Updated: Feb 1
As singers, our body is our instrument. We must free our body in order to produce a free, uninhibited sound. Week after week, I see my students struggling to control their voice through tense and rigid bodies. They explain that they haven't slept much that week, are worried about their grades, or some other very important challenge that they haven't had time to process yet (we are approaching the one-year mark of a Global Pandemic, sooo... I get it!). As they explain each situation, their shoulders rise, their knees lock, their breathing becomes shallow. And who becomes the unassuming victim?... The Voice.
We cannot separate the player from the apparatus. They are forever entwined and as such, should be thought of as whole. The voice is not a separate entity, floating in the ether, disconnected from the roots of reality. In contrast, it is directly affected by our body's emotional and mental well-being, as well as our physical state.
So what steps can you do TODAY to free up your voice?
Stretch! Stretch up to the ceiling, the higher the better. Then roll down and touch your toes if your body allows. Roll your neck and your shoulders, and don't forget to give your jaw some love too. Little massages go a long way.
Breathe. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart, solid and grounded, and your body weight is aligned. Inhale through your nose, filling up your belly with luscious and delicious air. Exhale on "Tsss" keeping the space in your belly and think of the word "melt" as you do it. Imagine your body is melting into the very ground beneath you.
Yawn. A big one. Mouth wide open, hands stretched to the sides, and soft-palate lifted with all that sound-making space! If you're feeling inspired, make a siren sound on the exhale.
Step side-to-side with your whole body (not just your feet). Breathe in just like step #2 and on the exhale try a resonant "Haaaa!". Be conscious of where your vibrations land. Can you feel it booming in your chest? Is it high and nasal, tickling your nose hairs? Or is it shaking just beneath your feet?
Do this every day, especially when you don't feel like it. When you free up your body, your voice is sure to follow. Want more personalized instruction? Book your class with me today and let your voice fly!