Hooray! I finally found enough time to put together day 30 of the ‘singing from home’ vlog.
I’ve been busy working on some repertoire as well as having ideas and planning what I can do while I wait for public performances to start up in the future. By the time I’ve done some creative thinking, a bit of work on my tax return and sport and/or yoga, I just seem to run out of hours in the day.
Anyway, I noticed on my morning run that my form and pace were better when I focussed on opening my chest. It’s a huge part of good singing posture so I wanted to vlog about some ways to work on freeing the upper torso.
As always, yoga’s a great place to start and a simple cat-cow will get things moving. There’s a lovely phrase that yoga teachers use: “yearn (or shine) the heart forward” and it’s a good way to achieve a lifted, open chest. Simultaneously, slide the shoulder blades down the back (another yoga classic) and you should find that the shoulders are nice and relaxed, down and away from the ears.
Once you’ve mastered that, you need a way of transitioning to standing in the practice room. I suggest clasping your hands into a single fist behind you, arms straight and shoulders squeezing together. Then, experiment with singing in this position. I find that I’m instantly more aware of resonance across the chest, that I have a more solid foundation from which to breathe and that the sound feels more grounded when I sing.
Of course, we can’t stay like that for performance and we also need to work on retaining space across the back and shoulder blades at the same time. But, for now, the next stage is to imagine holding a rugby ball in front of you when you sing. It keeps the chest lifted; weirdly, I find that the imagined weight of the ball keeps the shoulders down; and it also introduces some space under the armpits which is helpful when singing. The latter helps to give you space for your back and rib cage to expand.
So, back with another bossy, instructional vlog but I hope it’s useful!
Stay cheered, stay healthy and stay lifted and open. Lots of love xx