In the event you’ve been round musical ensembles for any size of time, no matter the kind of music, that good posture will get harped on repeatedly. Sitting or standing with unhealthy posture reduces the general wind capability of the ensemble, and appears sloppy in efficiency. Particularly for choir, although, unhealthy posture is an immense block to growing choral sound. A few of the the explanation why:
*Being slumped ahead, or to both aspect, compresses the lungs, and limits the movement of the diaphragm. The abdomen can be much less capable of transfer freely through the consumption of breath. The singer, due to this fact, is compelled into way more frequent breaths, every one being at a extremely decreased effectivity. This makes singing prolonged phrases and clean traces tough if not unimaginable.
*When the physique is bent/folded by poor posture, resonating areas throughout the physique are deformed. This turns what may very well be a powerful voice right into a a lot lighter, much less mature sound, usually with utterly wasted air transferring by way of the mouth. This forces conductors to hunt extra sound from the ensemble. The ensemble, in flip, has to breathe extra usually to maintain up with their unsupported sound. The identical ensemble with good posture must work far much less to supply an equal dynamic, with a a lot cleaner high quality.
*Poor posture typically signifies inattentiveness, whether or not in a job interview, on a parade floor, or in an ensemble. It encourages singers to speak extra, hear much less, and pay much less consideration to the sound of the choir. Inherently, a much less attentive choir will not be listening to one another for mix, will take longer to be taught music, and is extra vulnerable to errors.
To fight the problem of poor posture, choral administrators have a normal phrase (discovered from their dad and mom): “Rise up straight!” Alternately, in rehearsal, “Sit up!” That easy command tells the ensemble a number of issues, a few of which repair issues, a few of which create them. To additional clarify:
*It tells the ensemble to straighten their backs. A straight again can take away strain from the interior organs, open airways, and let every breath be extra environment friendly.
*It tells the ensemble to suck of their stomachs. This seems to be good, however signifies that the ensemble cannot let their stomachs out when inhaling. In the event that they’re additionally nonetheless not allowed to let shoulders go up an down after they breathe, they’re again to essentially small breaths. (For the document, shoulders needn’t transfer to breathe, so long as the torso is free to broaden and contract correctly.)
*It tells the ensemble to drag again, or “sq.”, their shoulders. Pulling them again too far can result in tightness within the chest, and once more harm the room accessible to breathe.
*It tells the ensemble to stiffen their our bodies into inflexible varieties. Any guesses as to the place that is going? That is proper, restricted movement means restricted respiration. An ensemble centered on their look cannot be as centered listening and mixing.
In an effort to right each extremes, a cheerful medium should be discovered. The one simplest way to try this is in rehearsal– we carry out the way in which we apply. I do know that each ensemble has the ability to step up a notch when the highlight is on. Each ensemble goes the additional mile the evening of efficiency. The distinction is the place the “additional” mile begins. A choir with good posture to start out with shall be stellar, as an alternative of acceptable. Methods to be a stellar choir (no less than for posture and free breath)?
*When rehearsing seated, ask your singers to sit down on the entrance fringe of their chairs, and to elongate their spines. The top ought to relaxation, virtually float, on high of the neck. The backbone ought to proceed straight down the again into the pair of “sit bones” on the pelvis. Ft needs to be evenly spaced, and each on the ground. This distributes weight and strain evenly into the chair and the ground. (Ft ought to have a small share of the burden.) Weight and strain are directed to assist constructions, to not particular person joints that have been by no means meant to hold load.
*When standing, have the ensemble place their ft virtually immediately beneath their shoulders, and organize themselves in order that the burden is carried easily into the ground. Weight needs to be balanced on a tripod between the heel, large toe, and the ball of the smallest toe for optimum stability.
*Encourage your singers to broaden from the abdomen by way of the chest when respiration. In the event that they have been filling a glass, they’d fill it from the underside up. Do the identical factor with the physique.
*Follow lengthy tones in warmups, to make sure that everybody is considering the right way to get probably the most air.
Doing this stuff will create an ensemble able to going with you thru the longest phrases, attaining probably the most various dynamics, and the richest sounds attainable. Be a stickler for well-supported however not inflexible posture in rehearsal. The ensuing sound is effectively price your funding of time, and the “additional mile” shall be incredible.
Good luck in rehearsal and on the stage.