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Peer Support Group focusing on music performance anxiety

A safe space where participants can discuss there experiences of performance anxiety‭.‬

A six-week online Peer Support Group that focuses on giving participants a safe space where they can discuss their experiences of performance anxiety‭, ‬learn from others about ways of managing it‭, ‬and be given opportunities to reflect on research-based strategies to offer tools and takeaways to practise each week‭. ‬This will allow time for reflection and discussion in the next session about how the experience was‭. ‬

Sessions will be semi-structured‭, ‬allowing for the experiences of the participants to emerge‭.‬

This online group will run on Wednesdays (10:00-11:30pm), starting 1st March 2023, each group will be facilitated by Lucy Heyman.


Group content

Week 1 / Introduction to MPA

How does it affect you‭? ‬What makes it worse‭? ‬When is it better‭? ‬A session to get to know each other and ourselves‭, ‬and understand the different ways that MPA affects us‭. ‬Lucy will introduce the Yerkes-Dodson framework to look in more detail at what MPA is‭,‬‭ ‬and why we need it for performance‭. ‬Participants will experiment with the framework during the week to find out where their‭ ‬’sweet spot’‭ ‬for optimising performance is‭. ‬

Week 2 / Ways of managing MPA.

In this session participants will discuss the methods they have used to manage MPA in the past‭. ‬They’ll be given a brief overview of some of the options available‭, ‬with a focus on lifestyle management as the first option‭. ‬We will‭ ‬discuss the role of nutrition‭, ‬sleep‭, ‬exercise and substance use‭, ‬and the role that each plays in managing anxiety‭. ‬Lucy will introduce a second fsources of stress in performance‭), ‬and participants will experiment with this‭, ‬alongside exercise and nutrition during the week‭, ‬to notice the impact they have on performance‭. ‬

Week 3 / Psychological approaches to MPA.

In this session we’ll explore self-talk‭, ‬making visible the dialogue we have with ourselves in the days‭, ‬hours and minutes before a show‭. ‬How do we‭ ‬view a performance‭? ‬Do we over-estimate the importance of it‭? ‬How does what we tell ourselves affect our performance‭? ‬Examples‭ ‬will be given of positive re-framing exercises‭, ‬and participants will be given an exercise to work on over the week where they keep a diary of their self-talk before and after performances‭. ‬

Week 4 / The practical aspects of performance.

In this session we’ll look at all the component parts of a performance that can contribute to MPA‭. ‬We’ll discuss the science behind effective practise‭, ‬how to do it‭, ‬and why it’s important in the context of MPA‭. ‬We’ll also discuss how pre-performance routines can help‭ (‬including relaxation strategies‭), ‬along with strategies for managing performances if you know you’re going to be nervous‭. ‬The exercise for this week is to craft a pre-performance routine and try it out in a performance context‭. ‬

Week 5 / The role of review.

In this session we will discuss the role of post-performance review in more detail‭, ‬and how it can offer insights into the best‭ ‬way to manage MPA for each of us‭. ‬We’ll introduce a process for review and reflection that musicians can use for each performance‭, ‬as well as understanding when the‭ ‬most productive time is to do this‭. ‬The exercise for this week is for musicians to tweak the pre-performance routine from last week to find a process of preparation for performance that will be most helpful for them to take forward‭. ‬This may include psychological strategies‭, ‬nutrition‭, ‬exercise‭, ‬positive self-talk and performance management approaches‭. ‬

Week 6 / Pulling it all together.

In this final session we’ll focus on relaxing and enjoying the ride‭. ‬The hard work is now done‭, ‬you’ve prepared the best you can‭. ‬Now how do you make your performance the best it can be‭? ‬We’ll do a relaxation exercise‭, ‬and discuss the science behind flow states and how to access them‭.


Please note that to participate in the Peer Support Group, each participant will need to have register once and attend a booking appointment before your enrolment.


Already registered and want to join this group, email


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