Here in this moment I let go
Each blade of grass has an angel leaning over
(From my song Breathe)
They’re here! The Holly Daze (and my birthday! I’m partial to emeralds). Well, now that we have all finished the left over candy from Halloween, griped about the Christmas decorations that were up before Halloween,(that really frosts my pumpkin!) we can accept the fact – we’re going into the season of FEELINGS. LOTS of FEELINGS.
So I wanted to share a little vocal exercise that also helps calm the nerves, is fun, and can be done just about anywhere. (If you don’t mind looking/sounding a little goofy in line at Target).
Take in a deep breath as if you are filling a glass with water. The bottom of the glass fills first, of course, and as you take the breath in, expand your relaxed tummy, and BACK. The chest doesn’t move much and shoulders are relaxed.
Now you’re ready for… Lip bubble. You know the one -- you keep a steady stream of air going through your lips and make that “burr” sound. Some folks have an easier time with tongue trills, and they will work too, rolling the r’s in a steady stream. That’s the trick – to expel the air so slowly and quietly that you could keep it going for a while. The more you can relax the face and lips, the easier it will be. Sometimes if you have a hard time getting started, you can place your index finger and middle finger from both hands right under the corners of the lower lip and gently push up, supporting the lips.
The point is to get in touch with your breathing. This simple exercise will regulate your breath, and help strengthen your voice. It will also come in handy for upping your energy level and help you sustain those notes. The body and brain are wild about more oxygen!
I like telling my students; “If you have the breath, you’ll have the note.” So, this holiday season – don’t forget to BREATHE! And SING! Sing in the car, sing in the shower, sing anywhere you can, because singing is one of the best things you can do for your health! You are “toning” for yourself, and actually aligning your mind, body and spirit. If you'd like to learn more about toning, please come to my workshop entitled "The Power of 12 and Toning" on Dec. 21 in Brookfield, IL.
So – as we move into this season – TOGETHER – let’s all take it easy, stay hydrated (also good for the voice) not leave the house on an empty stomach, have some nuts/fruit, with us, and see how long we can keep the lip bubble/tongue trill going! It’s FUN! And we could all use a little bit more of that. Remember the 11th commandment: “Thou Shalt Lighten Up”!