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About the Event

Presenter: Charlene Ryan

Performance anxiety is one of the most common concerns of performing musicians. Historically seen as a taboo topic, young musicians are increasingly calling for open and honest conversations with their teachers about their experiences. The research literature sheds light on the performance training, advice, and feedback offered to children and adolescents. In the current era of destigmatizing mental health, educators must be cognizant of the issues surrounding performance and strategize ways to support their students. In this seminar, Charlene Ryan will give an overview of the literature on performance anxiety, with a focus on findings pertaining to school-aged musicians. She will discuss strategies that teachers may consider, in light of these findings, to help open the dialogue and help prepare students for the realities of performing for an audience. Through participation in this webinar, participants will learn what research tells us about:

  • how performance anxiety manifests in young musicians
  • factors associated with increased performance anxiety
  • at which school levels students experience performance anxiety
  • how students are prepared for performance
  • the role of teachers and parents in students’ experience of music performance anxiety
  • what educators can do to prepare their students for the realities of performance

Charlene Ryan headshotCharlene Ryan is a music education professor who specializes at the elementary and earlychildhood levels. Currently an Associate Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, she hasbeen in higher education for more than 20 years, with previous positions at the Berklee College of Music and McGill University. Her research focuses on the experience and development of music performance anxiety in children and adolescents. Her work can be found in a wide range of journals, including the International Journal of Music Education, Psychology of Music, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, Journal of Research in Music Education, the International Journal of Stress Management, and Music and Science. Dr. Ryan is the author of several music-focused children’s books, including Hannabelle’s Butterflies, Katherine Lost, and The Milk Crate Club, as well as a collection of pedagogical picture books, the Sound Books, designed for interactive exploration of the elements of music. Her collegiate-level book, Building Strong Music Programs: A Handbook for Preservice and Novice Music Teachers, is used in teacher education programs across the continent and was recognized as an Outstanding Academic Title by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

NAfME presents this live virtual event at no charge to all as a service to the music education profession. To register, you must enter your NAfME member information or create a nonmember account. After registering, check your email for instructions. A recording of this program will be available to all registrants for one week following the live event. Members can also view archived NAfME webinars in the NAfME Academy. The views expressed are those of the presenter; they do not necessarily reflect the views of NAfME.
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Start Date

January 24, 2024

End Date

January 24, 2024

Start and End Time

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm (ET)

Event Category

  • Live virtual
  • Webinar


  • Band
  • Choral
  • Orchestra
  • Research
  • Show Choir

Teaching Levels

  • Administrator/Supervisor
  • College/University
  • Elementary
  • Junior/Middle School
  • Pre-School
  • PreK-12
  • Private/Studio
  • Senior High School

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