skip to main content

We’re Celebrating Musicians’ Mental Health Month 2024

This April marks Musicians’ Mental Health Month and the MU has partnered with YCAT, BAPAM and Tonic Rider to focus on the important issue of performance anxiety, alongside the launch of new member resources.

Published: 02 April 2024 | 2:22 PM Updated: 08 April 2024 | 3:23 PM
Empty illuminated stage with drumkit, guitar and microphones..
We’re pleased to add new guidance on the topic of performance anxiety this month – something that many musicians will experience over the course of their career. Image credit: Shutterstock.

April 2024 marks the third consecutive year of Musicians’ Mental Health Month, launched by The Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) who, along with the MU, have partnered with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) and Tonic Rider. This year’s theme is that of performance anxiety, as well as promoting year-round mental health support for musicians.

The campaign will run throughout the month of April, and will feature free one-to-one coaching opportunities with Marion Friend MBE (now fully booked), as well as a Tonic Rider Music Performance Anxiety workshop, facilitated by Jade Hughes.

Find out more about what's going on this Musicians' Mental Health Month.

MU resources

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.

The new clinical approach guidance is now available online, and the coaching guide will launch later this month. These resources and are just a small part of the wealth of support that the Union already offers, as Rose Delcour-Min, MU Education and Health & Wellbeing Officer explains:

“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.”

Performance anxiety 

According to BAPAM, roughly six in ten musicians experience performance anxiety, an excessive feeling of fear related to not being able to perform well. For about one in five of these musicians, 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 1,000 performing artists a year, and recommends that all musicians understand how it occurs, the symptoms, and what to do to manage it.

Learn more about BAPAM and how this pioneering charity could help you prevent and overcome practice-related physical and mental health problems.

Get advice and support on mental health and wellbeing

Discover a wealth of advice and resources to help musicians to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Get advice and support on mental health and wellbeing

Continue reading

View from the back of the room of all hands raised in a support of our motion at the LGBT+ Conference.

MU Motion on LGBTQ+ Musicians Passed at STUC Conference 2024

The MU sent a delegation to this year’s STUC LGBT+ Workers’ Conference in May, where our motion on tackling transphobia, ensuring culturally relevant mental health provisions and improvements to the Equality Act passed unanimously.

Published: 17 June 2024

Read more about MU Motion on LGBTQ+ Musicians Passed at STUC Conference 2024
Silhouettes of crowd in front of a small festival stage in blue light.

Association of Independent Festivals Endorses MU Access Rider Scheme

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has endorsed the MU’s Access Rider to its membership and will be holding a session to explain what access riders are, why we need them, and why festivals should adopt them as a standard part of all contracting.

Published: 03 June 2024

Read more about Association of Independent Festivals Endorses MU Access Rider Scheme