Professional Experience
Ms. Stohrer has offered lectures and workshops on overcoming performance anxiety for several schools and organizations, including Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; Newberry and Anderson Colleges in South Carolina; a conference for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA); University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point; SNATS at Ohio State University; The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York; Keene State College in New Hampshire; the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University; Assumption College, Massachusetts; Capital University, Ohio; Kenyon College, Ohio; and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) 2008 National Conference. As a singer who has gone from paralyzing stage fright to assisting others in breaking free of performance anxiety, Sharon has unique insights into the process and plenty of hands-on, practical solutions to offer.

Sweaty Palms, Shaky Knees, Dry Mouth, Butterflies. . .
According to several studies, performance anxiety is the number one fear in this country – with performance “failure” feared by many people more than death! Even so, most music students are reluctant to speak of it, believing that they are alone, that something is wrong with them, that fellow performers do not share their struggles.

Further compounding the problem is that the symptoms of performance anxiety are rarely the same from person to person and the degree of stage fright can vary. Some suffer performance anxiety so severe that their symptoms are identical to full-blown panic attacks. These are usually the folks who feel that it is their fault somehow – so they simply refuse to perform or become ill (conveniently!) on performance days. On the other end are those who have just a vague sense of discomfort or a sensation of being stiff. They usually assume that this “goes with the territory” so they give performances that are perhaps adequate, but lack the sparkle and zest that could be theirs, were they to free themselves from nervousness.

All these people can be helped. Solo and ensemble performances can be enhanced by information, new techniques and exercises that can be practiced just as the music is practiced. Ms. Stohrer has had success with musicians from high school through adulthood in private sessions and in workshops that vary from one hour to three hours.

One-Hour Workshops

  • Gain awareness of performance training techniques.
  • Learn short and long-term physical preparation methods.
  • Discover mental preparation strategies, including focus exercises.
  • Explore creative visualization, breathing exercises and grounding/centering techniques from yoga and other disciplines.
  • The last 20 minutes are devoted to actual performances.

Intensive Workshops (90 minutes to 3 hours)

  • Delve into all the above categories in greater depth and detail.
  • Perform with on-the-spot help for symptoms and opportunities for audience feedback (half of the time is devoted to performances.
  • The last 20 minutes are allocated to questions and problem solving.

Private Sessions
Normally an hour in length, these are tailored to the specific needs of the individual, incorporating exercises, visualization and performance feedback as needed.

“Professor Stohrer’s step-by-step approach to combating performance anxiety is something that every singer and actor needs! Her useful tips on preparation – both physical and mental – provide a blueprint for training ourselves to succeed under the sometimes crippling stress of performance.” – John Audren Simpkins, Stage Director and Adjunct Professor, Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, Steinhardt School of Education, NYU

“Everyone who attended Sharon’s workshops here was immediately better equipped to handle the stress of musical performance. Besides being a first-class musician, Ms. Stohrer is a dynamic public speaker. She captivates her audience whether they are beginning musicians or seasoned professionals. Her methods for dealing with stress are valuable to both singers and instrumentalists. I was so impressed by her presentations that I recommended her to the New York State School Music Association, who subsequently hired her to address their state conference.” – Paul Evoskevich, Chair, Music Department, College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY

Workshop fees are negotiable, depending on length and any travel involved. A non-refundable $50 deposit is due two weeks prior and all fees (minus deposit) are due at the workshop, prior to commencing activities. Individual session fees are similar to private lesson rates.

For more information, or to schedule, please email

©2008 Sharon Stohrer