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Sing Like You Speak: Bodacious Body Alignment for Bodacious Voices

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Here are my answers to recently asked questions on www.TheModernVocalist.com about posture and pitch.

How is it that the posture isn't naturally good?

Why is it we don't hear ourselves accurately?

Why don't we automatically express our feeling lyrically and musically?

To address the first question about good posture being natural. It is! Let's go back in time to the beginning of your life.

Infants and young children have perfect, erect posture that allows the voice to function naturally with no muscular tension. None of the bad postural habits and tensions have taken up residence in a young child's body.

Perfect alignment leaves the child's instrument relaxed and open and therefore, free to produce sound with ease. The baby's vocalization is instinctive. The baby is hungry, his brain responds with take a breath and yell. The absence of vocal strain testifies to a naturally functioning instrument.

You go off to school then enter peer pressure and fear of judgment, which can begin to collapse the vocal instrument, a.k.a., your body alignment. A bit of slump in the posture appears. Then the teenage years bring the cool slouch and mumbling. The tension of everyday life continues to increase as you mature, causing the posture to implode even more.

As your instrument collapses, you have to work harder and harder to produce sound. Because the breath path is now crooked or crimped, it requires more physical effort to get the breath and sound to move through. This is why most people develop bad muscle memory.

Good posture is natural. Life's challenges will collapse our naturally straight alignment unless we pay attention to keeping the heart high and open and the chin level to the floor.

To address the second question: Why don't I hear myself accurately?

The answer is that you do hear yourself accurately; you just don't hear yourself as others do. You hear yourself from the inside through bone and muscle. Others hear your sound through the eardrums and the vibratory resonance of your voice.

It is a skill you must develop to listen internally in a world where we are spoon-fed every sound bite and image. That is why I always begin lessons with a meditative breathing exercise http://vocalpowertools.com/educators-voice-teachers-lessons.htm to open and relax the body and switch your focus from exterior chaos to interior calm.

I would also suggest that it's the music you are not listening to accurately. Usually this is because negative self-talk clogs our heads as soon as we begin to make a sound. If you are listening to You can't do this! Then you can't hear that gorgeous A flat 7 chord. Surrender to the music and you will find your pitch to be true.

Why don't we automatically express our feeling lyrically and musically?

We express the feeling that is most forward in our minds. If your thought is, Oh, my God! My ex is here! Then that's the feeling you will express. Do you know why you begin to sing? What happens the moment before you begin that propels you into the song? You need to know so your mind is in the proper mode to express your feelings.

Another tactic is speaking on pitch. You talk all day long without thinking about how your feelings will be expressed. That is because your body is responding naturally to the command to communicate. Pitch inflects in response to your emotional expression.

You speak on pitch in normal conversation. You also speak in rhythm sometimes smooth and legato, sometimes pointed and staccato. The musical elements of speech define your distinct voice. Pitch and rhythm specify the meaning of your words and give them life. Others recognize your speaking voice by its musical qualities.

Using the speaking voice as a foundation for singing solves many typical vocal challenges. Fully embodied speech grounds the vocalization process deep in the body where support and strength are provided. This grounding in turn creates a fatter sound wave around the fundamental pitch giving your voice a richer quality.

Speaking on pitch allows your vocal instrument to respond naturally to the music. Give it a try!

You will find more in depth answers to these and other questions in my book, Morganix Method: Sing Like You Speak found on my website, www.VocalPowerTools.com

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