|Originally published: November 17, 2020|
Updated: December 4, 2020
Body Warmups for Choir (and Everyone Else!)
Body warmups are a staple part of rehearsal routines in most choirs because directors know they make the choir sound better. Why? Because the body is an integral part of the vocal instrument. The voice is designed to manifest and express your thoughts, personality and feelings, so ANYTHING going on in your body and mind will transmit to your voice – that’s literally what your voice is for.
Have you ever noticed the ripple effect of tension? Tension affects alignment throughout your body and therefore affects your vocal tract and therefore your ability to achieve your best vocal resonance. One of the immediate rewards of reducing tension is that it makes any physical task more enjoyable! But there’s more: physical warmups quiet our minds and clear our heads. Goodness knows we all need a little more of that in our lives! In the choir setting, the physical warmup encourages a sense of belonging and comfort in the rehearsal space.
Here’s something you can do today: do some gentle movements and stretching to free up and align your body. You can go from the “top down” or the “bottom up,” focussing on neck, shoulders, arms, hips, legs, knees, ankles. Each of the joint areas can be prepared for singing with circling motions in both directions, all the while breathing naturally and freely. The goal is to become more aware of your body and release tension. When it comes to arms and legs, you can do a self massage by gently pounding with a soft fist up and down the limbs on all sides.
Now, doesn’t that feel great?
|The INDIE MUSICIAN SUMMIT is a free 3-day online conference, including 25+ speakers and featured artist performances. This year, it happened on the 27th to 29th of November. Singdaptive’s own VP of Curriculum, Kathy Alexander, presented on how singers can take control of their development by addressing multiple areas of the singing life.|
If this performance of “You Gotta Run” from 2019 doesn’t convince you of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s importance as an activist and entertainer, we don’t know what will! Now in her 70s, Indigenous Artist and Actor Sainte-Marie has been inspiring and challenging people for decades. She won an Oscar for “Up Where We Belong” in 1983, and a Juno Award in 2016 for “Power in the Blood.”
Kathy Alexander is VP of Curriculum for Singdaptive. She was a staff writer for 6 years at VoiceCouncil Magazine and works for the University of Victoria as a practicum supervisor. Kathy is also a singer, vocal coach and choir director. Career highlights include guest appearances in Europe with Quannah Parker jazz fusion band in Norway, and back on the West Coast with Vision TV’s Let’s Sing Again, The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria International Jazz Festival.