Background and aim. Musicians face professional challenges that may lead them to adopt unhealthy lifestyles. They also may present performance-related anxiety. We investigated anxiety and lifestyle patterns in musicians, both professional and trainees.

Methods. A prospective controlled protocol was developed. Musicians (employed or students) and matched controls (also employed and students) were surveyed with several questionnaires on lifestyle and some psychological factors: anxiety and music performance anxiety.

Results. General anxiety and music performance anxiety are higher in music students compared with trained musicians. Musicians have also higher anxiety scores than their matched controls. Soloists have higher scores of anxiety, also percussion and keyboard students. Musicians smoke less than controls, but sleep also less, a factor perceived as an index for stress. BMI was also higher in musicians.

Conclusions. Performing music is associated with anxiety levels that are higher than in control population. Trainees have higher scores than the employed musicians.


anxiety, music, lifestyle