The Conductor's Role in Performance Anxiety of Ensemble Members

The July 2009 JRME article about performance anxiety in semi-professional singers revealed some interesting findings about the influence of conductors on their singers' performance anxiety:

84% of singers report that their conductor influences their level of performance anxiety.

To what extent? 59% believe that conductors make a lot or all of the difference in performance anxiety, 29% indicated some difference, and 12% indicated a little difference.

What specific characteristics and behaviors of the conductor induces anxiety?
75% Anxious
31% Negative Mood
18% Weak conducting/rehearsal skills
17% Disrespectful
13% Poor preparation/disorganized
12% Negative body language

What does this mean?
The demeanor of a conductor is very important and has influence on the execution of an ensemble. Conductors should prepare to the extent where they are under control and organized. They also should be careful about negative comments and body language right before the performance.

Ryan, C., & Andrews, N. (2009). An Investigation Into the Choral Singer's Experience of Music Performance Anxiety. Journal of Research in Music Education, 57(2), 108-126.