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The Effectiveness of an Audition Anxiety Workshop in Reducing Stress

Sharon Davis Gratto
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 13 Number 1: Page 29 (March 1998)

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Abstract: This paper reports the results of a qualitative study of the effectiveness of an audition anxiety workshop on performing arts high school students from selected members of the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools. The workshop was developed and conducted by psychiatrist Dr. Bonnie Robson, who works with anxiety and depression in a preventive program among students at the National Ballet School of Canada; opera singer Joy Davidson, a member of the faculty at the New World School of the Arts in Florida; and the paper's author, Dr. Sharon Davis Gratto, a college music educator, researcher, and performer. Dr. Gratto developed survey instruments to determine the effectiveness of the workshops by collecting data from student participants at three stages in the process, before the workshops were presented, on-site immediately following the workshops, and at a later date after an audition or jury examination had taken place. Survey results indicated that the workshops were beneficial because they provided a better understanding of what causes audition anxiety and because they helped students develop techniques to relieve audition stress. The workshops also served to encourage performing arts high school administrators and faculty in the Network membership to provide similar information and experiences for music students at their schools to help alleviate this common performance problem.

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