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HI, I'M JORGELINA
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One of the common complaints I get from my beginner students regularly is that they can sing easily when they are home by themselves but not when there are other people around. Why is it hard to sing in front of others?
There are reasons for that.
The fuel of your voice is your breathing. So the way you breathe modifies your voice a lot.
Different emotions are linked to different breathing patterns. Therefore, different emotions shape your voice in different ways.
When you are at home by yourself, you probably feel more relaxed and safe. Your breathing is probably calmer, deeper, and relaxed.
When you have to sing in front of other people, you probably don’t feel as safe. You are in a space that is not as familiar as your own room, and maybe you are worried about how you are going to sound. Your brain doesn’t understand the difference between real and imaginary danger, so if you feel unsafe at a subconscious level your breathing will react in a similar way as if you were in actual danger.
The feeling of being a bit unsafe makes you and your breathing more alert. You get a bit more anxious. Your breathing probably gets shorter and a bit more shallow. Your body is a bit more in alert mode which changes your muscle tone, and obviously the way you breathe.
Your voice follows your body and your mind. Therefore it is not a static instrument: it changes and flows. And knowing this is really powerful.
If you want to have better control over your voice when you sing in front of others, the best thing you can do is to start by being aware of your thoughts and the way that they are making you feel, the way that they are changing your posture and your breathing.
If you want to be more relaxed, more at home, take some time before singing to observe your breathing. If it is shallow and fast, you can simply tune into it and make it last a bit more. One simple exercise you can try is to count 3 seconds to breathe in and 3 to breathe out. This might not be as easy to achieve for some people! If this is you, take a couple of minutes to just breathe in at your normal pace. Then try to increase the amount of your exhale to one more second. Slowly you will be able to slow down your breathing in a gentle and helpful way.
A slow breathing is more relaxing than the breathing pattern you have when you are feeling anxious, and the exercise of observing your breathing brings you to the present moment, which will allow you to enjoy the experience more.
So next time you have to sing for someone else or for a group of people, try this simple breathing exercise and observe how different it feels! It does take some time to get used to it, but the only way that it gets better is by practicing it!
Auckland Contemporary Singing School is an in person music school dedicated exclusively to singing, with different programs for different ages, levels and personalities! We have an in person studio in Auckland (North Shore area, Unsworth Heights, suuuper close to the motorway), and we have group classes in person in different venues as well.
At Auckland Contemporary Singing School you can have your singing lessons in English, Spanish, Russian or German!
We also have an online singing school where you can have personalised singing lessons! And online courses (coming soon!)
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