The Vocal Athlete - The Liberated Voice

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06/30/2010

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Frances

I am so with you on this. I believe that the things I do to improve my awareness of my body and other fitness pursuits, such as posture, strength, flexibility etc.. are part of my training myself as a whole singer, and I make these other physical pursuits part of that training.

Having come to this conclusion for my own life, however, one puzzle that remains has been that in reading advice from some of the greatest voices in the greatest singers of all time I will read that many of them did not pursue any particular fitness regimen. In fact, I seem to recall reading one of them saying that all he/she did for any kind of exercise was brisk walking. So, although I make the choice to improve my fitness to benefit my singing, and I can definitely feel the difference it makes, I can understand that some people might not choose that path and still get good results with their voices

But brisk walking is a great exercise, so ...

Claudia Friedlander

Each of us is unique. Certainly there are lucky singers who have achieved great things without a robust exercise regimen. But perhaps they could have achieved even more or had longer careers had they attended to their bodies more carefully.

My concern is that those of us who are less naturally fit and functional not allow treatable physical limitations to keep us from realizing our potential.

Thanks for the post, Frances!

Monster Soprano

Good evening,

I totally agree. As I rediscover my voice in this postpartum period of my life and also continue on my quest to losing weight, I can REALLY tell the days where I exercised and the days I did not. When I exercise, the body is already full of healthy oxygen and my vocal warm ups are short and I can get into the fine tuning of my intrument quickly. Now, don't ask me about the days where Bambina woke up twice and has been crying non-stop...those days, I just don't practice, because I know my body and a bad practice day means 10 days of unlearning. Great post!

Claudia Friedlander

Wow - you really are experiencing a very specific distinction between the way you sing when your whole body is warmed up and the ones when it isn't!

Is there a relationship between what you do in the gym and what you do in the studio? This is exactly the kind of distinction I would like everyone to intvestigate.

Readers who hang out on the New Forum for Classical Singers may already be familiar with Monster Soprano's fitness and weight-management journey. You can learn more by visiting her blog, http://monstersopranoweightlossjourney.blogspot.com/.

Sybariticsinger.wordpress.com

Claudia,
Great post. I started to really enjoy running in undergrad and it began to pay off in my singing. I remember a voice teacher asking me, "What have you been doing - your breath control is so much better!" I've been training recently for the Baltimore Half Marathon - I'll post some updates on my own blog www.sybariticsinger.wordpress.com as I go along. Thanks again for some inspiration!

Claudia Friedlander

It's awesome that your voice teacher noticed the impact your running had on your breath - such an affirmation. Have a great experience with your upcoming marathon, and thanks for sharing your blog URL so we can root for you!

Invisible Oranges

I am not a singer, though I am a musician (guitarist). I find that fitness completely crosses over with musicianship in that it instills discipline and makes one aware of one's breathing - which of course would be crucial to singing.

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