Magazine article American Music Teacher

Managing Stage Fright: A Guide for Musicians and Music Teachers

Magazine article American Music Teacher

Managing Stage Fright: A Guide for Musicians and Music Teachers

Article excerpt

Managing Stage Fright: A Guide for Musicians and Music Teachers, by Julie Jaffee Nagel. Oxford University Press, 2017. http://global.oup.com; 216 pp., $74.00 hardcover; $19.95 paperback.

It is rare to find someone so ideally-suited to author a book on the topic of managing stage fright than Julie Jaffee Nagel. A graduate of the Juilliard School, the University of Michigan and the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, Nagel is an experienced clinician, having been in private practice working with many individuals suffering from various degrees of performance anxiety. As a skilled pianist, she knows what it's like to perform and has taught piano. In this book, she adroitly combines her dual expertise, drawing on her considerable experiences as both a musician and a psychoanalyst to speak directly to her readers. She's been there, and she's one of us!

Too often teachers feel uncomfortable addressing their students' performance anxiety issues, simply telling students, "don't worry, you'll be fine," and ignoring their distress. Nagel encourages teachers to "speak openly about stage fright with students, making this the norm in the studio," viewing teachers as "first responders." However, her goal is not to eliminate performance anxiety. She writes, "A moderate and manageable level of anxiety (energy, spice, and fire) is necessary for optimum performing at one's personal best."

Chapters begin with "Questions for Thought" and end with "Implications for Teachers." In between, one finds a comprehensive and diverse range of thought-provoking information offered in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. …

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