(space) CCPV & NICEV

Welcome to, a comprehensive source of health information for singers and other professional voice users. Here you will find timely references regarding all aspects of vocal wellness, as well as onsite and online wellness, therapy and instruction services for singers, corporate speakers, actors, lawyers, teachers and other professional voice users.


Karen Wicklund

Stress Management for Singers


by Dr. Karen Wicklund, July 4, 2000
NATS National Convention, Philadelphia

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this presentation is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body, and the authors, sponsoring organization, publisher, printer(s), and distributor(s) accept no responsibility for such use. Those individuals suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult their physician.

In today's fast-paced world stress is a fact of life, regardless of one's profession. Every person today must learn to deal with a myriad of demands on his/her time and talents. In this paper a definition and illustrations of stress and stressors will be presented, with discussion of the typical stress response. Next will follow an explanation of how stress specifically affects singers physically and psychologically, as well as how to recognize when the singer is under stress. Finally, a practical three-pronged (behavioral, cognitive and social) approach to stress management for singers will be shared.

Selected references:

Achtenberg, J. and F. Lawlis. Bridges of the Bodymind: Behavioral Approaches to Health. Champaign, IL: Institute for Personality and Ability Testing, 1980.

Alpert, M. R.L Kurtzburg and A.J. Friedhoff. "Transient voice changes associated with emotional stimuli." Archives of General Psychiatry 8 (1967): 362-365.

Bejani, F. J. and Barry S. Snow. "Use of mood scores as indices of athletic character and stress reactivity among musicians." Medical Problems of Performing Artists 5:1 (March 1990): 45-48.

Benson, Herbert. Beyond the Relaxation Response: How to Harness the Healing Power. New York: Time Books, 1984.

Cobb, S. "Social support as a moderator of life stress." Psychosomatic Medicine 38 (1976): 301-314.

Cousins, Norman. Head First: The Biology of Hope. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1989.

Cox, T. Stress. London: Macmillan, 1985.

Dews, B. and M. Williams. "Student musician's personality styles, stresses and coping patterns." Special issue: Performance and Stress. Psychology of Music 17 (1989): 37-47.

Driscoll, R. "Exertion therapy." Behavior Today 6: 6 (1975).

Green, Stephen A. Mind and Body: The Psychology of Physical Illness. Washington D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 1985.

Hendrix, Harville. Getting the Love You Want. New York: Henry Holt Co, 1988.

Horton, Marilee and Walter Byrd. Keeping Your Balance: A Woman's Guide to Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being. Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1984.

Kobasa, S.C. "Stressful life events, personality, health: An enquiry into hardiness." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37: 1 (1979): 1-11.

Krames, Lawrence A. A Guide to Managing Stress. No. 1108. Daly City, CA: Krames Communications, 1985.

Krames, Lawrence A. One Life to Live. No. 1274. Daly City, CA: Krames Communications, 1988.

Krames, Lawrence A. Coping with Change. No. 1275. Daly City, CA: Krames Communications, 1987.

Long, G. "The relationship of voice stress, anxiety and depression to life events and personal style variables." Social Behavior and Personality 16 (1988): 133-145.

Long, G. "The measurement of stress by voice analysis." Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 5 (1990): 723-731.

Louden, Jennifer. The Woman's Comfort Book. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.

McCullough, Christopher. Managing Your Anxiety. Los Angeles: St. Marins' Press, 1985.

Miller, S.M. "Preference for control and the coronary-prone behavior pattern: 'I'd rather do it myself.'" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 49 (1985): 492-499.

Morse, D.R. and M.L. Faust. Women Under Stress. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1982.

Nash, Wanda. At Ease With Stress: The Approach of Wholeness. London: Darton, Langman and Todd, 1988.

Patel, Chandra. The Complete Guide to Stress Management. New York: Plenum Press, 1991.

Pelletier, Kenneth R. Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer: A Holistic Approach to Preventing Stress Disorders. San Francisco: Robert Briggs Associates, 1977.

Raeburn, Susan D. "Occupational stress and coping in a sample of professional rock musicians." (first of two parts) Medical Problems of Performing Artists 2:2 (1987): 41-48.

Rippiere, V. "Nutrition and adult psychiatric problems." Paper presented at the Annual Conference, the British Psychological Society, St. Andrews, March, 1989.

Roundtable Discussion. "Coping with stress." Medical Problems of Performing Artists 1:1(1986): 12-16.

Sataloff, Robert T. "Stress, anxiety and psychogenic dysphonia." Chap. in Professional Voice: The Science and Art of Clinical Care. New York: Raven Press, 1991.

Scherer, K.R. "Nonlinguistic vocal indicators of emotions and psychopathology." In Emotion in Personality and Psychopathology, ed. C.E. Izard, 435-529. New York: Plenum Press, 1979.

Scherer, K.R. "Speech and emotional states." In Speech Evaluation in Psychiatry, ed. J. Darby, 189-220. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1981a.

Scherer, K.R. "Vocal indicators of stress." In Speech Evaluation in Psychiatry, ed. J. Darby, 171-187. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1981b.

Steptoe, A. "Behavioral response demands, cardiovascular reactivity, and essential hypertension." Psychosomatic Medicine 46 (1984): 33-38.

Sutherland, Valerie J. and Cary L. Cooper. Understanding Stress: A Psychological Perspective for Health Professionals. London: Chapman and Hall, 1990.

Tolkmitt, F. and K. Scherer. "Effect of experimentally induced stress on vocal parameters." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 12 (1986): 302-313.

Wicklund, Karen. "Stress Management: A Three-Pronged Approach to Health." Berwyn, IL: MacNeal Hospital, Community Health Education Department, 1988, photocopied.

Williams, C. E. and K. N. Stevens. "Vocal correlates of emotional states." In Speech Evaluation in Psychiatry, ed. J. Darby, 221-240. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1981.

Wilson, G. "The personality of opera singers." Personality and Individual Differences 5 (1984): 195-201.

Stress Management Bibliography for Singers:

Anderson, Bob. Stretching Bolinas, CA: Shelter Publications Inc. #0-936070-01-3

Brody, Jane. Good Food Book New York: Norton and Co. ISBN 0-393-02210-2

Clark, Nancy. Sports Nutrition Guidebook: Eating to Fuel Your Active Lifestyle Boston: New England Sports Publications

Cooper, Kenneth. The Aerobics Program For Total Well-Being New York: Bantam #0-553-34018-2

Gelb, Michael. Body Learning - An Intro to Alexander Technique New York: Holt and Co. ISBN 0-8050-0415-X

Green and Galwey. The Inner Game of Music New York: Anchor Press. ISBN 0-385-23126-1

Greene, Don. Audition Success New York: ProMind Music. ISBN 0-9665993-0-6

Grindea, Carola. Tensions in the Performance of Music White Plains, NY: Pro/Am Music. ISBN 0-912-483-10-5

Pargman, David Stress and Motor Performance: Understanding and Coping Ithaca, NY: Movement Publications. ISBN 0-932392-21-4

Porter and Foster. Visual Athletics: Visualizations for Peak Sports Performance Dubuque, IA: Brown Publishers. ISBN 0-697-10987-9

Reubart, Dale Anxiety and Musical Performance on Playing the Piano from Memory New York: DaCapo Press. ISBN 0-306-76253-6

Ristad, Eloise A Soprano on Her Head Moab, Utah: Real People Press. ISBN 0-911226-21-4

Salmon and Green Notes from the Green Room: Coping with Stress and Anxiety in Musical Performance New York: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-669-25010-4

Whitaker/Tanner. But I Played it Perfectly in the Practice Room! New York: University Press of America. ISBN 0-8191-5702-3

Wilson, Frank. Tone Deaf and All Thumbs New York: Viking Penguin, Inc. ISBN 0-760-80842-3

Wilson, Frank American College of Sports Medicine Fitness Book Champaign, IL: Leisure Press #0-888011-460-6


More on

Voice Lessons & Therapy
Foreign Accent Reduction / ESL
Belt Workshop (2006)

Singer's Wellness:

Children's Vocal Wellness
Learning Disabilities References
NATS & New Zealand Workshops
NATS Convention Poster Papers
Singer's Herbal Regimen
Singer's Daily Wellness Regimen
Singer's Wellness Model
Wicklund Bio
Wicklund Audio Clips
Wicklund Publications
Wicklund Voice Studio News
Wicklund Wellness Offerings

Important: The information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body. The authors, publisher, printer(s), and distributor(s)/website provider(s) accept no responsibility for such use. Those individuals suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult their physician.

Last updated November 8, 2014

Florida Center for Professional Voice
Webmaster: Chris Fenner
Photos: Rachel Hinsdale

Website hosted by Verio