Test of Singing Apprehension (TOSA)

The test of singing apprehension was developed during the early days of communication apprehension research. Since virtually all of that research focused on oral communication (talking), the question arose as to whether people who were high in CA with regard to talking would also be high in apprehension about singing. The results of that research indicated there was no meaningful correlation between apprehension about talking and apprehension about singing. This suggested that the cause(s) of CA and SA might be very different. Recent communibiological research also indicates they are different. A corollary of this distinction has been seen before in the study of stuttering. Many stutterers are impacted when they try to talk, but have no problem when singing. Clearly talking and singing are very different oral communication systems.

Directions: Below are 20 statements that people sometimes make about themselves. Please indicate whether or not you believe each statement applies to you by marking whether you: Strongly Disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; are Neutral = 3; Agree = 4; Strongly Agree = 5

_____1. I look forward to singing along with my friends.

_____2. The pitch of my voice makes me embarrassed to sing.

_____3. Singing in front of others causes me to be embarrassed.

_____4. I'm afraid to sing aloud with friends.

_____5. I am tense and nervous while singing at group gatherings.

_____6. When singing, my posture feels strained and nervous.

_____7. I look forward to an opportunity to sing in public.

_____8. I have no fear of singing in a group.

_____9. I feel I sing on key more than most people do.

_____10. I like to get involved in group singing.

_____11. I always avoid singing in public if possible.

_____12. I look forward to singing in front of my friends.

_____13. When I sing in front of others, my throat tightens up.

_____14. I dislike using my voice musically.

_____15. I feel relaxed and comfortable while singing.

_____16. I am afraid to sing in a group.

_____17. I am fearful and tense all the while I am singing a song before a group of people.

_____18. I sing less because I am musically shy.

_____19. I have trouble staying on key while singing in a group.

_____20. I am able to overcome any initial nervousness as soon as I start singing.

Scoring: To determine your score on the TOSA, complete the following steps:

Step 1. Add scores for items 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, and 19

Step 2. Add the scores for items 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, and 20

Step 3. Complete the following formula: TOSA = 72 - Total from Step 1 + Total from Step 2

Your score should be between 20 and 100. If your score is below 20 or above 100, you have made a mistake in computing the score.

Scores above 68 indicate a high level of singing apprehension. Scores below 37 indicate a low level of singing apprehension. The range of scores between 37 and 68 represents the "normal" range of apprehension about singing.


Andersen, P. A., Andersen, J. F., & Garrison, J. P. (1978). Sing apprehension and talking apprehension: The development of two constructs. Sign Language Studies, 19, 155-186.