Three is the magic number for the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) as they reprise their April Musicians' Mental Health Month for the third year in a row. Joining forces with three leading music industry organisations: the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM), The Musicians’ Union (MU) and Tonic Rider, this year’s offer tackles the important issue of Performance Anxiety, as well as promoting year-round mental health support for musicians.

Kate Blackstone, Project Manager at YCAT comments:

Dr. Kate Blackstone“As a musician, educator and music psychologist myself, I understand all too well the impact that Performance Anxiety can have on careers and lives. Recent graduates may find it difficult to know where to turn for help and advice, so I’m really proud that we at YCAT are partnering with industry experts to promote new resources that will provide ongoing support.”

The campaign will run throughout the month of April, and will feature free 1-2-1 coaching opportunities with Marion Friend, MBE, as well as a Tonic Rider Music Performance Anxiety workshop, facilitated by Jade Hughes, a mental health professional. 


Jeordie Shenton, Tonic Rider - Programme Coordinator comments:

Tonic Rider Logo“We are delighted to partner with YCAT once again, and provide another Tonic Rider webinar for Musicians’ Mental Health Month - this year on music Performance Anxiety. Young classical artists encounter many stressors contributing to poor mental health, of which music performance anxiety at live shows, rehearsals and auditions is prominent. It is essential to highlight the impact of poor mental health, particularly in the early stages of careers. To address this, we provide a Music Performance Anxiety workshop and zine, which is free to download.  A key aim of the Tonic Rider programme is to equip musicians with mental health skills for the benefit of themselves, their peers and the wider music community."

Jade Hughes, Tonic Rider’s Training, Support and Safeguarding lead, says: 

“We at Tonic Rider are pleased that YCAT are raising awareness of music Performance Anxiety for Musicians' Mental Health Month. Music Performance Anxiety can be debilitating and, if left unmanaged, can negatively impact one’s career. By helping young artists to understand and overcome their music Performance Anxiety we are supporting them to maintain and move forward in their music career.”


The MU’s brand new performance anxiety resources are free to access for non-members, and address Performance Anxiety management from both a clinical and coaching point of view, which means that musicians can choose the approach that works for them. These guides will launch this month, and are just a small part of the wealth of support that the Musicians Union already offers, as Rose Delcour-Min, Education and Health & Wellbeing Officer at the MU, explains: 


Musicians“Working in the music industry can present various challenges for maintaining good mental health. The Musicians’ Union has been developing musician-specific guidance and service access to specialist musicians’ health and wellbeing services to support its members in this over the years.

We’re pleased to add new guidance and resources on the topic of Performance Anxiety this month – something that many musicians will experience over the course of their career. 

As with all our guidance - which includes stress, burnout, and hearing health - we hope that making this information available will help musicians have these important conversations about their health, and ultimately result in more musicians getting the assistance they need to take care of it.”


BAPAM is the largest provider of Performing Arts Medicine in the UK with coverage across the four nations. They provide free clinical assessments for performers with health problems affecting their performing arts practice.  Support is focused on specialist clinical assessment to guide diagnosis and recommend the optimal care pathway for a performer, providing clinical advice and referring onwards to experts in the field where necessary.


Phoebe Butler, training coordinator at BAPAM, says:

BAPAM 40th Anniversary Logo"Roughly 6 in 10 musicians experience Performance Anxiety, an excessive feeling of fear related to not being able to perform well, and for about 1 in 5, this is severe. It is very important to know what Performance Anxiety is and how to get support. It’s useful to remember that whilst for some people performance anxiety may be debilitating, for others it can enhance performance. BAPAM provides education and one to one therapy for 1000 performing artists a year where Performance Anxiety can be a factor and recommends that all musicians understand how it occurs, the symptoms, and what to do to manage it."


Musicians' Mental Health Month 2024 will run until 30 April. Places for coaching sessions, which will take place on Monday 15 April, are limited and can be booked via the coaching enquiry form. Don't forget to sign up for Tonic Rider's Music Performance Anxiety Workshop, taking place on Monday 29 April at 12:30pm. In the meantime join us on Instagram to get involved in the conversation! 

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