I hope that the first article on singing, “Everyone Can Sing”, encouraged you to take the path full of surprises and dangers, which is singing. Full of surprises is understandable, but why full of dangers?
Because the released voice has an effect similar to a depth charge. When you let your voice enter all those parts of your body that you have never suspected of vibrating or resonating, they are freed from the emotions that physically find their place in them, creating a blockage for the energy that wants to move freely in our body . Confronting the emotions, which, however, for some reason we decided to block, is the most difficult part of the singer’s work. We then work with inexpressible regret, fear, anger and aggression. For example, discovering anger in a person who sees himself as an angel of peace and is afraid to disturb this image is not only about letting these emotions express himself, but most of all changing his beliefs about himself. This is the danger with which I started this article. Of course, let’s treat them in quotation marks, because there is nothing dangerous in the mere search for your voice. Danger only affects our old ideas about ourselves and our voice, which disappear under the influence of work, giving place to the new.
“Readiness for changes and the courage to accept them is an inseparable element of the work of not only a singer, but also every musician.”
OK, but how do you start this work? My suggestion is to stop for a moment. This may be the time we devote to daily exercise.
When we stop for a moment and listen to our breathing, the emotional state we are in becomes obvious to us to read. In order to work effectively, i.e. without being distracted, we need a state of relaxation and a feeling of unity with our body. In this state, working with the voice does not have to take a long time, because we do not have to fight the typical symptoms of exercise such as fatigue and distraction.
“The mind is like a vessel of water that we are constantly moving about. The water is turbulent, muddy and overflows. It happens that the mind, shaken by anxiety, does not give us rest even at night. We wake up tired. shattered and with strength to live. When we decide to stay alone for some time, it is as if we put a vessel with water in one place. Nobody moves it, moves it, adds nothing; no one mixes the water. Then all impurities sink to the bottom, the water becomes calm and clear. ”
There are many schools that work towards becoming relaxed and focused. Some singers work with yoga, meditation, others work with the chakras. The method I propose is neutral and at the same time contains many elements that appear in different schools.
All you need is a piece of flooring, a sleeping mat or a blanket. Set the timer so that it rings exactly three minutes after you started this exercise. Lie on your back, start the timer and breathe. Count your breaths. One breath is inhale and exhale. Try to focus only on it while observing what is happening with your body. Are your arms tense, what is happening to the lower jaw? Stop at each of them and try to relax them. When the stopwatch lets you know that 3 minutes are up, stop counting breaths. If the sum is less than 16, you are ready to sing. If there are more, your breath tells you about the tension in your body that will always be heard as long as you use your voice. The further we are from the number 16, the more tension there is in our body. Then you should repeat the cycle of 3-minute breaths, this time breathing e.g. twice slower. The trick is not to inhale twice as much, but to exhale twice as slowly.
Let me know what you think. In the next episode I will write more about the next stages of working with voice.