Thursday, January 31, 2019 by Rebecca Keogh | Uncategorized
There are many reasons why you might be finding it difficult to reach those high notes. It could be down to bad technique, lack of experience, poor health, or anxiety for example. Working with a singing teacher who has some knowledge of how the voice works can help you achieve your singing goals.
Be prepared to get physical! I once had a student who when asked to do this exercise asked me if I was having a laugh...I wasn't! In fact he was so taken back by it, he never returned! That has only happened once, and most of my students come to class with an open mind and are willing to roll with it, even they shy ones, because they want to improve their singing! So don't be a shy panda and give it a go!
This is a trick I picked up at the ‘BAST’ workshop, at the Vocology In Practice seminar last April and its proven to be quite successful in my studio. As you approach the high note or phrase, raise your hands, over your head and bend the knees slightly at the same time. This transfers the muscle effort to your arms and legs, distracting your brain enough to stop any muscle tension happening in the vocal tract area, helping to eliminate strain. You can do this exercise without the knee bend, but I have found it to be an effective addition. Relax back to your normal posture as you leave the difficult area of the song or scale.
It also positions your rib cage for optimal breath support. Basically, your lungs will have space to fill with air, as opposed to how slouching restricts the breathing mechanism (the lungs) when we are slumped over. This made complete sense to me when I learned about this exercise, as I compared it to when we need to yawn, we often automatically have to stretch our arms upwards in order to satisfy the need for more air. This is instinctive, and our body's way of helping us inhale more oxygen when we need a top up. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you.