H. (2002). Anxiety and its disorders. The treatment of anxiety and panic (2nd ed.). N.Y.: Guilford Press.

Beck, J. S. (1997). Terapia Cognitiva: teoria e prática (Sandra Costa, Trans.) Porto Alegra: Artes Médicas.

Bouffard-Bouchard, T. (2001). Influence of self-efficacy on performance in a cognitive task. The Journal of Social Psychology, 130, 353-363.

Brodsky, W. (1996). Music performance anxiety reconceptualized: a critique of current research practices and findings. Medical Problems of Performing Artists,11(3), 88-98.

Buswell, D. (2006). Performance Strategies for Musicians.  Hertfordshire, UK: MX Publishing.

Clark, J. L. C. (2008). String Student Self-Efficacy and Deliberate Music Practice: Examining String Students Musical Background Characteristics, Self-Efficacy Beliefs, and Practice Behaviors (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of North Texas, Texas, U.S.A.

Cox, W., & Kenardy, J. (1993). Performance anxiety, social phobia, and setting effects in instrumental music students. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 7, 49-60.

Craske, M. G., & Craig K. D. (1984). Musical performance anxiety: the three-systems model and self-efficacy theory. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 22(3), 267-280.

Deen, D. (1999). Awareness and breathing: Keys to the moderation of musical performance anxiety. (Dissertação de Doutoramento). University of Kentucky, Lexington: USA.

Ellis, A. (1985). “Expanding de ABC’s of rational-emotive therapy”. In M. J. Mahoney & A. Freeman (Eds.), Cognition and psychotherapy. N. Y.: Plenum.

Ellis, A. (2000). How to Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You. N.Y.: Citadel Press.

Ellis, A. (2001). Feeling Better, Getting Better, Staying Better. Atascadero, CA: Impact Publishers.

Evans, A., & Evans, A. (2013). Secrets of Performing Confidence (2nd ed.). London: Bloomsbury.

Fehm, L., & Schmidt, K. (2006). Performance anxiety in gifted adolescent musicians. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 20, 98-109.

Feltz, D. L. (1994). Self-confidence and performance. In D. Druckman & R. A. Bjork (Eds.), Learning, remembering, believing: Enhancing human performance (pp. 173-206). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Fogel D. O. (1982). Toward effective treatment for music performance anxiety. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 19, 368–375.

Hollenbeck, G.P., & Hall, D.T. (2004). Self-confidence and Leader Performance. Organizational Dynamics, 33(3), 254-269.

Kenny, D. T. (2006). Music performance anxiety: Origins, phenomenology, assessment and treatment.

Kenny, D. T. (2011). The Psychology of Music Performance Anxiety (1st ed.). New York:  Oxford University Press.

Lockwood, A. H. (1989). Medical problems of musicians. The New England Journal of Medicine, 320, 221-227.

Margolis, H., & Mccabe, P. P. (2006). Improving Self-Efficacy and Motivation: What to Do, What to Say. Intervention in School and Clinic 2006; 41; 218-227.

Nielsen, S. G. (1999). Learning strategies in instrumental music practice. British Journal of Music Education, 16(3), 275-291.

Patston, T., & Loughlan, T. (2014). Playing with performance: The use and abuse of beta-blockers in the performing arts. Victorian Journal of Music Education, (1), 3–10.

Senyshyn, Y. (1999). Perspectives on performance and anxiety and their implications for creative teaching. Canadian Journal of Education, 24, 30-41.

Sloboda, J. A., Davidson, J. W., Howe, M. J. A., & Moore, D. M. (1996). The role of practice in the development of expert musical performance. British Journal of Psychology, 87, 287-309.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Language and Thought. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press: Ontario.

Teaching Staff

Sara Ascenso