Performing on stage and being closely observed by an audience can lead to high stress levels, knows Dr. Deirdre Mahkorn who treats about 45 musicians in her stage fright clinic at the university hospital in Bonn.
....She and her colleague launched the program half a year ago, and it's been very well received. The patients come from all over Germany - some even travel to Bonn from the Netherlands. Appointments are carefully scheduled to prevent unintended meetings among patients and protect their anonymity.
Stage fright is still a taboo among musicians and no one wants to step forward and publicly admit receiving treatment.
Negative impact on a musician's career
"If it becomes known in public that they have problems with nerves or anxiety, then they might not receive any more phone calls asking them to participate in a production," Mahkorn said. "Somebody who has anxiety is generally perceived as somebody who might not be reliable, who might not show up, who might cancel last minute. Somebody who might not be confident enough to carry through a stressful production that might be provocative or that might be booed by the audience."Makes us wonder how Beethoven--Bonn's most illustrious native son--managed to compose all those symphonies and chamber music without an analyst standing by.