Balancing the Physical, Mental and Emotional Aspects of Singing
© Copyright 2015 Yvonne DeBandi
Singing is a beautiful, athletic artform; the result of the balance of physical, emotional and mental choices of the artist. Some artists focus on the technical side of singing, others focus on delivering their message and mind-blowing performances; but the true artist will work at achieving a personal, unique synergy between all three.
Some singers make it much more difficult on themselves than it has to be by confusing the issue with two words, “right” and “wrong.” This is especially true for young singers training with personal coaches. You must remember that when it comes to art, right and wrong don’t really exist. What matters is did you make the best possible choice (with your current level of skills) to achieve your goal. Meaning, did you have a musical idea in your head, that you physically, emotionally and mentally made the right choices to sign your personal signature?
Remember, NOT making a choice is an ABSOLUTE choice. So if you never take the time to practice opening your mouth taller or to concentrate on that skill while you are practicing, you are CHOOSING to sing with a smaller mouth. Make sense?
Here are some examples of challenges I regularly see in each of the three areas:
Physically – is your body and vocal instrument in good enough shape, with enough developed stamina and dexterity to get your best possible sound with the least amount of effort? Are all the necessary muscles and membranes properly warmed up and ready for the expected exertion? Are you using your full body to sing, with deep full breaths? Is there any kind of tension stealing energy from your vocal tone?
Emotionally – do you have a true understanding of the meaning you wish to convey in the song. Are you 100% committed to the acting required to convey this meaning for the ENTIRE song, or are you easily distracted by the audience, personal thoughts, worry over your performance, etc.
Mentally – do you have the confidence and belief that you belong on that stage? Do you know your lyrics? Do you have stage fright? Do you know your melody inside out? Can you hear it in your head without any music?
The funny thing about art is that it is ever evolving. When an artist of any kind studies their craft, they gain skills and experience, along with opinions of their personal likes and dislikes; and of course don’t forget that many of the greatest works of art come from full blown out mistakes. And while many “interns” of a craft will try to copy the great masters, be sure that you are allowing yourself a chance to develop your own style. Just because you don’t sing it like someone else, or perhaps like the artist on the radio, doesn’t mean it is “wrong”.
So as an artist, don’t put yourself in a closed box. Learn as much as you can about your craft so you can make the best possible choices, suitable for your specific instrument. And while mentors and teachers can guide you there, ONLY YOU can take true responsibility for your development.
So next time you sing a song that you feel you can sing better, remind yourself that if you were knowledgeable about the choices, you could get closer to your personal goals…and when you begin making specific choices about your singing, you begin making art.
© Copyright 2015 Yvonne DeBandi, BME
All rights reserved worldwide.
Do not copy or distribute without the Author’s written permission.
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