It has been so much fun to put together these tips of strategies I use in my own singing career to enable others to find some ease and enjoyment in their own singing.
I was talking here about how the whole body is involved in singing. Finding ease of movement in throughout the body will help in allowing the shoulderblades to slide easily along the rib cage, allowing the rib to expand as the air comes into the lungs. I always think of the situation when I went to the physio a few years ago with a pain in my knee – I didn’t have the pain all the time but I had it enough of the time to make me think it was worth checking out. Most of the treatment involved correcting some muscle imbalances around my hips and the knee pain is gone. I know of other friends and colleagues who have had a similar diagnosis, or perhaps their pain in their knee was caused by something in their foot. I always say it is so important to get any issues checked out by a registered health professional.
I shared one of my tips for releasing shoulder tension – you’ll see it in the video, but it involves intentionally drawing the shoulders up to the neck, noticing that you have to do something to make them stay there – put your brain in your neck – then take your brain out of your neck and your shoulders will no longer stay up so high.
I mentioned a video from English National Opera which details the process of air being converted into sound.
Ever wondered what happens in the body when you sing? 🎶
Watch to see how a singer turns air into song 👇
Discover more in our full @bbcbitesize lesson on singing 👉 https://t.co/wf9VUAI4Q9#ENOBaylis#BBCBitesize@NardusWilliams pic.twitter.com/bADrn6BOVP
— English National Opera (@E_N_O) July 15, 2020
I also talked about an experiment that I like to try: sing the phrase without breathing in – I’m always amazed how much of the phrase I can sing. It really shows that breath technique is about an efficient use of breath, rather than needing to take in giant gulps of air. Always remember to allow the stomach muscles to soften as you breathe in, allowing the diaphragm to move downwards. When you start singing the aim could be not to use all the air in the first milisecond, and I really find this so much easier to begin with having a smaller volume of air as I begin working.
I reminded you of some of my tips around keeping the vowel alive, relaxing the muscles around the cheeks, lip and chin, tongue position, noticing that the vowel can stay as we kind of flip the consonant into the stream of vowel, and we finally sang through one of my favourites:
Dream a little Dream of me:
Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper I love you
Birds singing in a sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
Come back on Thursday 23rd July at 5.30pm on my Youtube Channel for the next in the series where I will share some more tips on how to take care of your voice and optimise your performance.