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Arts & Entertainment

Performance Anxiety

Christina Aguilera

Lesson time 08:25 min

Every singer gets performance anxiety, including Christina. Learn how to deal with your nerves and center yourself before a show.

Christina Aguilera
Teaches Singing
Christina teaches you her unique vocal techniques in over 3.5 hours of voice lessons and exercises.


People find different outlets to calm their nerves and to help themselves just kind of slow down for a second and focus on the moment. I think the best way that I've realized how to stop myself from torturing myself before a performance and beating myself up and being too critical or allowing my physical nerves to just sort of take over my body and almost freeze me up to the point where I feel like I want to vomit or something. It's a real thing-- anxiety-- and wanting to do such a great job to the point where you just hurt yourself. But there's an interesting thing that I find occurs when you're about to perform. You have all those butterflies. You have all those nerves, but the beauty that I find and what's so odd is that as soon as I hit the stage and I begin to sing and connect with that audience, the nerves definitely dissipate, and I just become one with what I'm doing. And it's just about giving and receiving from the audience, giving it back, receiving from the audience. It's a beautiful thing that happens, and it's kind of unexplainable, but it's just about letting go. And it's such a place to be able to release all that anxiety and all that build up. So in a positive way the adrenaline builds and it builds and it builds to a place where as long as you're not going to let it defeat you, store it up and then-- bam-- let it out there once you're on that stage and give out the light that's inside of you. Before hitting the stage I think it's good to get the positives of being able to take those nerves and those butterflies and all those emotions that come with, oh my gosh, I want to do a great job. I want to kill this performance. I want to own it. I want to touch the audience. I want to move people, and not being so nervous about that that it hinders and freezes you up. Before I get on stage, I'm extremely quiet. I have to sort of be centered and find my center and my breath and try to calm myself, because your adrenaline is going before you hit the stage, you hear the audience and the anticipation, like it's nerve-wracking. There's not a show I still don't get nervous for. You want to take all that in and take it to that place in your soul, in your heart that your dream of doing this stems from. When I'm on stage as a performer, because I am somebody that loves to let go and be in the moment and just sing from my heart, sometimes there is a potential that I'm going to just zone out and live in that moment. And sometimes just, as I always say it's a mental game, sometimes I do as a safety net love to have a teleprompter-- the words right in front of me. There's no shame in having reminders for yourself. Sometimes I tape a sheet on the floor that has the song set-list order. Go easy on yourself. Use any tricks that you can to remember sometimes your lyrics. I like a prompter. I know the words to my songs, but hey, you know, like having th...

About the Instructor

Christina Aguilera teaches you how to expand your range, find your voice, and master the techniques that have earned her five Grammy Awards. In her first-ever online singing class, you’ll learn warm-up exercises, breath control, vibrato, her signature growls, and hear Christina break down her biggest hits. You’ve never had vocal lessons like this before.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I'm really enjoying the teachings. It's hard not to watch all of them at one time. Thanks so much. Looking forward to learning more from the best.

I've learned that I already know more than I thought I did and Christina definitely helped me to trust myself more again.

I expanded my singing range. Became more confident using my voice in general.

Christina was a very compassionate and generous instructor!


Colin M.

Whilst I can appreciate the use of teleprompters at a stadium gig, for the smaller club gigs that most of us do it drives me nuts when the singer has their nose in an iPad all evening. For me (I'm a drummer) the singer is the primary contact point for the audience, and you can't maintain that contact if you're always glancing away to check the iPad.

Morgan D.

Everyone gets nervous. We can find comfort in knowing it's in our heads and that we are not alone. Wonderful tips, Christina! Thank you for sharing.

A fellow student

It’s amazingly so far advanced. Those almost there and think they are good better get to this precious Master we have in Christina!

Emma L.

When I go live I find it really easy to concentrate on my audience and put the focus outside of myself. Because that's why I'm also there. To entertain. To let people get through their emotions through my singing. It's not just about me so why should I focus on how nervous I am. Focus on the message in the song and to put it out their in the audience, and feel what they are feeling instead. Many of us have that kind of empathy in us. So put yourself in their perpective instead - excited - not nervous.

Brenda M.

I love this lesson since I have terrible performance anxiety. The part where she give us permission to "use all the tricks that you can." just was so freeing for me. I have a memory real memory problem that has led me to feel so insecure about songs that I actually know the words to but fear forgetting. Actually this lesson is just worth the whole cost of this master class. But the whole thing is supper dooper.

A fellow student

I found this lesson really super helpful. It's hard not to be nervous before a performance, I still get really bad anxiety before shows. I just journal and write away my jitters and find it helping a lot so far.


I get butterflies and nausea probably the night before/on the day. The more stage time I get the easier it is. I like to have a class of wine and toast myself and the team for getting this far, before I head out on stage. As soon as I am onstage and song the first few notes, I'm fine and in the moment. The audience want you to succeed.

A fellow student

today i sang to a beautiful woman looking into her eyes. Before this i asked her to look away from me because of anxiety. the song is Christmas Is Everyday. The same date i sang another original song to a woman from the islands. Again i asked her to face me. And it was really cool. This song is called Crown For A Woman. The most people i ever sang to was a prayer group at church. I still feel angst when performing for the entire congregation. But the beauty here is i will imagine singing to the Lord. I'm not ready for a stage yet, but someday.

Jonathan S.

When I first started performing I would get terrible stage fright, even days before the show. As I got better, the time got shorter and shorter. One day I hit a bad chord. In terror I looked up expecting to see all 150 people in the club frowning and shaking their heads. Only one person was even looking in my direction, and he laughed and gave me a thumbs up. My advice? Get over yourself. It's hard to make people pay attention. Yes, they all might be facing you, but they might also be thinking about where they're going to eat after the show, or if they're going to get laid, or maybe they're worried about how they're going to make their next rent payment. You have to work very, very hard to actually have people give a shit about you.

Jonathan S.

I love how she mentions using a TelePrompTer. You can be in the middle of a song and thinking, "I can't hear enough of the drums." So you signal the sound man, but because of the lights, you don't know if he saw you. So you signal again. But they get too loud. Now you turn you attention back to that song you've been singing with all your heart on autopilot and realize you don't remember what verse you're in or if the bridge is coming up. For a number of years Barbara Streisand refused to perform live. Someone asked her why, and she said her stage fright was because she thought she'd forget the words. Whoever it was said something like, "Hey, we'll put the words on a screen where no one can see them." That's when she went back to performing live.