Magic Choral Trick #64 FBI
Full Body Involvement is a concept that’s foreign to most of us who learned our singers’ art in the classical realm.
Most of us were taught to hold ourselves in a particular way – and stay there, with perhaps a slight tilt of the head to indicate sincerity and earnestness.
What our teachers and institutions didn’t tell us was that any audience can easily see our level of emotional involvement in the performance.
Merely indicating an emotion is no longer enough.
The release of real emotion needs a well travelled and opened up physical pathway – a natural and relaxed expression by the body. But this can’t happen until the rigidity of our traditional singing stance has been shaken up and freed up.
Although it may at first seem exaggerated and extreme I suggest Full Body Involvement – MUCH larger than life – in every aspect of singing. From the first breath, movement through the quiet legatos, the soaring high phrases, and the let ‘er rip climax of the song. By the end of the song there should be no more to give – physically, mentally and emotionally.
For all you singers reading this who think this sounds like fun – a few suggestions.
1. Start freeing up these emotional pathways as you sing, at home, with your eyes closed – or in a completely dark room. You may be surprised at how much more intensely you feel the song.
2. Probably shouldn’t try this for the first time at choir practice – when no one else has any idea what you’re up to.
3. Going crazy with FBI at home frees up the pathways. When you get to rehearsal you don’t need to use a lot of movement to feel the freedom and the relaxed energy you’ve begun to release at home. (At some point though you may need to come out of the FBI closet and share this with your choir.)
4. Or – join a Barbershop chorus where everybody else wants to be this physically energized by singing, and where everybody else wants to have this much fun.