Updated: Dec 10, 2020
In most pictures of singing lessons, there is a studious soprano standing erect, poised for a floated high note, often with eyebrows, ears, and chest reaching up toward the sky. Take a moment to recreate this posture - you know the one, the concert tenor lengthening the back of his neck and inducing a gently smile not necessarily with pleasure but with the greatest desire for his soft palate to fly up behind his eyes.
Stay there for a few breaths. Does it feel free? Open? Or does it feel, dare I say, a bit like... hard work?
Undoubtedly singing training is a technical process which requires a great deal of diligence, dedication, and focus. But hard work in the upper torso is likely to limit the capacity and agility of the respiratory system (lungs, bronchial tubes, pleural sacs, intercostals, rib cage, and the ever remarked upon diaphragm).
Is it possible, that more liberation for some students might occur sitting down? Where the erect posture might give way to gravity? Or, for another student, while swinging and dancing the room? Or, as urban legends tell us of Andrea Boccelli, lying on the floor?
Perhaps some exploration of the physical nature of singing might be encouraged not only in lessons but in the practice room at home.
Check our next article about posture and singing!