Courageous Artistry Anxiety Coaching for Performing Artists

I'm a licensed therapist and a performance anxiety coach, as well as classical singer who continues to perform professionally. Ingela Onstad, MM, MA, LMHC I'm a classical singer who continues to perform professionally, as well as a licensed therapist and a performance anxiety coach.

I've been on both sides of the issue: I have struggled with my own performance anxiety yet have also had fearless and proud moments where I was able to give my best. I've bombed auditions due to nerves, but I've also learned opera roles overnight and jumped in for sick colleagues with a day's notice. I'm still learning about myself and evolving as a performer. I've spent thousands of hours engaged in therapy with clients whose issues range from coping with the stressors of life to severe trauma and mental illness. I connect deeply with people from the heart and support my therapeutic intuition with evidence-based methods. My coaching career stemmed from multiple experiences where I received late-night calls, text messages, or emails from fellow performers who were looking for therapeutic tools in their hours of need. It made perfect sense to combine my knowledge of performer's issues with my existing mental health career. What do all those initials mean after your name, Ingela? ​Well - they are just my way of showing that I can walk the talk. I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree in vocal performance, as well as a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health. I am a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) practicing in the state of New Mexico, and I am also currently working towards my BCC (Board Certified Coach). I've presented on performance anxiety at institutions such as: Portland State University, Colby College, Tulane University, Fort Lewis College, the University of New Mexico, Rio Grande NATS, Albuquerque Music Teachers' Association, the New Mexico School for the Arts, with upcoming presentations at Youth Opera of El Paso, and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Operating as usual

An oldie but goodie that I’ve read a few times over the 20 years I’ve owned it. I read books like this mainly for clients, but also for myself. Who couldn’t use more optimism nowadays? #positivepsychology #anxietycoach #bookwormlife

Y’all! Talking with Maria on this fun podcast was a total highlight of my week. We had a blast conversing about vino, voice, anxiety, and therapy. Thank you to Deb and Maria for hosting me!
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Repost from @slps_wine_and_cheese_pod

Ep 98: Anxiety Coaching & Singing features special guest Ingela Onstead from @courageousartistry 🎶
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On this episode @deborahbrooksslp and @maria_kotsslp talk about their favorite movies and music from 1998 🎵
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Ingela Onstad has worked as a professional opera singer. She is a singing coach and anxiety coach #opera #anxiety #anxietyrelief #psychotherapist
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🍷🧀 Listen to this episode by searching “SLPs wine and cheese” anywhere you listen to podcasts! Episode is on: iTunes, Spotify, iheartradio, Youtube, and any other podcast app
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Link in bio to listen!!!
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#SLP #speechpathology #speechpodcast #podcast #speechlanguagepathologist #speechtherapy #speechlanguagepathology #slpeeps #slps #slplife
♥️🍷🧀
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# #performanceanxiety
#performanceanxietymanagement
#operasingersofinstagram
#stagefright
#classicalsingersofinstagram
#anxietyrelief
#mentalhealth

Friends, Emma and I are going to do a fun (and FREE) webinar on performance anxiety. Hope you'll join!

I am so excited for this! After the amazing feedback following our podcast together ( www.rockitvocalstudios.com/podcast ) Ingela Onstad and I have joined forces again to offer a FREE online session exploring performance anxiety and stage fright.

This is such a common theme for so many of my clients and with Ingela's incredible background as a classically trained vocalist, licensed mental health therapist and performance anxiety coach, you'll learn so much about what causes it this type of anxiety and tips to manage it.

To learn more about Ingela check out https://www.courageousartistry.com

This FREE session is online Thursday August 27th at 6pm MST. Performers, singers, speakers welcome! Registration required.

🌟🎙🌟Heres the link to save your spot! See you there!

🔽🌟

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0of-morD8qG9GQV7ha6YSYqesR3pP4eEHY

Me and the lovely and smart Amanda Flynn recording an interview about singers’ mental health for the NEW Professional Development Program of NYSTA. We had a great conversation about mental health in the voice studio, singers recovering from vocal injuries, the use of mental health medications in the profession, and much much more!
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I love talking with like-minded musicians about the importance of mental health awareness. Amanda, you’re doing great work out there! @amandaflynnie .
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#performanceanxiety #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthformusicians #voiceteacher #nystasings #classicalsingersofinstagram

Dear Performers,

I'd like to let you in on a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

WHY THE HECK do we expect ourselves to function perfectly under pressure when we've never learned the tools to do so?

It's a really unfair expectation that we have of ourselves. But I can see how we got here - we've all been told that learning how to do our craft well should be enough.

As in, "once I'm really good at singing/playing piano/dancing/acting/kazoo, all of my nervousness will just disappear."

I once had a professor whose students I worked with say to me in private: "aren't they just nervous because they haven't practiced enough?".

(insert scream of frustration here....AAAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!)

I'd like to absolutely END THE NARRATIVE that by practicing harder, being better, more perfect, whatever, we will somehow magically never be anxious about performing ever again. What a pile of horse doo-doo.

You, my dear performer, are sometimes anxious about performing because you are human. It's natural (and a biological imperative for our survival) that we are fearful when we are risking something.

But that doesn't mean we are stuck with that. We can learn tools to help us:

-focus on calming our physiological symptoms
-help us reframe negative patterns of thoughts that result in difficult emotional consequences
-be our authentic selves every time we show up to perform
-create goals that are positive, actionable, and motivating

And much, much more. Have a beautiful day.

My colleague Christine shares a personal experience of performance anxiety. Our course aims to help you learn tools so you never have to walk out of an audition wondering "what the heck just happened in there?"

People: these are skills that can be taught, just like any other skill we learn! We'll hope you'll join our course, registration ends Wednesday night and we only have a couple spots left! #performanceanxietymanagement #stagefright #singers

Repost from @voiceslpchris

Early registration rates end tonight and we are almost full (YAY!), so if you are interested or know someone who might be, please pass this along! ❤️ LINK IN BIO
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#performanceanxiety #performanceanxietymanagement #performanceanxietycoach #stagefright #operasingersofinstagram #classicalsingersofinstagram #musicaltheaterperformer #singersongwriter

So excited to have been a part of the Idyllwild Arts Vocal and Choral Performance Class this week and last week! What an awesome, dedicated group of young singers who all showed up with honesty and vulnerability in our work together. I'm looking forward to your recital this afternoon!

Dear Singers,

Who here relates to the following story?

You study for years, take lessons, polish your audition package, work with your pianist or coach, pick just the right outfit, sign up for the audition, practice your butt off, do a mock-audition in front of your cat (to rave reviews).

YES! FEELING GOOD!

You feel like you are going to ROCK IT! You go the audition in a state of nervous but excited anticipation. You couldn't have prepared better. Everyone, including yourself, thinks you'll do great.

But then - you get in the room in front of the panel and.........something happens.

Your breath feels short. You are shaking and pretty sure everyone can see it. You feel like you're not quite in the room, almost like you are having an out-of-body experience. Your voice is shaky and unfocused. You blank on some text. You stand like a deer in headlights or you fidget wildly.

You walk out of the audition room and think "WHAT JUST HAPPENED????"

Ugh. I know all about this, I've been there so many times. In fact, having experiences like this lead me to audition less........which of course, lead to less jobs overall.

No auditions = no jobs.

But what if you could learn vocal and emotional skills to gain mastery over your performance anxiety? What if next time you feel like this you know what to do and how and when to do it? What if next time you walk out of that audition thinking "hmmmmm.......I'm pretty dang proud of that!

Guess what? You don't know how to do this well because YOU NEVER LEARNED THE SKILLS. Just like we can learn to sing better, we can also learn to manage our anxiety using the right skills.

My dear friend Christine Murphy Estes (@voiceslpchris) and I are really excited to announce the launch of our newest collaboration: a group course made especially for SINGERS! (Sorry to everyone else, I've got other stuff in the works for you!)

Our course is entitled "Overcome Performance Anxiety in 3 Weeks" – we’ve limited it to a small group and it’s filling up fast. Check it out at the link in bio. .

#performanceanxiety #stagefright #singersofinstagram #operasingersofinstagram #musicaltheatre #auditionprep

Singers - Overcome Performance Anxiety in 3 Weeks!

Christine Estes and I created an awesome course for all the singers out there who want support in their journey to performing with ease and confidence!

TBH, I found this book to be a little overrated. However, I do indeed agree with the premise. I can’t tell you how many people say to me (about my singing) “well, you were just born talented!”.
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I disagree with that sentiment. And I find it offensive. To be good at something we may need a tiny bit of aptitude, but after that, it’s HARD WORK, TRAINING, PERSEVERANCE, and perhaps a little luck thrown in there.🤩.
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So think twice next time you tell someone they are “talented.” 😜 They may not consider that to be a compliment. .
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#bookwormlife #singersofinstagram #performers #talentisoverratedwithouthardwork

Singers of Facebook! My amazing colleague Christine Murphy Estes and I are so freaking excited to launch an awesome collaboration - our group course “Overcome Performance Anxiety in 3 Weeks!”
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We are opening up this course to a very small group of singers in order to provide personalized attention to each of you, and it will culminate in a group masterclass to show off your newly learned skills!.
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Check out more about my friend Christine at @voiceslpchris.
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The link to find out more about the course is in my bio! Hope to see you there!!! ..
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#singers #singersofinstagram #operasingersofinstagram #broadway #voicecoach #performanceanxiety #stagefright #actors

Gosh, Emily McDowell always hits the spot. Found this one today and it spoke right to my heart. Let’s all get out there and learn! I’m in a phase of daring/growing/learning, and I aim to urge people I work with to do the same.
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Repost from @emilymcdowell_

Some thoughts on failure, and on how sometimes, with the benefit of time and perspective, what feels like rejection turns out to be more like redirection— or even protection. Cosmic bullet-dodging. ❤️.

#classicalsingers
#operasingers
#wellness
#anxietysupport
#anxietyawareness
#mentalhealthawareness
#growth #musicaltheater

Hello lovely singers and other performers who sing - my very talented friend Christine Estes @voiceslpchris created an informative FREE webinar a few months ago, and we are re-releasing for a limited time.
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We cover a broad range of techniques for staying vocally and emotionally healthy at all times in life, with a special focus on health during crisis..
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We hope you’ll find this helpful and supportive during these wild times. The link is in my bio..
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#performanceanxiety
#performanceanxietymanagement
#operasingersofinstagram
#classicalmusicians
#stagefright
#classicalsingersofinstagram
#anxietyrelief
#mentalhealth #musicaltheatersinger #singing #voiceteachersofinstagram

I've been speaking recently with my performer clients about the desire for increased spirituality in their lives. In fact, I find across the board that many people I work with desire a deeper spiritual connection, whether it be from organized religion or not. I wanted to poll the crowd: what do you do to stay spiritually aligned or balanced? Do you have any meaningful practices you'd like to share?

Me: journaling, daily meditation, inspiring podcasts, and alone time. Oh, and dogs. Always dogs.

Come sing with a great group of people this summer, including some amazing faculty members!!!!! @quintessenceabq

So I desperately need to catch up on my log of books I’m reading this year. Although I find the title of this one quite ironic considering the sh*t-storm that 2020 has been for the world, what if it were possible to have your best year ever in spite of it all? This book is basically an expansion on the idea of SMART goals, and the author clearly teaches how to set goals in order to up-level any area of your life that needs improvement. .
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#bookwormlife #booksaremylife #bestyearever

Repost from @rockyourvoicepodcast

This is BIG. .
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For the last few years I have been seeing the incredibly strong relationship between music and mental health, singing and psychology. .
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I recently connected with Ingela Onstad of @courageousartistry an incredible woman who has dedicated her studies and passion to exploring the connection. Ingela has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in vocal performance, as well as a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health and is a licensed mental health counselor. Ingela is a performance anxiety coach specializing in working with musicians and singers. .
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There is one huge common theme I see in my teaching and that is clients wanting to develop confidence or overcome fear of performing. If you can relate, this episode is for YOU! I have been searching for a while to find a specialist like Ingela and cant wait to share this incredible conversation with you! .
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Thank you so much for your time Ingela! I cant wait to see what the future holds! .
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🎙LINK IN BIO🎙
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#stagefright #performanceanxiety #confidentsinger #podcastforsingers #vocalpodcast #podcastforvocalists #vocaltechnique #neepodcastepisode #ingelaonstad #courageousartistry #bebrave #beabettersinger #singer #voice #vocalcoach #rockitvocalstudios
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# #performanceanxiety
#performanceanxietymanagement
#operasingersofinstagram
#classicalmusicians
#stagefright
#classicalsingersofinstagram
#anxietyrelief
#mentalhealth
#orchestramusician
#dancerlife
#selflove
#actorsofinstagram

I had such fun getting to know Emma of @rockitvocalstudios and @rockyourvoicepodcast. We talked about the psychology of singers, teaching, and how to be your best both onstage and off!

She was so easy to talk to and I hope she’ll agree that we are kindred spirits! We are already planning on future collaboration! It’s so amazing to connect with new people all over the world via technology.
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I hope you’ll give us a listen @rockyourvoicepodcast, available at all places podcasts are found. 😍

I was absolutely overjoyed to talk with Emma of @rockitvocalstudios this evening- you know how it is to have a conversation with an absolute stranger who ends up feeling like a friend?! Serendipity! Magic! Divine intervention! I’ll link to the podcast when she publishes it, but for now I’ll say: #voiceteachers #singingteachers #vocalcoach - check out Emma’s website and podcast for ideas of how to expand and modernize your studio. ..

.We had a great time discussing mental health in the voice studio, ways to conquer performance anxiety, and the similarities between therapists and voice teachers.
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#performanceanxiety #singersongwriter #operasingersofinstagram #voicelessons #singersofinstagram #musicianproblems #stagefright

I was very honored to do a workshop with this awesome FB Group, Freelance Performers and Mental Health. I salute the group moderators for the amazing resources they are providing to this community! @mezzo_ludwig .
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Repost from @freelanceperf_mentalhealth

We are incredibly thankful for our team of mental health talk guest contributors. It is amazing to think that we have been going 2 months with our group and continue to grow every day. This group of individuals has provided much needed information, comfort, honesty, and guidance during this time of need for freelance musicians. We here at Freelance Performers and Mental Health thank them for their service and support to our community and we look forward to continuing to work with them. #ThankYou #ThankfulThursday #MentalHealth #Guest #FridayEvent #FreelancePerformersandMentalHealth #Contributor #MentalHealthAwareness
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# #performanceanxiety
#performanceanxietymanagement
#operasingersofinstagram
#classicalmusicians
#stagefright
#classicalsingersofinstagram
#anxietyrelief
#mentalhealth
#orchestramusician
#dancerlife
#selflove
#actorsofinstagram

A day at the office spent with a few clients: some old, some new! I love helping performers find a way to solve a problem they’re facing. ..(cameo by my crystals and palo santo, because I’m woo woo like that.)

Today, one performer addressed some old limiting beliefs and turned them into shiny new helpful and supportive beliefs. She then used these new beliefs to help her manage her productivity and design a work schedule that is more conducive to ease and productivity.
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Another performer was feeling paralyzed by certain stumbling blocks and couldn’t envision a way forward. We discussed a plan to prioritize her tasks and she gave herself permission to take imperfect action. .
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If you are a performer struggling with anxiety, feeling blocked, feeling stuck, struggling with confidence, impostor syndrome - I can help! Send me a DM and we can do a free 20-minute coaching call to talk about YOU and to see how I can help.
#performanceanxiety #performanceanxietycoach #operasingersofinstagram #musicianproblems #actors #soprano #courageousartistry #singersongwriter

courageousartistry.com

Is my career over?

"Is my career over?" is a question that a lot of performers are recently asking themselves. I wanted to write about my own personal journey and how I decided to leave a full-time career in the performing arts. I hope that those of you who read it will know that you are not alone, and that others have successfully navigated this transition before you, while still maintaining the identity of "artist".

https://www.courageousartistry.com/post/is-my-career-over

courageousartistry.com So many people in the performing arts community are talking about how proceed with their careers due to the global pandemic. In this post, I share my personal experience with leaving my full-time singing career and the identity struggles I went through.

About me

Hi, I'm Ingela.

I believe you landed here for a reason. You chose the life of a performer because you love what you do.......or you did at one point and would like to feel that way again.

But now you’ve reached a point where your fears have become such a stumbling block that you’ve gone down the internet rabbit-hole to seek guidance.

Or perhaps you crave the life of a performer but your fears hold you back from stepping onto this desired path. You’re tired of sitting on the sidelines and you’re ready to move forward.

Maybe the phrase “impostor syndrome” resonates with you.

​Perhaps you have stood in the wings, stricken with terror and wanting to flee. You’ve diligently learned, practiced, rehearsed but you still are overcome with “nerves” or “stage fright.”

​I want to help you on your path to Courageous Artistry, whether you are a musician, actor, dancer, or public speaker.

I’m a professional singer, voice teacher, licensed mental health therapist, and performance anxiety coach. I’ve battled my own fears as a performer and helped clients battle theirs - I’m here to tell you there’s a way out. There’s a future waiting for you where you can reclaim the joy and ease that you seek.

I’d love to guide you on this journey of growth and transformation.

​Learn more about me here.

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Videos (show all)

Singers - Overcome Performance Anxiety in 3 Weeks!
Welcome to Courageous Artistry

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