So lately, I’ve been to several different churches, where I’ve had the opportunity to view different cantors/choirs and how they sing. And I’ve come up with a few tips for singers (ALL singers, not just church ones).
And yes, some of these are pretty basic. But bear with me.
- Breathe from your diaphragm. As my first voice teacher told me: “Imagine there’s an inner tube around your middle, and you have to breathe out to touch it.” Do not move your shoulders! You should inhale, deeply, from your diaphragm and fill your lungs from the bottom up. This allows for more air!
- Open your mouth! Form the vowels with your mouth. If you just sort of open it, there’s no place for the sound to resonate. This affects pitch, tone–basically everything. Nice, round “O”s, please! (Or whatever) Another trick from my high school choir director: Sing like there’s a Hershey’s Kiss on your tongue and you don’t want to touch the tip of it.
- Raise your eyebrows! This also helps with pitch and resonance.
- Along with three: Have a pleasant expression on your face. Look like you enjoy what you’re doing, as opposed to looking as if you are about to face the rack.
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, knees relaxed. Shoulders back for maximum breath allowance! Also–good posture, stand up straight!
- Remember your ending consonants. Vowels are super-important, but without the beginning and ending consonants, we’re not going to know what you’re saying. Help us out. 🙂
These are tips that are, like I said, basic. But they make the sound and experience so much better, for both singer and listener.