Components of Good Singing Posture: Head and Shoulder Balance - dummies

Components of Good Singing Posture: Head and Shoulder Balance

By Pamelia S. Phillips

Part of a singer’s excellent posture is a head that is well-balanced on the shoulders. Use the idea that you can lengthen the spine through the neck up into the head so that the head balances on top of the spine. Think of the bobble-head dolls that sit on the dash of the car: The body of the dolls doesn’t move, but the head bobs around. You want your head balanced that easily on top of your spine.

To feel the weight of your head, allow your head to feel heavy, as if it sits right on your shoulders. This weight and pressure doesn’t feel good after a while, so you want to feel an opening up and lifting of the head that comes from inside the body.

Trying to push up the head only causes tension in your neck. Your head weighs about the same as a bowling ball — it’s pretty heavy, so it needs some help to stay up.

You can visualize your head balanced on top of your spine. The opposite of this sensation or visual is the head sinking or pressing down on top of the spine.

To keep your head balanced on your body, you want your shoulders to be evenly balanced. Your shoulders sit on top of your rib cage, and their position and balance are important. Roll your shoulders forward to feel how it stretches and curves your back and collapses your chest.

Then roll your shoulders back to feel how it thrusts your chest forward. The correct position for your shoulders is neither forward nor back, and pressing neither up nor down; it’s an even balance.

When you move your shoulders, you can also feel your shoulder blades moving. If you tighten your shoulder blades, you feel tension in your rib cage. For good alignment, you want your shoulder blades open and released across your back; you want the shoulder blades to release downward as you inhale.

To balance the shoulders, you also want to feel the connection between your arms and your chest. Think of the connection between the arms and shoulders, and how the shoulders sit on top of the rib cage.