I frequently read, especially in the web, about the “right method”, the “universal vocal technique”, the “new one” that overcomes to old and no more useful way to sing.
The respiratory dynamics becomes cause of clash between different teachers and coaches, searching for the perfect movement, the absoute control of the body micro mobility. Methaphors ride, comparing muscles to rubber bands, the singers is described like an athlete, the diaphragm (poor diaphragm) to anything that makes it easy to be described.
In my daily work, as osteopath treating singers and musicians, what I often see is the abuse of some hiper thecnicality in the vocal practice, that sometime becomes stressing at a postural and dynamic level. The cause?
Perhaps the lack of student comprehension, but also the low sensitivity (or specific preparation) of the teacher in observing the potentials or limits of the student.
We cannot apply the same methodology with the same results to all our students.
I observe and keep note of the most frequent problems of many of my patients, singers with postural disfunctions, in relation to the practice of singing;
I hope it will be useful to your didactic. The most common problems encountered:
- asymmetries of ribs movements
- difficulties in managing the ribs and abdominal movements
- excessive tension of the trunk and head postural muscles
- excessive muscular tension on the shoulders elevators.
These, among many others, are frequent problems in students who require my osteopathic cure. Sometimes problems also affect experienced professionals.
Is possible to solve these, restoring a physiological control of muscular activity. However, my invitation is mainly addressed to teachers. Methods should not be stictly standardized but adapted to the specificity of each student body. This principle is correct also for musicians, playing instruments. Improving coastal biomechanic, the coordination of the diaphragmatic bellow, normalizing the postural tension, is the goal of manual and re-education approach, always in collaboration with other specialists.
The management of forces, positions, is an important task for the teacher. He must be always clear in the speech and showing exercises for a correct student’s daily improvement.
Understanding the presence of problems listed above and not treating them, means an immediate loss of performance, and may bring to most serious dysfunctions or pathologies.
And you, teacher, coach or professional of the voice? What are the most frequent problems in you experience? Write them here if you want.