Singing For Dummies
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One way singers can improve posture and enable easy breathing is to release their hips to open the muscles. Open muscles means less tension and better singing.

To find just the right position for your hips, rock back and forward — that is, move your pelvis by pushing your buttocks back and then pushing them forward. When you rock the hips back, you can feel the tension created in your lower back. That tension isn’t good for singing.

Rocking the hips forward helps you feel when they’re too far forward — you feel like your hips are in front of your torso. Instead, you want your hips right underneath your torso, with your tailbone tucked under you.

When you’re confident that you can feel when your hips are centered under you, you can move your hips from left to right. Many people stand with their hips sticking out to the left or right. That posture may be fine for casual conversation, but it’s not helpful for singing.

When your hips are off to one side, your back is out of alignment, causing tension. Watching yourself in the mirror, move your hips from left to right or front to back until you feel the centered position underneath your torso. This centered position, neither front, back, right, nor left, is the correct position for singing.

Because most women sink into their hips, you want to understand what it feels like to lift out of your hips. Lifting out of your hips means that you feel an opening between your hips and your torso. You can intentionally sink into your hips to feel the added pressure on your body. You may feel heavier and slumped when you sink into your hips.

To lift out of your hips, feel the spring or shock absorber between your hips and torso, and imagine your torso rising out of your legs.

The position of your feet affects your hips and you want to position your feet under your hipbones and keep your toes parallel. This position affects not only the muscles in your legs, but also the muscles in your hips and the positioning of the sit bones.

The sit bones, or sitz bones, are the bony points of your pelvis that you may feel sticking out inside your buttocks. By positioning the hips and toes in just the right position, you allow the sit bones and hips to stay released and the muscles to stay open. You then have great posture and easy breathing for singing.

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Pamelia S. Phillips is a professional singer with over 35 years of teaching experience. She has designed curriculum for high school students, college BFA programs, and professional training programs, helping thousands of singers refine their singing technique.

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