Monday, September 19, 2022

You sing with your whole body – not just your vocal apparatus

As a member of the Natural Voice Network (NVN), I share a belief that our voices are rooted in our bodies.

But it’s not just the NVN, most professional singers believe this too.

Before you can even begin to work with and develop your vocal apparatus — tongue, mouth, larynx, etc. — you need to make sure your whole body is relaxed and available.

It’s no good trying to deal with issues such as a tense tongue or throat if the rest of your body is also in tension.

That’s why I always do a certain amount of physical limbering up in my workshops before we start singing. It’s important to stretch, loosen and relax before we begin to engage our voices.

There is an inherent contradiction involved in getting our bodies ready for singing. On the one hand we need to be strong and supported, not floppy and limp. But on the other hand we need to be relaxed and without tension.

A great exercise for this is to imagine that you are a tree. You have strong, wide, stable roots that go deep into the earth and support you. At the same time, the top half of your body is loose and sways easily with the wind.

Next time when your choir leader makes you do a series of physical limbering up exercises, you’ll know why: we sing with our whole bodies, not just our voices.

other posts

You might also find these older posts useful:

Preparing to sing (a series of four posts)

Why are we stretching when we’ve come to sing?

The singers who didn’t like warm ups (and what became of them)


Chris Rowbury


Get more posts like this delivered straight to your inbox!

Click to subscribe by email.


found this helpful?

I provide this content free of charge, because I like to be helpful. If you have found it useful, you may like to ...

... to say thank you.





Monthly Music Round-up: