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Even the best suffer performance anxiety...

Even the best suffer performance anxiety…

On Sunday June 8 2014 I’m organising an Introduction to Managing Performance Anxiety course on behalf of the English Brass Academy at Putney High School. It should be a great couple of sessions as I’ve invited Andy Evans, himself a musician but also one of the UK’s top performance psychologists, to talk about this delicate subject.

I spoke to Iwan Fox, editor of 4 Bars Rest, the world’s most popular website for brass band news, about this topic and he, wisely, linked the whole area of performance anxiety amongst musicians to football and footballers. You can read his article here:


As the World Cup in Brazil is only a few weeks away I suppose we’re all bracing ourselves for the inevitable penalty shoot out in which England seems to constantly embroil itself and, of course, we know the outcome is usually bad news for our poor fellas. I get the impression that football is a macho type of game and these guys really don’t talk about getting ‘the pearlies’ just before they take that shot before 2 billion people.

Maybe musicians are the same. We feel we need to be ‘bullet proof’ that, as professional musicians we need to be above all that. I recently sat on the examination panel for a final recital at a music college and my colleague on the panel, yes – an academic – castigated the poor girl for being nervous. You see – it’s perceived as unacceptable for musicians to be worried or show apprehension. It’s seen as a weakness. Perhaps its the same in football.

Well, I’m hoping that the Introduction to Managing Performance Anxiety will help highlight this problem for many musicians and Andy Evans is certainly a guy who knows his stuff. If you want more information about the event take a look at the English Brass Academy website at:


The session commences bright and early at 9.00am. There’ll be coffee and nibbles and it’ll be a relaxed, informal day in a supportive atmosphere. Look forward to seeing you on Sunday…