Magic Choral Trick #388 Forward Pigeon, Backward Pigeon

This is part of the alignment regime that I use several times every rehearsal.

Most of us, because of the way we spend our days, hunched over computers or standing till everything aches, are unaccustomed to what great alignment feels like.

And because it’s essential to align the vibratey things (the vocal cords) over the top of the hole (the windpipe) for maximum resonance, most of us have some serious retraining to do.

Here are the basics:

– Feet shoulder width apart. Many singers think their shoulders are actually wider than they are
– Relaxed, easy knees
– Hips lined up over ankle bones. Boogey hips – feel that they can move easily
– Shoulders lined up over hips

And then there’s….

– Ears lined up over shoulders. This is the one that feels most unnatural for our internet device times.

So that people can have an easy way to get a sense of this I ask my singers to first jut their heads forward. I call this “Forward Pigeon”. Chin is still parallel to the floor.

Then I ask them to pull the chin way back, which of course displays every single chin we happen to own. I call this “Backward Pigeon”. Chin is still parallel to the floor.

I have them repeat Forward Pigeon/Backward Pigeon a few times, so that they become aware of the radically different positions for the head.

Then I ask them to do a modified, more relaxed version of each – finishing with “Relaxed Backward Pigeon”

Generally, “Relaxed Backward Pigeon” places the ears in the correct position, directly over the shoulders, chin parallel to the floor – which is where the head needs to be for maximum singing resonance.

They can keep tabs on where their chin is sitting as they sing, by placing a thumb lightly on their chin and having their extended pinky finger (same hand!) touching the chest – and keeping that hand position constant.

Until people get used to the feeling of this position they’ll need to keep checking themselves for tension and for shifting out of alignment.

About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on January 17, 2020, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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