These two exercises are both great for teaching our bodies how to release tension in the throat.
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THE FIRST EXERCISE is simply to slide with your voice from low to high and back again, like a siren.
The magic of this activity comes from doing specific visualizations while you’re making these siren sounds. These visualizations will help you to stay light and easy, keeping your throat as relaxed as you can.
The goal of each of these visualizations is ultimately to take the focus away from your throat, and show you ways to access other, more helpful ways of using your body to sing with ease.
Here are a few super-helpful visualizations to try:
- Imagine the notes coming up the back of your head and then out your mouth (bypassing the throat)
- Imagine that your sound is being produced at the front of your teeth, or right outside your lips (not in your throat).
- Picture the sound as a ribbon or a butterfly floating out of your mouth and around in the air, as if by magic.
- Picture yourself in the middle of a mist of sound — and that the sound you’re making is just part of that mist.
- Imagine that you’re smiling a small smile of contentment as you sing — this will cause a slight repositioning of all the parts of the inside of your mouth — opening things up inside and bringing your focus to the front of your face.
- Trust that your sound will come out and move around just great simply by LETTING it, as opposed to MAKING it happen. Visualize having a confidence in your voice that you may not actually have yet!
IN THE SECOND EXERCISE you’ll sing separate notes, while continuing to use these visualizations Again the goal is to keep your sound light, and your consciousness away from your throat.
The notes can be from the scale (that familiar “do-re-me” you’re probably familiar with) or any pre-arranged combination of notes, they can be notes from part of a song you know, or they can be just a little tune that you make up on the spot. What notes you choose to sing doesn’t matter as much as the way in which you’re singing them.
Instead of landing hard on each note, practice landing on them lightly — practically gliding through them. Imagine floating up or down a flight of stairs lightly touching on each step, rather than walking with full weight on each step.
Doing these exercises for even a few minutes starts teaching your body a new way of moving between notes in songs. It’s not that you’ll always need to sing this way — it’s that you’ll have much more access to singing this way so you can choose to sing more lightly when you want to, and develop a habit of not pushing so hard. Great for your throat!
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