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Using EFT successfully for "piano exam anxiety"

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

This excellent article by Amanda Webster of Australia takes us step by step through the successful resolution of her teenage student's anxiety about taking a piano exam. The ideas involved here are universal for all forms of test anxiety.

Hugs, Gary

By Amanda Webster

Dear Gary,

Several years ago, searching the Internet for a cure to my performance anxiety I found your website and a testimonial about the effectiveness of EFT at a music camp.  I immediately downloaded the manual, bought the videos and set about learning the technique.  I was very impressed by a noticeable reduction in anxiety leading up to performance and a greater degree of ease and enjoyment while playing.

However, it wasn’t until I introduced EFT to one of my own piano students that I realized the full potential of EFT.

It was about three weeks before my teenage student’s piano exam and I knew that his preparation had been excellent.  He was a very conscientious student whose practice habits were exemplary.  In order to simulate the examination situation I asked him to play his pieces while I sat to one side, making no comment and taking a few notes.

It was obvious from the outset that the pressure to perform was overwhelming and it was agonizing to watch him struggle with the pieces that he had previously played well.  I envisaged that he might not even pass this exam.  After he finished playing we talked about how anxiety had affected his performance and he was happy to try this weird thing called EFT which I thought would really make a difference.

I showed him the tapping points and together we tapped on the many different aspects of his anxiety.  Some aspects included:

  • The fear of being judged poorly by others
  • The fear of letting myself down
  • The fear of making mistakes
  • The fear of not passing the exam
  • The need to be perfect
  • Making a mistake and then “losing it”

We continued to tap on any perceived problems associated with playing and before he finished his lesson I asked him to tap a couple of times a day, which he promised to do.

A week passed before his next lesson and I was keen to see if there would be an improvement.  He assured me that he had been doing the tapping and so I asked him to play for me, again I would make no comment until the end.

I couldn’t believe my ears!  It didn’t sound like the same student was playing.  I think at this point I must have had tears in my eyes.  The difference was incredible.  His playing was confident, expressive and mature.

We continued the lesson, working on some technical aspects and before he left I decided to try some tapping for these “difficult bars”.  Some new specific aspects we tapped on (while looking at the specific bars) were:

  • This hard bar
  • This part makes me nervous
  • I want to get this part right

The final lesson before his exam, he continued to play well and apart from some baroque ornaments in one piece, all the other “tricky spots” were no longer a problem.

We worked at the piano on the complicated baroque ornaments for a while, but we didn’t make a lot of progress. Time ran out and that was the only part of his repertoire that I felt lacked finesse. I suggested that he practice and use some EFT in regard to them at home and left it at that.  His exam was early the following week and it was another week or so before the results came.

His report and excellent result confirmed my assessment of his playing but most surprising was the comment by the examiner ... “Baroque ornaments handled extremely well.”  I could only put this down to practice and EFT!  I have no doubt EFT enhanced his performance and in the years since then I have used EFT successfully with students of all ages and abilities.

Thanks for everything,


Amanda Webster


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.