When most singers first come to me with vocal goals, we usually talk about wanting to expand our range, "hit the high notes", find more ease in our singing, nail the riffs, or stay more on pitch.
What most of my students are surprised to discover is this - almost all of these problems can be impacted by our posture from the neck down! Believe it or not, singing really is a full body activity! When we hold tension in our muscles or when our body is off balance, it can create unnecessary tension that gets in the way of our breath support mechanism and vocal freedom.
If you haven't tried incorporating posture into your singing practice, try out this step-by-step process to find your singing posture. You might be surprised by what you discover!
As always, listen to your own body and play around with what feels best to you! No two bodies are the same, so trust your instincts :)
Balancing the ankles and feet. Start by taking off your shoes and finding your feet below your hip points (the bones that stick straight out when you're facing forward.) Feel all 10 toes and the corners of your feet pressing evenly into the ground. Do you tend to lean more on one foot than the other?
Find a soft bend in the knees. Now that you've got a firm foundation in your feet, line your knees up with your ankles. Do your knees want to turn out or knock together? Find a slight bend , making sure they don't go past the end of your toes.
Balance the hips. One of my favorite ways to do this is by pretending you have an imaginary hula hoop! Push your hips all the way to one side, then the other. Then push them all the way forward and back. Roll them all the way around in a circle. Can you find center now in both directions? Make sure your weight stays even in both feet.
Balance the ribs. Just like we did with the hips, we're now going to isolate the ribs! Push your ribcage all the way forward, trying not to move your hips. Now concave your ribs back. Push to the right and left. Now that you've found all the extremes, find center by stacking the ribs above your hips.
Center the head. Last but certainly not least, the neck! I like to use a mirror for this one to really see the changes. Push your chin all the way forward like a turtle, then tuck it back like you have a double chin. Lean your head side to side. Now find center. Many of us, especially because of phones and computers, have a tendency to jut our necks forward and down or hunch our shoulders. Imagine you have a string at the top of your head that lightly pulls you upwards.
Now that you're all lined up, try a favorite warm up or vocal passage! Does it feel easier? Is there anywhere that feels strange or new now that you're standing in the singers posture? Drop a comment with your discoveries! Happy singing! :)
If you're interested in learning more about the singer's posture or finding freedom in your singing voice, set up a lesson with Celia here!
That's all for now!