The 3 S's
Every great singing session begins with the three S's! I tell my singers regardless of age that our whole body is part of singing. If we can engage our body from the start letting our body to breath movement work together our singing can find freedom sooner. Let's talk the order:
S - #1 - STRETCH
I have a sequence that I love but honestly it does not matter how you stretch as long as you find focus and freedom in your body. The focus here is alignment and connecting to your breath. If you reach up your arms above your head, inhale and then fold at the hips (bending
your knees for comfort), exhale. At this point I like to shake out my shoulders and neck to give a release from gravity, inhale/exhale/inhale. Roll up as you engage the core. Find a balanced standing position and stretch your back of your side neck and then roll slightly forward targeting your front of your side neck. Bobble-head out of the neck stretch and switch sides. Then wiggle and shake out your limbs, bringing your body into a loose and tall position.
S - #2 - SIGHS
Sighs are sounds we make with our voice that are adjacent to singing but are less precise. We can move our voice up, down or all around. When you slide around, change your vowel and mouth shape to stretch out that part of your body. Singing on an [m] or 'ng' sound is also a wonderful way to do sighs. The idea is to keep the sound going and move throughout your range, starting comfortable and gradually getting deeper and higher into your range. I usually have my students set a timer, as we begin these I start at an easy 10 seconds and have them gradually increase until they are at a minute.
S - #3 - SCALES
"Every truly cultured music student knows, you must know your scales and your arpeggios!" The three beautiful kittens from Aristocats know what they are talking about. Singing scales can be used to refine a number of different skills. A basic major scale descending and ascending could be challenging for a voice for a number of reasons and we dwell in this elementary task to create a natural and habitual sound throughout our voice.
I hope you enjoy your 3 S's! Which is your favorite? Mine would be to sigh!