Nervous Singing – Nervous Shaking

A few days ago, Jo asked me a question about what to do about nervous singing while in front of people, so I’m answering with this article about the 3 major things that can help you overcome singing fear by facing your fear in singing.Nervous About Singing?

Sounds complicated and I will explain, but…

…first I have a story to tell.

Nervous singing or being anxious about singing is….OMG, so real, so painful, so….ok, now I am going to faint.

No, seriously, I’m going to tell you a true story about how I fainted the first time I sang for a college recital when I was taking voice lessons and learning how to sing.

My own Nervous Singing

I remember having HUGE anxious thoughts while I was waiting to go out on the stage.

I was petrified!

Anxious me began to sweat, hyperventilate and everything that adrenaline does to my nervous system when I’m scared.

In fact, when I finally went out onto the stage, my nervous singing was so bad that I shook  a car struggling to start but never did and  finally died.

Which is almost what I did.


Of fright.

Okay, well, I didn’t die, obviously, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

But I did faint.


I didn’t fall down, although I was sure I was going to.  But I blacked out so badly that I went temporarily blind.

No kiddin’.  I’ll never forget it.  I could not see anything but a dark wall in front of me that shut out all light and felt like I had been buried under the ground and I could hardly breath.  I felt like I was suffocating.  It was horrible, and none of my teachers had taught me clearly how to face fear in singing. To be honest, I didn’t even guess that I would be so afraid. It came as a shock!

The piano was behind me and I just grabbed it and held on and kept singing, even though my knees were collapsing under me and my anxious face must have looked like it had seen my own ghost!

It was awful and I bet my singing was awful.  At least I know that it was nervous singing and nervous shaking so severe that it must have sounded awful, although no one ever said so.

But I knew it.

I knew how scared I was and how badly it had affected my singing breath, which, as my teacher had told me over and over again, is the support that has to be under control in order to sing well.

So, yes, you guessed what the first of the 3 things you can do to get over nervous singing.

Nervous singing Triangle

#1 – Improve your singing breath control

I always recommend the dog pant and the slow leaky tire as 2 singing breathing exercises that you can do before you go out in front of people.  Better yet, do them daily and you will have better muscle control when the panic attack starts.

#2 – You have to change your mindset

Your mindset has to do with getting rid of anxious thoughts about your life, about what people will think, about how you will sound and simply listen to the music inside of you.

What you believe about yourself will cause you to panic or pull it together and that all starts way before you get up to sing.  It starts with a silent place inside of you, that place that makes you want to sing.  Remember that singing is natural.  The thing that happens that is unnatural is how we let everyone else’s opinion mess us up inside.

Think about what it was like to sing when you were a child, before anyone ever said anything unkind to you about your singing.  Did you care what anyone thought?  No, of course not.  You only cared after someone messed with your head.  So now you have to undo that junk and get the right kind of singing mindset inside of you.

#3 – Focus becomes your best friend

Focus is partially a combination of #1 & #2.

For instance, the slow leaky tire directions tell you to pick a point out in front of you and send your breath to that point.  You can’t be distracted and do that activity well, but if you stay focused on the point, you will start to feel how the diaphragm works to control the stream of air that you sing “on.”

So, when you sing, don’t think about what everyone else is thinking.  Think about your singing breath, think about relaxing your shoulders, focus on a “tunnel” in front of you to send your breath through, focus on how singing makes you feel good, how much you enjoy singing, how you LOVE singing.

Forget about everything else and just focus on singing!

BONUS – All 3 happen while Stepping in Place

Okay, so this is something I came up with because where I live it is hard to get out during the winter and I don’t like going to a gym but know that I need to exercise to stay healthy and sing well.

So, I started stepping or running in place in the mornings.  I actually do 1,200 steps in place or around the inside of the house. During 200 of those steps, I swing my arms above me like in a “jumping jack” and then for the final 100 steps I focus straight ahead of like a laser beam and go as fast as I can, sort of like you would imagine a Marine might do, although I have never been in the military myself.

Which gets to my final point, something my best voice teacher taught me.

She used to say that if you want to sing well you have to be like an athlete and if you think about those 3 things above, plus the Bonus, you’ll see that it is the sort of thing that athletes learn to do.

#1 – Breathe Deeply

#2 – Change your Singing Mindset

#3 – Focus on a Point in Front of You

Bonus – Run or Step in Place

That’s all for now so now go do the dog pant and the slow leaky tire, then run or step in place until you are panting then do the dog pant and slow leaky tire again….and again…and….well….you know what I mean.

Woman covering face courtesy of: / CC BY 2.0
{ 129 comments… add one }
  • Jo ,

    Thanks Joy
    I identify so much with the ‘mindset’ – I have always had a very low opinion of my abilities and still compare myself to others. I always think they are so much better than me and I am rubbish. Definately I need to challenge my demons as I love to sing – it keeps me sane!!

  • Joy ,


    You inspire me and I am so glad I can help you to not only challenge but get rid of those demons you mentioned. Yay for singing and sanity! I know exactly what you mean.

    If you haven’t already read my Singing Voice Mindset article, I encourage you to do it right away!


  • jo ,

    Thanks Joy
    I am still fighting the demons – I try hard to keep them away. I do seem to have a large physical nervous reaction that makes it very hard to sing as well as I know I can.
    Tight throat, shaking voice and legs!! Not good.
    But I do love to sing so I will continue to practice and read what I can to help.
    Deep inside the feeling comes that I just need to sing!

  • Joy ,


    I truly understand that feeling, but I want to encourage you that there are things that you can do to conquer it. I’ll be writing more about that in future posts, but meanwhile, have you used my “slow leaky tire” exercise? It is a great one for calming yourself down before you get up in front of people to sing. If you have any questions about it, I’d be happy to answer them.

    That feeling, deep inside, that you need to sing? That’s the one to pay all your attention to. Getting over nervous singing takes a mindset change. Again, more about that in future posts.

    Keep your pretty chin up!

  • Joy ,

    Thanks! What do you like most about it?

  • Jay ,

    Ok. I need some help here. I’m a sixteen year old singer. I have been singing since I was 8 and I can sing around my family and close friends. But when it’s in front of someday I don’t know, I start shaking bad, even if i take deep breaths before singing, my legs just shake and I I just freeze up but still sing but it’s like that I shake so much that I can’t move 🙁 I really need to get over it and have no clue how to. Please some advice. Thank you

  • Joy ,

    Hi Jay,

    The good thing is that you are 16 and you are dealing with this early in life! Kudos to you!

    I agree that you really need to get over it, so I want to start you out by going to two articles on the site:

    Joy Starts Your Singing
    Inside Voice Outside Voice

    After you explore those two articles and the links on them, get back to me.

    I am here to help you so the more questions you ask, especially under each of the articles, just like you did here, the more I can help you.

    I appreciate your question a lot because it is something we all deal with in a big way.

    Your honesty is the thing that will help you the most, so keep asking questions!

    Thanks again,

  • Heather ,

    I need Help

    im a 13 year old girl i can sing be my self but not infront of any one and i have asbergers which doubles the pressure and i haveto sing infront of my whole school on thursday morning and today 2nd period please help

  • Joy ,

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for writing to me.

    The most important thing to do before you sing is take deep breaths and slowly slowly slowly let the air out. Do this several times and it will help to calm you.

    Also, there are a couple of other articles that might help you too.

    Let me know how it goes,

  • Abby ,

    Thank you so much! This really helps.

  • Joy ,

    Hi Abby,

    I apologize for taking SO long to respond to your comment. I was in the middle of a medical emergency and things got put on hold for awhile.
    But all is well now.

    I’d love to know how the article specifically helped you.

    Always sing!

  • Meghan ,

    Singing is my passion, I love it but get I so nervous…. I sing karaoke at random places to try to get more comfortable singing in front of people but it doesn’t help much. I found this article while searching how to get over my nerves because I have an audition coming up. My hopes are high that it will help especially after reading the story of your actual experiences (it is quite similar to what I go through). Thank you for posting such great advice! 🙂

  • Joy ,


    I am so happy that the article helped you.

    What kind of audition and when is it?

    And how can I better help you with preparing for it?


  • Meghan ,

    I am auditioning for NBC’s The Voice. I auditioned in April and I didn’t make it because I got so nervous I didn’t do as well as I could have but I’m not giving up. I’m auditioning again in August. I read your other articles and I’ve been practicing the breathing techniques… I already knew how important my breathing was but I couldn’t. Figure out how to not lose my breath when I got nervous. I just have to get over being in front of new people when I sing.

  • Meghan ,

    I’ve been to karaoke twice this week, so far the breathing has helped a bit. I’m not completely confident yet but it makes singing in front of people much easier. I am less shakey when I breathe like the slow leaky tire before I go up than if I don’t. Without the breathing my shaking is ridiculously obvious and I can’t control it no matter how hard I try to.

  • Joy ,


    The GREAT thing that you are doing is working on getting your singing voice where you want it to be.

    Keep working on the breathing. It’s the key to everything when you couple it with the singing mindsets.

    If I can be of any help to you, please fire away with questions. That’s why I’m here!


  • Joy ,


    So happy to hear that the Slow Leaky Tire is helping you.

    Now when you go up in front of people, imagine your voice being inside that slow leaky tire and going out above all their heads.

    Focus on a point on that back of the wall and sing into it.

    Let me know how it goes next time.


  • chantell gooderham ,

    i have to sing in front of my class and i am terrified ahhhhhh what should i do

  • Joy ,

    Deep SLOW breathing is the best thing you can do to prepare. That and creating a mental picture of yourself in front of your class totally fearless and free with your voice. What kind of class is it?

  • Jackie ,

    This article was very helpful! I am just getting back into the performing world of singing. The last time I sang in front of people, my leg began to shake! When this happened you could hear my voice tremble a little during the recording. How to I control this??? I have another performance coming up on March 20th that I need to NAIL. Please help! Thanks!

  • Joy ,

    Hi Jackie,

    Thanks for writing and asking for help. I sure know the feeling you describe.

    In answer to your question—How do I control this?”—the first thing to do is calm your mind about the root causes of your nervousness.

    Do this by focusing on something entirely different.

    Nervousness and shaking happen because consciously and subconsciously we focus—without realizing it—on the fear that has gripped us. And I must tell you truly that this is where most of the root causes for nervous singing are found: in your thought process about your voice and self and what others may think.

    In my digital book, Singing Through Life With Your Mouth Closed, I have a number of thoughts that help with this sense of fear that hits us all.

    For instance, here are four of them for you to ponder:

    • “The time in between the times people hear you sing is where the power to sing in front of them is found. And the times of silence spent in quiet meditation about what you want are the most powerful times of all.”
    • “Once upon a time you sang without fear. Then you grew up. It is time to remember your once-upon-a-time voice.”
    • “Cease worrying about how you sound. Instead, stop listening to yourself and feel the physical vibrations of pure joy that take over your entire body.”
    • “Most every problem you have with singing grows out of fear. Fear that you are not good enough, fear that you will be rejected, fear that you will be breaking the rules, whatever all that means.”

    Let me know if what I have given you to think about helps you begin to focus on something other than the fear, then we can talk again.

    Thanks for your trust,

  • Kennan ,


    I am 12 years old and have been singing since I was seven. I am a guy and I have always sung in my head voice, even now when my voice is deeper than my dad’s. My aunt is a singer and I am going over to her house tomorrow and we are singing a few Fleetwood Mac, but I haven’t sung in front of her since I started singing. I recently sent a sound recording with my cell and she said that I had a nice vibration and that she loved my tone, but I have some fright in singing with her. I’m in choir at school but that’s a little different.. could you help me?

  • Joy ,


    Sorry I didn’t see your post until today. How did your singing time go with your aunt?


  • Joy ,


    Thanks for sharing the specifics of the 3 elements of Natural Learning that you mentioned!

    It makes me happy to know that you have had such a great breakthrough with your stage essence and beliefs about yourself, your voice and the important sense of beauty that you bring to world when you fully relax and share your lovely voice with us all.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon…


  • james burrell ,

    Great article. Just knowing I’m not alone in my nerves makes me feel better. Good tips that I will follow ahead of my gig tomorrow night!

  • Joy ,


    So glad to hear this helped you. How did your gig go?

    Another article you might get benefit from is about Your Singing Mindset.

    Stay in touch and thanks for writing,

  • Joy ,

    Thanks, James. And yes, you are definitely not alone when it comes to nervous singing. The good news is that there are many successful ways to overcome this normal human response when singing in front of people.

    If you have any questions, ask away. I’m here to help!

  • MoonDark STEWART ,

    I am still scared of singing a solo i sang 3 solos for resitale hour and now i am going to sing another one. I am 17 years old. yeah it is scary but you might just close your eyes

  • Joy ,

    Hi MoonDark,

    I’m not quite sure what “resitale hour” is but how did your singing go for it?
    Yes, you can close your eyes when you are scared but I recommend that a singer find ways to overcome that.
    And anyone can with some simple concepts.

    Keep singing,

  • Joy ,

    Hi James,

    Thanks and I trust that you are gaining more and more confidence each time you sing. If I can help you further in any way, please let me know.


  • Charlotte ,

    I am singing tomorrow at my first rectial. im 12. im so nervous! any advice?

  • Elise ,

    Hi joy

    I am only 10 and have found your advice just in time I am in year 6 and totally understand this site.I have done a solo before but yet my confidence just dropped between then and now,I hope you understand my point.
    I hope you could give me some advice .Just to let you know I have a website of my own called I hope you look at it an keep in touch

    Kind regards

  • Joy ,

    Hi Elise,

    I thank you for writing to me about your singing voice. When you wrote your comment, I was out of state for about 6 weeks and publishing a book so I was not able to respond to all of the comments here at Singing Mastermind. Please accept my apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

    I visited your website and your pictures made me smile.

    You mentioned that your confidence dropped recently and asked for advice. Here is what I would like you to do. I did an interview with a dear friend of mine who is also a collaborator. In that interview, he speaks about how to approach a singing mindset that has to do with having an authentic voice. Go to this page and read the article then listen to the interview. While you listen to what he has to say, ask yourself a few simple questions:

    1. What do I love the most about my voice?
    2. How does it make me feel when I sing with this thought in mind: “I love my voice and want to set it free.”

    Do that and then write back to me on this page to tell me what you love most about your voice.

    And… no worries about the confidence thing. You will get it back!


  • Joy ,

    Dear Charlotte,

    My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I was out of state for 6 weeks and publishing a book so I wasn’t able to answer all the comments on this site.

    How did your recital go? What kind of recital was it? Was it for a voice class? Or a school concert?

    I wish I could have answered you before your recital, but there are many things that you can learn that will help you get over nervousness and I’d be happy to help you with that, if you like.


  • Joy ,

    Yes, Jermaine, it was difficult but what I learned to stop all that nervousness now allows me to help other people in a big way because people can see that if I could do it, so can they!

  • Stevie-leigh ,

    Hi Joy 🙂

    I wondered if you could help me, I kind of have an opposite problem (ever the awkward one), I’m 22 and have been singing on and off for about 11 years, and I do get nervous about singing infront of people but I really enjoy performing… the problem I have though is singing at home – I can sing for maybe a couple of minutes before I start thinking about it, and then I’ll freeze up and it’ll all get stuck in my throat and I’m scared people (neighbours) can hear me. I don’t have the same problems in my lessons, and I thought after reading a few of your inspiring pages that you might have a few ideas up your sleeve 😀 xx

  • Hey, Joy I somehow stumbled into your web site, and started ready about what you wrote on, overcomeing the fear of singing.As I recalled, throughout my childhood I was afraid of singing in the mist of others, I’m still afraid to this very day because my voice changes everytime I’m. about to sing a song

  • Joy ,

    Hi Derrick,

    Thanks for you comments. Would you mind letting me know how old you are? This might have something to do with the voice changing everyday, but it might not. If you want to remain private about your age, just email me:


  • Caoimhe ,

    Im 15 and i have to sing for my years finale night tomorrow! I have never sung for anyone other than close friends most of my year doesnt even know that i can sing and there will be soooo many people there tomorrow, im genuinely terrified and feel sick and i shake really bad even when i sing for close friends!! Help!

  • Ebony ,

    Hi Joy! I was wondering if you were able to give me the link for the interview. I really love this article and I find that to keep calm I can use the leaky tire exercise. I’d love to change my mindset though and feel more confident when on stage. I feel good about my voice but I’m scared about what others will think. If you can’t give me the link then no stress.


  • Joy ,

    Hi Ebony.

    I’m so happy that my Leaky Tire breathing for singing activity helped you.

    As for the mindset, if you haven’t read this article yet, be sure to check it out.

    Also, I’m not sure what interview you are referring to. Can you tell me about it because I have a number of interviews about singing on this website and I don’t see any reference to an interview on the Nervous Singing page.

    One more thing… I think that you can excellent ways to change your mindset in an eBook that I wrote called Singing Through Life With Your Mouth Closed so I encourage you to take a look at it.

    Sing Well, Be Well,

  • Joy ,


    I’m sorry that we didn’t have a chance to connect in May, but how did your final turn out? If you got through it without fainting you did well!

    If you are still shaking when you sing in front of people, I encourage you to read Inside Outside Voice and then get back to so that I might be able to help you more.


  • Okinawa ,

    Okay, hi, I hope you respond back to this since I noticed this thread is so old but here goes.

    I have always been criticized for the way I sing by two people who are suppose to be the most supportive and important in my life: my aunt and my mom. Because of that negativity, I tried to turn the energy into something that would help me develop thick skin but it did the opposite, it made me the complete opposite. I have fear of getting in front of crowds because I panic and think of how much I suck so bad. I work 5 days a week with an advance apprenticeship in singing but they continue to dig into me and claim my instructors are washed up or inadequate when one of them are actually legendary. I have a big audition soon that may have me touring in 4 cities and I need the confidence but i want to wholly pursue my singing career but I need the strength and confidence. Do you recommend anything?

  • kay ,

    Hey thanks for the great tips! Awesome of you for sharing! And I hope that you are so much better now, & that you have conquered the fear & nervousness as well! Peace. God Bless

  • Beth ,

    So I’m a 13yr old singer/songwriter and I’m really confident in front of friends, teachers and of course family. But when it come to performing in front of strangers at competitions etc. my breathing is fine but my throat kind of clogs up and I have to clear my throat all the time which is a bit awkward! Do you have any advice for me? X

  • Kiersten ,

    Thank you for posting this!

    Even as an experienced singer, I have not been able to control my nerves. I start fidgeting at the thought of competition, even though I’ve done it for so many years.

    People told me that I’d get over it, but I never have. Hopefully, by using your advice, I’ll be able to overcome my anxiety and focus on my passion. Thank you once again for writing this article!

  • Emily ,

    Reading your story made me feel a little better about what happened to me a few years ago. Most of the time I get really nervous before singing, but I think what you recommended may work. I sing in church a lot, so the pressure isn’t as bad, but I still get really nervous. I’m a soprano, and my voice isn’t as loud as I would like it to be. I’m about to sing a lead part in the song “You Raise Me Up”, so hopefully my voice doesn’t go out during it!
    Thank you!

  • em ,

    Hi I really want to sing at my school for a talent show but I don’t want to because I’m way too nervous to sing in front of my school, I’m too scared of what they would think of me.

  • I lance had that happen at school for my music finals but I was so nervous shaking trying to calm down but I stated singing and it was nervous singing but yup

  • em ,

    Yeah but I’m going to do auditions with my friend.

  • em ,

    Joy please help me I don’t want to be nervous for auditions.

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Em,

    I’d love to help you.
    Tell me more about yourself and your voice so I can do that.


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Em,

    Have you already done your audition or are you still getting ready for it?


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Christina,

    I sure know how you feel about nervous singing and hard it can be to calm down so you don’t shake.

    But you can learn how to let go of all that fear.

  • Singing Master ,


    I know how it feels to be scared of what people will think.
    Singing is a very courageous thing to do in front of people.
    In fact, I think it is one of the THE MOST courageous things there are in the world.
    It takes a lot of guts just to even think about singing in front of others, especially if you experience nervous singing or shaking.

    I can help with that.

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Emily,

    I know that song very well. It’s a powerful statement, isn’t it?

    How did it go for you when you sang it in front of people?

    Let me know how I can help you further, for I can tell you for sure that you can learn to sing with fearless voice power so that what your heart tells you will come through your voice.


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Okinawa,

    I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. My website was hacked and that put a sledge hammer to my efforts to help people with nervous singing.

    The situation you describe about your mom and aunt is far too common than not. In fact, my heart just about breaks every time I hear that a mother or father or aunt or grandparent or other sibling makes negative comments about a person’s voice, so I just want you to know that totally understand what you are describing.

    And I APPLAUD YOU for your honesty and your trust in putting these feelings to words here on my website.

    I can recommend a number of things for you to do:

    Then, if you see this reply, please get back to me. It would be my honor to help you further.

    Most kindly,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Kay,

    Thank you for your kind words, and yes, I long ago conquered nervous singing and fear.

    Freedom to sing with fearless voice power is now the core that I share with others.

    Be well, sing well,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Kiersten,

    As you may have seen in other comments here, my website was hacked so at the time you commented I was not able to reply.

    But now I can because all is well again!

    Firstly, thank you for your kind comments. Yes, even experienced singers can sometimes have anxiety about singing.

    Here are a few other articles that may help you too:

    I hope you’ll stay in touch, for I love helping experienced singers!

    Sing well, be well,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Stevie-Leigh,

    I can’t believe I never saw your post. My apologies.

    If, by any chance, you see my reply, I can say yes, I have a few ideas up my sleeve.

    And I can identify with the “neighbors” hearing thing too.

    Basically you really have to want-woo-win and wow with your voice.

    This is a pretty cool idea, and so I hope it will help you.

    I have other ideas up my sleeve too, so if you see this reply, be sure to get back to me.

    Sing well, be well,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Beth,

    Your comment got lost in the middle of icky hacking thing that happened to my website, but now I found you.

    If you see this, I can give you some suggestions about keeping your throat from clogging.

    But first, can you tell me if this “clogging up” is like phlegm? Like something is caught there or like something wants to be coughed up?

    Let me know and I’ll do my best to help you.

  • em ,

    Thanks joy for replying, my friend isn’t doing it with me anymore she doesn’t want to.

    I have auditions next week.

    I don’t really knows my voice just yet.

    Like I guess I can sing acoustic I guess

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Em,

    It’s good to hear back from you. Did you have your auditions already?
    Let me know how it is going for you and if you had the auditions how you did.
    Stay in touch.
    I’m here.

    Sing well, be well,

  • em ,

    I’m having auditions this Thursday and I’m quite nervous for it.

    I will tell you how I go😃

  • Singing Master ,


    Meanwhile, read these 3 articles to help you prepare and try practicing them before Thursday. Think about the mindsets, your breath and the feeling of joy when you practice. Then, when you sing, just sing and don’t think about anything except having fun while you sing!

  • em ,

    Thanks joy.

  • em ,

    I decided I’m not doing the talent show I haven’t practised enough and too nervous so my mum is going to get me singing lessons.

  • Singing Master ,

    No worries, Em.

    I’m happy your mum is helping you. If you or she have any questions about singing, just let me know. I’ll be here to help you both.

    Also, I don’t know if you have taken advantage of my 10 FREE Affordable Singing Lesson Tips or not. But if you have not, here’s the link to get these valuable free singing tips.

    Sing well, be well,

  • em ,

    Thanks joy:)

  • Singing Master ,

    You bet, Em!

  • Poonam ,

    Hey…I hv the same nervousness problem only that its terrible…I have done a full course in indian music wen I was a kid..I am quite confident as m a business woman. My problem is I sing Beautifully wen m wid my family around Bt the moment any third person asks me to sing..I get heartbeat gets voice changes..becomes very thin n harsh n shaky n suppressed…n thn nothing works coz I take a lotta Time to get normal almost 30 mins..til thn no one waits n I sing n end up sounding like a screech…plzzzz help

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Poonam,

    Thanks for writing.

    The simple answer is fear of people judging you, fear of what they will think, fear that it is not safe to be your true self or fully share your true/pure voice with them.

    This has to do with your singing mindsets. Read that linked article and follow the other links in the article, then get back to me so I can help you more.

    Remember that you have a unique voice, a unique message and a unique way to give your wisdom, courage, hope and beauty to the world. It’s time to break through your fears and create a fearless voice and fearless singing mindset!

    Sing well, be well,

  • Sam ,

    I know this post is old and you might not see this, sorry.
    I have an audition tomorrow for Willy Wonka, and we get to sing a one minute song for auditions. I’m a 13 year old singer, too. I’m going to sing a part of a steven universe song, but I hope my nerves don’t get the best of me!

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Sam,

    Sorry I didn’t see your post on the same day your wrote it.

    How did your audition go? Were you able to overcome your nervousness?

    Keep me posted,

  • George ,

    I am teary reading this. I have just come back from a photo shoot for an upcoming local concert, and the photographers wanted myself and my duet partner to sing some songs whilst they took photos… sounds like a pretty low key, low pressure situation right? Wrong! Immediately my heart started pounding, my shoulders and neck tense, my legs shake, and my breath completely goes. I have been performing in local theatre for 20 years and I have NEVER properly addressed this problem of stage fright/nerves. It actually seems to have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I am at my wits end and I have found some comfort in your article. Some of the most embarrassing performance experiences in my life have all been the result of uncontrollable nerves, I’m thinking about giving it all up.

  • iftesam hasan ,

    Thanks for your advice..I’m going to sing on my freshers party and I’ve to sing there.. honestly speaking I’ve never sung before & I’m not a trained singer..this is my 1st time..i’m nervous

  • Angel Wolf ,

    Hi Joy,

    I am a 10 year old girl who likes to sing. BUT I CAN’T DO IT IN FRONT OF ANYONE…
    I have read through this article and all of the ones you mentioned to other commenters, but still nothing has improved, I still get really shaky to the point where I fall over or my teeth start chattering and I get headaches. I try to calm down, but it doesn’t work. I try to drink, eat or possibly try to nap for five minutes but it’s not working. Even my family members have to come in and rub my back and yet again, that doesn’t work.
    I really, really need help and would like to sing confidentially soon!

    P.S. I have singing lessons on Fridays so can you please get back to me as soon as you can, but I’ll try to be calm for now!

  • ericca ,

    i’ve been singing since i was 5 but then i stopped. right now i’m 13 and my teacher asked me to sing in a competition, i’m kind of used to talk in public but not sing, i’m scared that i won’t hit the high note. what to do??

  • jubilee ,

    So well Hi I am 14 years old and I love to sing and that’s what i want to do in the future but I get really bad anxiety and my hands shake really bad so does my voice and body.when i try to sing high notes(in front of people) i am getting the notes right but as my choir teacher said “I have a big voice but i’m holding back which makes me sound like a blow dryer”.I really really want to stop being so dam nervous and shaky it’s not even only in singing but acting and reading in front of the class.*sigh* i used to play the violin but quite cause I was shaking too much.Everything was fine when i was younger in 5th grade but everything changed in the end of 6th grade that’s when my shaking started.I wasn’t always a nervous child I performed in talent shows feeling like i’m on top of the world but i don’t know what happened.please please help me! ‘m desperate.(even now my heart is so unsettled that i can’t even practices which is why i’m writing this).

  • blaise ,

    The same thing happened to me yesterday, I had a solo and I was practicing in front of my choir and I was shaking so badly that I sounded awful, everyone said that I did great, but knew they were lying. If I can’t sing in front of a choir, then I sure as hell can’t sing in front of 200 something people. And now everyone thinks I can’t sing, even though I know I can, but I can’t back out because the concert is in a few days.

  • amelia ,

    I have to sing infront of more Than 300 people next week and I’m soo nervous because I have a solo and when I get nervous before singing no words come out of my mouth pls help

  • ariba ,

    Today for the first time i sang on stage and i was so nervous that my whole body was shaking even my lips were shaking because of this i sang so badly that i am feeling why did i go to the stage
    Plz give me advice on how can i build confidence in myself and come out of this shyness

  • ariba ,

    And yeah my age is 18 and i hve sang in front my colleagues
    Plz joy help me out

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi George,

    A major move during August-December caused me to have to delay answering singing comments and questions here.

    But the biggest thing I want to say is never give up!

    Knowing that it is easy to write those words but maybe not so easy to give you the reasons why, I still want to encourage you to keep going.

    So, write back and let’s get a conversation going about how I can help you. I’m also on Facebook if you would like to connect there too.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you.


  • Singing Master ,

    So how did your first time singing go for you?

    Sorry I didn’t get back sooner but I was in the middle of a major move during August-December and had trouble with internet connectivity during that time.

    But I’m here now.


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Angel,

    I’m really sorry to hear about how nervous you get with singing and for not getting back to you sooner. I was in the middle of a major move August-December and am just now able to answer singing voice questions..

    Can you tell me more about what kind of singing lessons you are taking and how are you doing now with the nervousness?


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Ericca,

    I apologize for not getting back to you about being scared of those high notes. I’ve been away because of a major move that took several months.

    So how are you doing now? Did you sing in the competition?


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Jubilee,

    Thanks for contacting me about your voice.

    I was in a major move when you asked the question so wasn’t able to respond until just now.

    But I’m here and I care.

    Can you tell me what happened at the end of 5th grade? Something at school or home or just inside of you?


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Ariba,

    Thanks for contacting me. I want you to read this article then get back to me on that page, ok?
    because there are things you can build your confidence when singing and come out of the shyness.


  • Emily ,

    plz help!
    i have moderate depression and bulimia, but singing makes me feel so much happier about things! i actually am quite a good singer on my own ( and in the shower ) but even if there’s one other person in the house i just sound like a dying cat. i’m not joking.
    what do i do? i wanna be the lead singer in a punk rock band, so i can’t have stage fright
    plz help!

  • Cathy ,

    Hi! I just read a bunch of your posts and admired how much you helped everyone with their comments. I do musical theatre at my school and I just got cast as a lead, but I have a huge issue with being nervous/shaky when singing! I have like no confidence in my own singing voice even though a few of my friends have told me I’m actually really good, especially since I’ve never had any formal training. But during my audition I was so nervous and felt like my voice was shaking so much, i forgot like almost everything about how to sing and I really don’t want that to happen during my performances (in March) because I have two solo songs in the show! Do you have any suggestions?

  • Cathy ,

    Wait I have more stuff to say oops
    Okay so I’m also worried because I hear a lot of stuff about not singing “with your throat” and that that’s bad but I don’t even really understand what that means and whether or not I’m doing it/damaging my voice?
    Also do you have any suggestions for having enough breath when dancing with singing because like I said, I do musical theatre so there’s some times when I have to dance and sing simultaneously and that’s always difficult to breathe so if you have any tips there that would be great too.

  • Mimi ,

    I know this thread is dreadfully old, so if you don’t get back to me it’s fine. I am 15, a fairly low alto. I have not had much formal training, but I can sing pretty loudly (I would say belt, but I’m not sure if that’s technically what I’m doing,) I believe I sound best with jazz and more melodic kinds of rock. I am singing “Charming” from the musical Natasha, Pierre And The Great Comet Of 1812 for my drama class, and when I went up, I was flat for the first verse. (I am re-performing as I could not even get to the first chorus.) I assume this was due to nerves, but it struck me as odd because I have never had this problem before. The song is within my range and I have rehearsed it many times, and I generally do not have problems with being on key.
    Thank you!

  • Brooke ,

    Hey! I have to perform on Tuesday at a school talent quest. I’ve performed before, but that was two years ago, so I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in front of a mic. I’m really nervous I might muck up. I performed with a microphone last year and I didn’t hold the microphone to my mouth because of how loud it sounded, and I was really unprepared. It’s also been a while since I last sung with a karaoke track, since I’m used to singing with the singer. I’m going to be singing Tattooed Heart by Ariana Grande and Beauty & The Beast with a friend. Please help! Whenever I do get on stage, my voice shakes I freak out and I muck up.

  • Christina ,

    Thank you so much joy! This helped me a lot. I have an audition tomorrow for my grade 7 talent show and i”m super nervous but last week i read this article and some others but yours was most helpful. Im gaining more and more confidence!

  • this is really helpful for me,thanks

  • Singing Master ,


    How did your performance go? Were you able to get through it ok?


  • Singing Master ,

    Thanks so much Christina! I hope your talent show went well.

  • elle ,

    Hey! I have been taking singing lessons for about a year and have a great voice teacher. Even though its has taken me a while to catch on to all the “rules” to singing well, I have to get past my apprehension of singing in front of others. I read your advice and I think that will help. I just wish I had no problem with getting up in front of people. I guess I need a miracle! 🙂 I promised my friends I would sing this Friday night at the karaoke club and now I am so nervous! But I am determined to do it. I have picked Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love” which I have that down pretty well. It’s just my apprehension. Thanks for any special words. I will let you know how it goes!

  • Singing Master ,


    How did your singing go? Have you tried my free singing lessons? Check them out if not. They are in the website menu under “Free Singing Lessons.”

    You can overcome the fear!

  • Mac ,

    Please help urgently!!
    I’m in a school musical and have been cast as the lead male. I don’t think I’m a great singer at the best of times but my music teacher seems to thing I fit the role.
    At home when I practice the songs alone it sounds ok (which is good enough for me) but in rehearsals it is a completely different voice that I hear and I can’t sing at all. I think my vocal chords swell up or something when I get nervous. Please help! This is urgent!

  • Laness ,

    Dear Joy,
    I want to thank you so much this help me. Without it i will always doubt myself. My 4 best friends heard my singing voice already by mistake.I love singing it is what I love. I always sing myself to sleep. I always hum in school. I cannot overcome my fear but now I can.
    I join in a singing contest and I won!!! They said my voice was beautiful.

  • Tom ,

    I enjoyed reading your helpful article; now I’m going to throw an added twist into the scenario. I occasionally sing harmony in public with a local musician. I’m rarely nervous about my singing. What I AM nervous about is all the other miscellaneous stressors in my life. It occasionally gets to the point where I know my control is shaky. Is there anything I should know about taming this response?

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Mac,

    Thanks for your post. I was away from my office for most of the month of September, so I was not able to help you when you first wrote.

    But what’s happening now at rehearsals? Are you still tightening up?

    This is a problem that I used to experience too.

    Here’s an article about resonation that may help you.

    All the best,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Laness,

    I am SO happy that this helped you and that you won a singing contest!

    Let me know if I can help you in any other way.

    Sing well, be well,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for writing about your singing and shakiness.

    Fear is the big obstacle for just about anything having to do with singing, so you are not alone.

    Also, stressors that don’t seem to be directly related to singing affect our voices at a very deep level.

    Here’s my question for you: what are you doing to let go of the other stressors? Do you have a strategy or specific process for directly dealing with those stressors so that they don’t choke you up and make your voice shaky?

    As you think about that question, here’s an article to help you with what you have described.

    Keep me posted and keep asking questions. I’m here to help you with your singing voice.


  • Parker ,

    I have my singing concert at the end of the year and it happens every time, I sound okay when it’s just me and my instructor but the second I am out on stage my voice gets all shaky and my heart races. I only just read this article so I will have a go at these ezcersizes and tell you guys how I went


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Parker,

    Yes, please keep me informed.

    Sing well, be well,

  • Birdie ,

    Oh my gosh! I am so stupid! This is what I have been doing wrong the whole time. I have always worried about what will happen if I am really bad. But the solution is that I just need to think about the things that will happen if I do good. And when I see someone smile then I know I am doing the right thing. Today we had to perform in front of our whole class and no one heard me. My friends told me I did good, but the thing is that I know I didn’t. It drives me crazy how my friends are just so nice that they don’t want to tell me to project but you showed me how. I will use this strategy tomorrow. And I bet it will work. Thanks.

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Birdie,

    I am happy that I was able to help.
    Let me know how it turned out for you.

    Sing well, be well,

  • Ryleigh ,

    I’m eleven years old and I am so scared to sing. I really need your help! I’m in choir, but I still don’t have the nerve or trust in myself to sing in front of ANYONE! I’ve been trying these suggestions on how to help me, but I still have a very hard time trying to sing in front of anyone.

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Ryleigh,

    Here are some pointers for overcoming nervousness in singing.

    Singing Embarrassment

    Singing Voice Mindsets

    Unstoppable Singing Voice

    Hope that helps,

  • Charles ,

    I have been sringing for over 15 years and I’m always nervous shaking sometime uncontrollable heart beating fast can’t wait to get it over if you can help me with anything please

  • Harley ,

    Thank you so much you inspired me and helped me so

  • Rodger ,

    Hi joy
    I have a friend who’s a right good singer but he is VERY shy singing in front of people even though if he wanted to hear could make most people in school cry as it’s that great.
    What can I do to get him to sing more in front of people?
    BTW we are both in yr7

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Charles or

    Thank you for writing about the nervous shaking and fast, uncontrollable heartbeat you experience when you sing.

    That is something that can be overcome through specific breathing and singing mindset approaches.

    Here are a couple of things to help you get started on realizing your goal of singing without nervousness getting in your way.

    Singing Mindset

    Singing Embarrassment

    Wanting Your Voice

    For lots of breathing tips for singing, type “breathing” into the search bar on the home page for this site.

    Stay in touch. I can help.

    Sing well, be well,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Harley,

    It’s nice to hear that I inspired and helped you.
    I would love to know in what ways you found help from me.


  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Rodger,

    Thanks for writing. It’s nice that you want to help your friend.

    There are many ways to help him, and you can start by sharing this article with him and then both of you scrolling through all the linked articles I have posted in this comments section about nervous singing.

    And stay in touch so I can be of more assistance to you both.
    Sing well, be well,

  • Hollie ,

    I’m 13 and I get super nervous when I sing by myself in a large group. In my choir class when the songs we sing have solos my teacher sometimes let’s kids sing the solos while we are practicing (because it’s not assigned to someone yet) and sometimes I will volunteer but when I do sing I feel shaky and I have butterflies and I feel as though I will pass out and sometimes even when I’m not singing the solo I feel that way but not as intense (I think it’s because I imagine myself singing it) and this affects my singing voice a lot. I am perfectly normal when I sing in a group but it’s when I’m singing myself that it happens. And my when we are trying out for the solo it happens and I feel like because I get so nervous and shaky that I’m not chosen because my voice doesn’t sound as good :,(

  • Abbi ,

    Im 14 and I love to sing I’m in my class choir and we were doing a competition I wasn’t nervous but when. I got on stage I started to shake and I couldn’t stop and I never shakedown before I did a solo ya I messed up the words but I didn’t shake and I had to do plays and I had a good amount of lines but I never shaked even tho I was nervous and the only time I didn’t feel nervous I kept shaking and it’s been happening for a year there’s never a time were I don’t have butterflies but I, going to Derry in a few weeks amid I’m so scared I really want to go but I don’t want to go because I’m scared I’ll shake my teacher ask me one day if I was ok bc i couldn’t stop shake in and it was I front of the whole school even tho I was singing in the choir I couldn’t stop I kept moving thinking it would stop but it never did and tomorrow we have a rehearsal and I don’t want to go in to school I want to quit but I do t want to because I love choir but I don’t want to feel this anxiety anymore it’s taking over my life and I tried a calming spray and rings but nothing work I’m so scared and I don’t want to think about it in the future I love to sing the songs but when we have to sing it standing up I start and ant stop I never told anyone until like a month ago because I was embarrassed and I don’t want to tell my sister because I feel like she’ll be embarrassed because she had a lead in a play singing and it was amazing and her voice is the best I heard i tell myself that my voices is nice and in the fire it will be a good story to tell my children if they have anxiety but I don’t want to deal with it any more so the main point is that I don’t know what to do should a quit the choir even tho I don’t want to but I don’t know I it feel good to know I’m not he only person who shakes and I tried the thing you said but it doesn’t help I try to loose douches on shaking but I always come back to it so please some advice will be amazing

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Abbi,

    I’m sorry to hear that the nervous shakes anxiety is causing so much stress for you.

    Below are a few things that may help.

    Get back to me if you would like more help.

  • Riley ,

    Thank you so much for making this! I’m 14 and I’m singing at my aunts wedding in a few hours and I’m so nervous. Reading this and everyones comments really helped me. I’m very lucky to have this opportunity to sing for her first dance with her soon to be husband ❤

  • Sarah ,

    Hi, thanks I am singing at a funeral while everyone is leaving. It this Friday coming. I was also at a gig last night, my first since 2013. My biggest fear is singing in front of people I know. The first song I sing is usually a warm up so this is going to be a big step for me. I’m singing Jealous of the the Angels by Donna Taggart I’ve never sang at a funeral before and I want it to be a flawless performance in honnor of my neighbour who I have known since I was a child. I will try the techniques you suggested. Thanks so much. ❤️

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m happy to hear that my tips about nervous singing were helpful to you, and I wish you all success at the funeral.

    Stay focused on your breath and the message of your heart and let every fear melt from your mind.

    You deserve to be heard,

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi Riley,

    I’m glad you were helped by this article and the comments.

    How did your wedding singing go?

    Best wishes,

  • Liana ,


    I’ve seriously gotten to the point where I’m thinking about quitting choir, and never singing in one for the rest of my life. I think that it’s partly because (1) I had a pretty discouraging voice teacher a while back, (2) my choir director made me angry with lectures about how I was a “mistake” last year, mainly ’cause couldn’t memorize music fast enough for a while(therefore, I’m a mistake that was picked out, even though I was auditioned), (3) my other choir members were angry with me for being such a lousy singer (a.k.a., I got laughed at for being the worst choir member ever), and (4) I’m an introvert, so I didn’t get along well with people during tour since I was nervous about being kicked out, since I’m obviously a terrible singer. I’m scared to go on a trip again.

    So, since I am obviously an expert at flunking Anger Management 101 Class, and despite the fact that all my ridicule occurred a year ago, I tried out for a solo, and, when I made a mistake, I called a singer next to me “stupid and dumb”, since the choir members didn’t seem to think well of her singing either, and the choir director was correcting me in the exact same place she did her. I blew up since I didn’t want to be picked on since, unfortunately, I’m still the worst singer in the choir. I don’t know what I said, but it must’ve been REALLY bad… I remember calling the director stupid and dumb too.

    So at this point, they’re obviously thinking about kicking me out. I must’ve insulted the whole choir… they’re all mad at me. They tell the other girl that I picked on to audition, and discourage ME from doing so. I don’t know WHAT to do. I have this steady stream of angry thoughts that keep going, and won’t go away, and I finally let them all out that night… and worse yet, they’re NOT going away.



  • Liana ,

    I know that I won’t get the solo at this point… however, I wish to audition anyway since it’s good practice, and it makes me angry that anyone DARES to say that I should’ve NEVER auditioned in the first place(even though it might be true), says that I’m a terrible musician behind my back, and dares to tell me NOT to audition. They won’t tell me what I said. I think that they all want to see me kicked out… AGAIN. I think that they’re even a little bit terrified of me at this point.

    And I’ve either got to (1) get rid of my anger, or (2) embrace it, as my old voice teacher used to tell me. He’s gotten one girl to the Met before, and, even though he doesn’t think well of me at all, he told me that I’m not gonna become ANYTHING until I realize that I have an angry side/temperament, and embrace it, letting it flow through my music. He said that that’s the only way the audience is EVER going to love me. That was one of the things that I wasn’t ready to jump into yet at the time. But I’m worried that the time is now; the only problem is, I don’t know how to let go. I’m terrible when I let go of my rage. Plus, we’re singing happy music.

    Sorry for this long question, but I am CLUELESS on what to do at this point. I don’t want a career in music. I just want to survive.

  • Rosalie ,

    Hi Joy, just read through this, hope it helps, been scared of singing infront of anyone, even those i love, when at home on my own i let it all out, had fear most of my life, am 36 now, i am very musical, been in couple of bands and jammed alot, but never had guts or legs to sing in public, even tho i can, i have let it sod my whole life up, always surrounded by singers but always too scared to show them what i can do, i will try your excersizes and get back to you, thanks x

  • Singing Master ,

    Hi there Rosalie,

    Glad to hear that you are trying the exercises. Please let me know how it goes.