Brian BershFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Vivian O. Jones


Music Education, Music Performance Anxiety, Self-Efficacy, Social Cognitive Theory


Education | Music | Music Education


This research study examined the relationship of self-efficacy to performance anxiety, as outlined in social cognitive theory. The purpose of this nonexperimental, quantitative study was to test the theory of social cognitive theory that relates self-efficacy to anxiety. MPA and music performance self-efficacy (MPSE) were tested within the context of a school setting for instrumental music-making. The participants (N = 228) included a stratified random sample of Grade 6 to 8 instrumental middle school students located within the Mid-Atlantic region. To determine levels of MPA and MPSE, participants completed the Music Performance Anxiety Inventory for Adolescents and the Music Performance Self-Efficacy Scale. A correlational research design was used to test both the strength of the relationship between MPA and MPSE and the extent to which MPA could be predicted by two sources of self-efficacy: mastery experience and verbal/social persuasion. A causal-comparative research design informed whether students’ levels of MPA and MPSE differed based on their gender and grade level. Findings suggested a statistically significant, weak negative correlation between MPA and MPSE, a significant predictive relationship between MPA scores and the linear combination of mastery experience and verbal/social persuasion, and a statistically significant main effect of gender on MPA. Recommendations for future research include investigation into: (a) the higher levels of MPA that female students experience relative to their male peers, (b) the relationships between verbal/social persuasion and MPA among middle-school aged students, (c) strategies for teaching self-efficacy as a coping mechanism for MPA, and (d) how the relationship between MPA and MPSE is affected by proximity to a performance.