Singing Lessons: Turn Your Singing Upside-Down & Get Surprising Results!
Change Your Singing By Changing Your Perspective
In my voice studio, I often use words like play, experiment, feel, and imagine.
I incorporate untraditional movements into the lesson time; the goal being to override vocal muscle-memory and allow a space for the student to see their potential in a new light.
This opening allows a brighter and wider view of their horizon, evidence that the “rules” can bend and boundaries may expand.
It is the new perspective that shifts everything.
So, how about this shift? What if you sing upside-down?
My undergraduate voice instructor, Patricia Gee, introduced this concept to me through a book called “A Soprano on Her Head” by Eloise Ristad. In the opening pages, Eloise shares an experience where she and another singer discover a new way of finding a relaxed and easily placed sound.
And while I will share this valuable exercise with you today, I would like to first emphasis Eloise’s bigger awareness, “The important thing we did was to establish an open, flexible, experimental state of mind – a state of curiosity and excitement.”
[Tweet “A singer’s curiosity & willingness to experiment allows for a creative breakthrough.”]
Weaving this philosophy through your artistic process will yield unforeseen awareness and success.
Last week in the Speak Singing exercise, we talked about allowing for a lifted soft palate, relaxed larynx, and a loose jaw and tongue. If you would like to experiment with this a bit further, let’s play with singing upside-down.
Singing Upside-Down Does 8 Things:
1. Relaxes the Tongue
2. Releases the Jaw Hinge
3. Activates a Low Breath
4. Frees the Neck
5. Opens the Passage Between the Throat and the Sinus
6. Supports the Sensation of Mask Resonance
7. Lifts the Soft Palate
8. Takes Pressure off the Larynx
Your Rejoice In Your Voice™ Assignment
Watch the video demonstration and read the step-by-step instructions below.
1. Lean over at the hip joints
2. Let the torso dangle
3. Head drop and relax
4. Take in an easy breath
5. Feel the breath expansion in your lower abdominals
6. On the exhale, sing a phrase of music or 4 or 5-note pattern
7. Give special attention to allowing for a loose and relaxed neck
NOTE: Some singers may find that when they inhale or exhale their neck may want to “grab” – breathe and allow the neck to dangle and relax once more. This “neck grabbing” reaction is a valuable clue that there may be habitual neck tension when the singer is singing upright.
8. Sing through the phrase or note pattern again, but this time…
9. Slowly come up to a standing position in the middle of the singing phrase
10. Continue to sing, using the same space you did when you were upside-down
What do you notice? How does it feel?
Everyone is different, but I have found that for my students and me, this exercise creates an open, flexible, and easily balanced head voice. Singing feels easier. Sound is more clear and rich.
Try singing upside-down for yourself.
Play, experiment, and celebrate your discoveries, whatever they may be, and always Rejoice In Your Voice™.
Let me know how the exercise goes in the comment section below and share this post with a singer friend!
P.S. Would you like to take voice lessons?
Email me today for your free 30-minute singing lesson and voice assessment in-studio or via skype – my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you!