Reflection Of The Day 🌀 Singing Is Like Walking
When you hear the word 'walking', what comes to your mind? Walking can be so many different things. Does it require a lot of energy? Is it difficult for you? Well, you might argue, that depends. And yes, it depends. Since you can trudge, saunter, amble, you can march, wander, stride, hike, and I bet we could find many more variations for the word 'to walk'. Maybe skip? Or hopscotch? Anyway, I think we can agree on the fact that walking is a physical thing. And that trudging needs less energy than hiking or striding, don't you think? And what do you think about the degree of difficulty in walking? It's probably not hard for you to walk from your kitchen table to your fridge. But it might be. Right after getting out of bed in the morning. Or because you have a sore foot. Or a broken leg even. And hiking along a narrow, rugged path high up in the mountains can be difficult, right? Or maybe up a steep hill. Or back down. Or balancing along a slack line.
Okay, now you're like, what's her point? I'm telling you what my point is: Singing is just as much a physical thing as walking. Only we don't use that many different verbal variations for it (even though there are a few, like chant, intone, croon, belt out). It's just 'singing'. We were all born (at least most of us) with two legs to walk on and a voice to speak and sing with. Some things come easy to us, some we have to work on. And just like in walking, in singing it depends very much on the circumstances and our intentions, how much PHYSICAL energy we need to give. How do I want to sing (aka trudge, saunter, march, hike, ...)? Do I sing a lullaby or a hymn or a rock song? There are countless options, and each one requires a different energy, and maybe even set of skills. AND: it's different for everyone.
Also, isn't it much easier to walk when using your arms? We actually use our whole body for walking. So we should do that when we sing too! And doesn't it make a lot of sense to get physically fit before you start a day-long hike in Yosemite? So what do you do to stay fit for singing?
FACT IS WE USE OUR ENTIRE BODY TO SING. SINGING IS SOUND, AND THERE'S NO SOUND WITHOUT AIR. THEREFORE WE NEED OUR BREATH WHEN WE SING, WE BREATH INTO OUR LUNGS WHICH ARE CONNECTED AND CONTROLLED BY THE DIAPHRAGM. THERE'S DIFFERENT SETS OF MUSCLES ALL OVER OUR TORSO AND NECK THAT HELP US BREATH AND USE OUR DIAPHRAGM FOR SUPPORT.
Maybe your body has let you down in one way or another – because you were/are sick, because you get older or for a million other reasons –, and your voice is not what it used to be. Of course it's not. Because it's an integral part of your body. And I'm not talking about the vocal folds. They're important, but they're tiny and well protected. I'm talking about the muscles in your torso. About your whole body. If you want to recover your voice after an illness or in the process of aging, it makes a lot of sense to give your body some attention, treat it well and wake it up. To befriend your body (again) and embrace changes without giving in to them. So the muscles can pick up their job. It also makes a lot of sense to be PATIENT. Just like after your leg was broken, you don't take the cast off and hike away or put your point shoes on. You take your time to rebuild and recover. And maybe now every step needs a little more energy than it used to be.
Your body is your vehicle, and your body is your instrument. When you allow and enable your body to help – to SUPPORT you, your legs will carry you far, and your voice will take wings.