Is the instrument you’re currently playing state-of-the-art?
Singers require sports-specific training as much as any other professional athlete. Optimal alignment, stamina and stability are vital for your craft.
Good alignment is essential for vocal development and performance. A well-aligned spine facilitates free laryngeal movement, full breathing, and the ability to sing with consistent technique regardless of your stage director’s demands. In the course of day-to-day living, however, most people develop common postural distortions that limit technique or require compensations that can be fatiguing. It's important to take inventory of those distortions, and they can almost always be completely resolved through a well-designed exercise regimen.
Vocal stamina – the ability to sustain long phrases and survive long operas – depends on cardiorespiratory fitness. Your respiratory system’s primary responsibility is delivering oxygen to your body, and singing places additional demands on it. Good cardiorespiratory fitness is therefore essential for singing, particularly when stage movement is involved. If you want to boost your cardiorespiratory fitness, you need to learn the exercise strategies that create permanent improvement in this crucial area.
Dynamic stability is important for both breath management and stage movement. Singers must continually compensate for the impact movement has on technique. If your technique falls apart on stage, it’s a clear indication that you need to develop a strong core as well as stability throughout your torso and limbs. By learning to incorporate balance and stabilization techniques into your exercise regimen, you can create the overall stability you need to engage your best technique regardless of any movement challenges your director requires of you.
I’m dedicated to raising our community’s awareness about the benefits of sports-specific training for singers. I have presented workshops on singing and fitness at Symposia of The Voice Foundation and the Performing Arts Medicine Association, and I write a monthly column on singing and fitness for Classical Singer Magazine*.
If you’re already a fitness enthusiast, I can customize your exercise regimen to ensure the greatest possible payoff for your singing.
If you’re new to exercise, there is no better time than the present to dive in! I'll help you hit the ground running (or swimming, or cycling) with singer-friendly strategies from the very start. I was a late bloomer where fitness is concerned – I know how daunting it can seem, but I also know that if I could develop a passion for exercise, anyone can.
Come see me for a one-on-one assessment and program design session and let me get you started or raise your game. I also offer fitness workshops and classes in the New York area, so email me to get on my list to receive more information whenever a class is announced or arrange for a phone consultation to find out whether I'm a good fit to help you meet your fitness goals.
Fitness Client Testimonials
Developing a fitness plan with Claudia was unlike any other exercise regime I have ever done. In our first appointment, she not only listened to my history and goals, but also dove straight into a detailed assessment of my current physical health. This included measurements that are singing-specific (and had been overlooked by previous trainers with whom I’d worked), including a complete postural, cardiovascular, and balance assessment. As she took me through the new routine, Claudia was particularly mindful of my form as it affects my singing. Even in exercises I had done a million times in my youth as a swimmer were reframed with goals as a singer. Claudia was detailed in explaining how to build strength and tone in my body that would stabilize my shoulders and build core strength that would allow me to keep my ribs expanded and not inhibit the movement of my abs. Having a detailed and actionable plan for my physical and SINGING health has helped eliminate the frustration that comes from shoulders I can’t keep down and ribs that won’t stay expanded. It is true that these skills cannot be “willed” into compliance through my time practicing and in lessons alone. I am now empowered to take actual steps to improving areas of my singing that otherwise cannot be adequately addressed!
I highly recommend Claudia Friedlander as a personal trainer for singers. When I accepted an offer to sing Madama Butterfly, I knew that the demands of the role would be greater than anything I’d previously performed. At this time my routines included walking, yoga, Zumba, and the elliptical machine. I was interested to add strength training in, but wanted to do so under the guidance of someone who understood the musculature of singing. Claudia quickly and thoroughly learned my goals, my exercise experience, and then expertly tailored a program that addressed my current areas of concern while also finding routines and movements that would help develop and prepare the strength needed for weeks of kneeling and walking in heavy Geisha costumes and narrow sandals. I got so much value in this one program! Claudia oversaw the first run through of my program and helped to ensure I would have success working through it on my own. It was always a pleasure to work with her because she was endlessly encouraging and thoughtful. She offered many insights about my body and natural abilities that gave me confidence to strengthen. As a result, I was extremely well prepared for my first rehearsal and role debut! Thank you, Claudia! I look forward to working with you further to reach my goals healthfully as a singer!
*Readers of this blog can received a discounted subscription to Classical Singer by clicking on this link.
I am certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.