Speaking Engagements

Sheridon Stokes Playing Flute

Sheridon speaks at numerous conventions and lecture halls.  Whether speaking to 500 people or 5 people, Mr. Stokes desires to share the wisdom and knowledge he has acquired over the years with all attendees.  From iconic Hollywood film scores, to country pop albums, his lifetime of experience and expertise as a musician will leave you entertained and inspired.

At speaking engagements, Mr. Stokes is a motivator in the truest sense of the word. His speaking philosophy is centered around the idea that the best speakers in the world inspire people to believe in themselves.  Mr. Stokes has a rich personal history, and a vast understanding of musical history in Hollywood.  He also possesses a myriad of knowledge regarding performance anxiety, instrumental techniques, and behavioral drivers and life script and how they relate to musical performance.  He engagingly breaks down difficult musical scores and lessons into manageable pieces, showing attendees that nothing is beyond their ability if they are willing to learn and practice.  As a speaker and professor at UCLA for the past 40 years, Sheridon has touched thousands of peoples’ lives and cultivated their raw talents into some incredible opportunities.

Some of his speaking topics include:

“Teaching music allows me to explore every aspect of performance including the emotions involved that a student experiences.  As a teacher, I have to show the students techniques of not only controlling emotions but using them to their advantage.  I recently had a student who was terrified to perform in public.  After four years, she was not only confident, but couldn’t wait for the next performance.  Teaching at UCLA is a privilege…”
“My first book, written many years ago, was an analysis of playing the flute by using the most advanced information possible.  This included; how sound waves are created, how the muscles work in the face, abdomen, fingers, and arms, how the breathing actually works in the body, and the under rated strength of the circular larynx muscle (choking muscle).  Popular opinion has it that these are not necessary if one has “talent.”  I disagree because I never learned much of anything until I was able to understand what I was doing.  As a beginning student the fear of being pushed to higher levels of performance quickly were overcome when I was able to achieve new heights of technical proficiency…”
“I am going to discuss Behavioral Drivers and Life Script.  The internal causes of emotions (inwardly and outwardly displayed) can be described as behavioral drivers.  When very young, we are taught by adults in our life the manner in which we can gain approval and affection… Therapists in the field of Transactional Analysis refer to these behaviors as Drivers, and propose that each of us is taught 5 different drivers: Please Others, Be Perfect, Try Hard, Be Strong, and Hurry Up.  According to their theory, each one of us has our own personal hierarchy of these drivers… Another very strong force inside us is Life Script: Most personas have been given a set of “messages” and expectations which they carry with them through life… Applying this to musical performance and teaching it is a constant striving to understand one’s internal script and behavioral patterns to break through the never ending blocks that control and sometimes sabotage our playing…”
“Another story that shows the power of music and emotions was in the movie “the Godfather.”  Carmine Coppola, the father of Francis Ford Coppola, was about 10 years old when gangsters came into his father’s gun shop and asked to have their guns ready for the job they were about to do.  They were very stressed, much like soldiers going into battle.  Carmine’s father asked little Carmine to play the flute for them.  Carmine remembers the peacefulness that immediately came over their faces when he started to play.  This might be called the instant power of music…”



Stokes and CO.CropFor speaking engagement inquiries, please Contact Sheridon