Alignment!

Singers! A sequence for physical alignment and optimal instrument accessibility. Stand with your feet very together, feel where your gravity is shifting you, then try to find that centered-balance across both planes of the soles of your feet. Try to feel grounded in the feet and height from the crown of the head. Let the head drop all the way back, slowly and gently, now let the head come all the way forward so the chin is touching the upper chest, and then slowly move the head to an eye level position - as if you are seeing a painting in a museum (not as if you are reading your phone, or looking up at the clouds). This is where the head should align. The chin is not tucked, nor is it reaching up. The nape of the neck will basically be straight, the ears, basically parallel, in relation to the shoulders. Now, open one leg/foot so it is hip width apart. Sit as if you have an imaginary stool, not quite low enough for a chair. Then (as if you were wearing a pair of low-riding jeans) roll the pelvis (where the button would be) up, and the back (center belt loop of the jeans) down. This will roll your hips a bit forward, but thinking up and down is more beneficial. The buttocks may tense, slightly, and the abs may feel, slightly, tucked (not held or pulled in just not hanging out from lack of good posture). This will allow connection and breath support in the abdomen, and also the vital lower, two inches below the navel, for breath control. Now, with arms dangling down by your sides place the palms forward, and then, like a swimmer doing the beginning of a butterfly stroke, roll the arms gently/slightly back in a circular fashion but only allow the hands to get as high as the shoulders; and then let the hands float down again to your sides. This will allow openness in the chest, back, and buoyancy to allow the ribs to stay floating up - not collapsing or scooping back. The sternum should feel open, present, and slightly forward. Then, straighten your legs, (unbend the knees), again slightly, do not lock the legs but do feel straight, mobile, and able. This is the ideal singing posture. Not locked, not slouched, just right — buoyant, erect, mobile, aligned, accessible. As a singer and singing-actor you will have choreography, blocking, and character trait postures that will not always allow this posture 100% of the time, however, like ballet barre vs. dance, this is the ideal alignment to train with, and to serve as a blue-print for how the instrument, like putting together a clarinet, will work optimally. Enjoy!


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