In these strange and uncertain times, keeping a routine can really do wonders for your physical health as well as your mental health.
As our members are unable to meet every Thursday evening as normal, a lot of us are not only missing the social aspect of the choir, but the routine of going along, warming up and singing our hearts out.
Whilst it’s important to keep up practise with the singing side of things, it’s also vital to keep up with warm-up exercises, which can help you loosen up as well as improving your singing technique in various ways.
Even if you’re not a singer, these exercises can be so helpful – especially if you struggle with anxiety, as they can help to keep you feeling grounded.
Our wonderful MD, Catherine Field-Leather, has come up with 5 different mindfulness techniques to try at home. Enjoy – and let us know which one is your favourite in the Facebook comments!
Massage the face and scalp with your fingers, especially around the jaw. Release tension. Pull silly faces, stick out your tongue.
- Stretch the body
Gently tilt the head from side to side, stretching your arms high, then do shoulder rolls.
- Gentle body shake
Shake your legs and arms – even wiggle those toes, hunch the shoulders up for 4 counts and release to a loud “Ah” to loosen up.
With feet shoulder width apart, slowly bend over with arms and head dangling towards the floor. Stick your tongue out to release any tongue tension and then slowly come back up remembering to stack each vertebrae on top of each other (think of a string of pearls). Tick the hips to release tension in lower back. Once back to standing, align the head with a gentle bend in the knees.
With eyes closed, breathe in on a slow count of 4 through the nose and out on an “s” sound. Vary your out-breath counts – 6, 8, 10, 12 etc. Exhale through the lips like a horse.
Spend time just listening to your breath, try to keep those shoulders down! Sit in a chair and bend forward, place your elbows between the knees, breathe in and focus on the back expansion!
Lip buzz: Vibrate your lips together without pitch – this can help maintain a consistent and even pressure when singing; singing is about support and stamina.
Don’t rush these exercises. If you are feeling stressed, just take a moment and breathe…
Header image © Catherine Field-Leather