Meditation as a tool to counteract music performance anxiety from the experts’ perspective

Serena Paese*, Hauke Egermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Music performance anxiety (MPA) affects numerous musicians, preventing them from performing to the full extent of their abilities. A variety of tools are used to cope with MPA among which is meditation. Although research conducted to date has made a distinction between the types of meditative techniques and their effects, this aspect is still not thoroughly investigated. The aim of this qualitative study is to investigate the experience of specialists in the field and identify the meditations employed for counteracting MPA. Sixteen semi-structured interviews were held with experts; recordings and transcripts were verified multiple times and imported into NVivo software. Thematic analysis was conducted, developing three main themes which illustrate how the experts describe MPA, the influencing factors for the effectiveness of meditation, the employed meditative techniques and how they reduce MPA. Within the last theme, body-centered meditations and breathing techniques, along with visualizations and Vipassana meditation, occupy a prominent place. Results show furthermore that affect-centered meditations offer interesting perspectives for counteracting perfectionism and self-criticism. The findings of this study may be of interest to educational institutions and musicians who want to acquire emotional awareness, self-regulation strategies for counteracting MPA, and improving performance skills.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology of Music
Early online date29 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Serena Paese received financial support for the research from the Italian Ministry of Education.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • consciousness
  • meditation
  • music performance anxiety
  • self-compassion
  • self-regulation
  • well-being

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