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Continuing with the series of Singing with the elements, today is the turn of singing with the water element.
The emotion that relates to the water element is fear and excitement, and the organs related to it are the kidneys and bladder.
Think about the posture we adopt when we are fearful. The body gets ready to run away, so the direction of the body will tend to be backward.
Of course, this is more obvious when the fear is extreme and we literally run away, but on a minor scale, it happens every time we feel fear. For example, when we are on stage! Ok, maybe the word “fear” can be a little bit strong but it is definitely some of it in that nervousness we feel when we are about to sing in front of a lot of people. Or even just a few people! Been there.
Some emotions related to fear are anxiety and nervousness, and the body will tend to express them in a similar way.
When we feel fear, the body will respond. Our breathing shortens and usually gets fast and high on the chest. Our body weight will tend to be backward ready to run away.
Well, imagine having to sing in this situation. The voice is energy, if your intention is backward so will be your voice. Your air is the fuel of your voice, so you need to be able to breathe the right amount of air in the right place. If the breathing is too high (chest breathing) your throat will be tense. Not enough air, no air support, and a tense neck… not very good news for the voice!
Sometimes it feels like we cannot control our emotions. Of course controlling doesn’t mean blocking them by any means, but it is useful to know that we have tools to manage them in a healthier way.
There are some things we can do to release the kind of fear that can make us freak out and stop enjoying our voice:
I have heard so many times people explaining that they can sing comfortably at home but the voice changes completely when singing in front of others. Well at home you probably don’t feel any fear, so your body is in a completely different state.
It is useful to remember that all emotions are neutral, there are no good or bad. The problem is when they don’t help us and rather represent a blockage for the things we want to do in life.
A simple exercise
Now that we know how the water element connects with the voice, let’s try a simple exercise to balance this emotion when singing with the water element. It will help our singing tremendously, and even our speaking voice.
The idea is that with every breath you take, you will be bringing in the same amount of air. For example, You’ll be inhaling the same amount of air when you breathe in in 8 seconds as when you breathe in in 4, and so on.
The air will tend to go lower in the lungs when you open the arms, releasing you from breathing from the high lungs (chest breathing)
This will help you to keep your voice relaxed even when you are singing songs in which you have very little time for breathing in but long phrases to sing.
Try it and tell me how it goes!
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