What was the conversation that preceded the song?
If the song we’re about to sing is “If I Had My Way”, we see that the chorus of the song has a message of wonderful optimism about this particular love story.
The verse that comes just before that, backs us up a bit more in the narrative (“I used to be the first one to cry, when I’d think what tomorrow would bring…”) This is us telling the person we love the story of the way love used to be for us – the way it never seemed to turn out right.
The song is our response to something that our sweetheart has just said – which might be something like:
I can’t believe I’ve finally found you
What we have is so amazing – do you think we can make this last forever?
You are the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me
Each of these options may change the initial emotion of the verse slightly, but what wouldn’t change is the feeling of awe, and the feeling of being full of emotion which needs to flower before we say anything.
Whenever people are about to speak from the heart, their mouths open slightly.
It is extraordinarily difficult to get every single singer to focus enough to feel the emotion first – the emotion that causes the mouth to open slightly for a few seconds – before the breath.
However if the singers make a habit of opening the mouth a little, well before they take that first breath, the subconscious thinks to itself “Wow – the mouth is opening – must be something important needing to be said.”
This is the same sort of body/mind backwards approach that works to cheer you up when you make yourself smile for a few minutes. Even holding a pencil sideways between your teeth mimics a smile and will cause your mood to improve. Body first – mind follows.
Because the slightly open mouth before you say something from the heart is a human thing, and not just a singing technique, the audience will see it and respond. They will feel great anticipation, and that they’re about to hear something really interesting.
And the singers will trigger their own emotion, just from giving the body this cue.