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By Selena, 20/05/2021, Category:Singing with freedom and creativity, Unlock your vocal potential, Breathing and Posture
I bet there’s something in life that you’re really good at – right? Either something in your field of work, or a hobby, a creative endeavour, or a personal quality. Yeah? So you probably know what it’s like to be doing something for years, you know it really well, you’re an expert at it… and then suddenly you get a whole new insight into it! … a lightbulb goes off in your understanding of it … Have you had that experience? Well it happened to me just a couple of weeks ago. I was working with a singing student. (In person again, which was great, and probably facilitated this insight). We were exploring some processes that I often do with my students early on in a lesson. We were doing what I call ‘free-moving-sounding’. It’s a kind of warm-up. Basically I invite the student to stretch and move freely in whatever way their body calls them to. They just flow with movement to release tension anywhere in the body. I do it with them to model it and encourage it. And I invite them to let sound flow freely at the same time. Any sounds are welcome - Groaning, moaning, sighing, yawning, squeaking, yelling growling…and singing of course (though that does tend to come later) It’s really part of the fundamental invitation to ALLOW your Self to be free, and your voice to be free and welcome. To give yourself permission to make sound. Some people love doing this and get into it easily. Others find it hard. But I help them. So my insight on that day was this… Freeing the body and freeing the voice are not 2 separate things…they are a continuum! They should actually be called THE BODYVOICE. Because, you can allow your free-sounding to be an extension of the stretching you’re doing. Making noises that literally arise from the energy in the parts of the body that you are stretching. It’s like, you can’t disconnect the movement from the sound. They are part of a single flow. Stretching the body releases physical and emotional tension. Free-sounding releases physical and emotional tension. Are you with me? I’m sure you know the feeling of getting up in the morning, stretching your arms out and having a yawn-groan. That’s the same thing. BodyVoice release. And this concept connects to that common phrase, ‘why don’t you get it off your chest?’. I mean, that’s literally saying, ‘you’ve got some emotion or story present in your chest, and you need to voice it.’ Right? So I hope I’m making sense and you can see the truth in this. So, why is this so important for your singing? Well, a lot of people say they want to sing more authentically. Great goal. I really support that. And it feels amazing when you do. So think about it – could you imagine a person singing a song with great authenticity, freedom and power, if their body was stiff and they had loads of suppressed emotional niggles? No, exactly, I’m sure you can’t. To sing authentically and expressively you need to have the ability to express and release genuine emotion of all kinds, especially those niggles and gripes and stuff that’s on your chest. And you need to have done a bit of that, before you sing …to literally clear out the channel for sound. To set up the pathway for emotions to flow through your voice. And the more you’ve expressed, or cleared out, the most live emotional issues inside yourself, the more you’re free to connect to the emotions in the song and express them powerfully. So go on, tune into your BodyVoice. Have a good free-flowing-movement-stretch, and let sound come uncensored along with it. It feels great. Even 2 minutes helps. Although 5 minutes is better. (I do this every morning before breakfast.) It’s healthy and life-enhancing for your body, mind and spirit. And it’s essential groundwork for your free, authentic, expressive singing. Enjoy.... and let me know what you think, by leaving a comment below! Thanks :)
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