Have you all heard the saying, "muscles don't have intelligence but they sure do have a good memory"?
This seems to resonate with many of us singers. We often feel like the way we sing isn't the best way but it feels inevitable. Tension and all. We just get used to it and thats the road we go down. Today in a lesson I had a explanation breakthrough about that inevitability feeling. What if we looked at this muscle memory fact like we might when we are triggered emotionally? Have any of you learned like I have to deal with your triggers in a healthier way and to eventually lessen the tug of the trigger? What if we thought about our singing habits in that way and learned to notice the less functional way we might be singing and to then try something different. Today's breakthrough consisted of indentifying with a student their pattern of singing when singing ascending and descending fast 16th note scales. What was happening was a rhythmic and tuning problem mostly in the descending part of the scale. This problem (trigger) usually created a sense of alarm but seldom did the singer know how to address that feeling for the better. So today we figured out together that if they approached the scale (123454321), as if all the notes were in the same head register, almost with a siren like sound, they were able to consistently navigate the speed and the tuning. The 5 notes scale suddenly felt like the notes all belonged together in one consice place. This might sound like just a regular voice teachers everyday approach to fixing a technical problem but I feel like it is worth mentioning that this is really a special tool that can be applied to many issues. You could name it the SNORE approach. This stands for See, Name, Own, Repeat, Everyday. SEE the problem. I don't like how this exercise feels and sounds. Name the issue. (In this specific case) I am singing enevenly and slightly flat descending 5 note scale between C4 and E5. Own I recognize that this happens frequently and I have not found a solution for it, but just now my teacher and I have succeeded together in getting this to feel easier and more in tune. This new approach works. I understand what I just did. Repeat Do this exercise every day for 5-10 minutes and then find parts in your repertoire when need to apply this and do it there too. Everyday Practice this skill every day for at least a month until you feel you have truly changed a habit!
THAT IS THE POWERFUL WAY TO CHANGE A PATTERN. SNORE. It's also a way that gives you, the singer, great satisfaction because you are the one who brings about the change. Not your teacher but you on your own. This will give you the confidence to apply this tool at many other moments for many other technical difficulties. Please remember that you must have faith and patience with working effectively on your own, but it is so worth the effort. Let me know if you have success with this!