Self Representations and Music Performance Anxiety: A Study With Professional and Amateur Musicians


  • Claudia Castiglione
  • Alberto Rampullo
  • Silvia Cardullo


Individual, social and situational factors might play an important role on the experience of anxiety during musical performances. The present research focused on the relationship between self-representations, including musical self, and performance anxiety among a sample of Italian professional and amateur musicians (N = 100; age, M = 23.40, 50% females). We predicted that higher self-discrepancies (actual vs. future self) would be associated with higher performance anxiety in a musical setting (vs. a non musical one), via musical self, and only in professional musicians. The results confirmed our hypothesis. Higher discrepancies between actual and future self-representations were positively associated with higher performance anxiety levels via the musical self only in participants who play instruments at a professional level. Furthermore, musical self influenced performance anxiety levels in a music related setting (i.e., a concert) but not in a non musical one (i.e., an exam).