In this video series, I’d like to share with you some concepts and exercises to help you develop something called kinesthetic awareness of your body while you are singing. Basically kinesthetic awareness is a sense of where your body is in space and how the different parts of your body are interacting with each other. It’s being present to the sensations in your body.
As singers, in order to create lasting changes to muscle memory, we need to develop an awareness that we are the instrument. For instance, when we go for that high note, and we can feel that we are closing the throat, that awareness is crucial to changing how you approach the high note the next time, instead of just singing on auto pilot. If there is no awareness, there is no basis for change and improvement.
However, we do want to find balance in this process. There’s a lot going on in our body when we sing, and we don’t need to be hyper-aware of all of it. If we isolate just one aspect of our singing, and focus on that too much, it can create tension in other areas. We’re trying to get to the point of experiencing our voice in a more holistic, whole body way.
Let’s try this little demonstration: Close your eyes. Now wave your right arm all over the place. Then touch your nose with your right forefinger. No problem - even with eyes closed, your brain knew exactly where your nose and finger were in space. That same ability can be developed in singing.
So let’s take a look how you can integrate kinesthetic awareness and movement into your singing.
1. Stay present to the sensations in your body when singing (posture, breath).
2. Notice what parts of your body are moving.
3. Are your movements free or tense?
4. Try closing your eyes when singing for a deeper awareness.
5. Hand movements are helpful, as the hands are connected to the speech center of the brain.
This is not a quick fix, but can be extremely effective in facilitating lasting change in your voice. The best way to strengthen your kinesthetic sense is to become aware of it and consciously use it in your singing practice and daily life. Check out our next video in the series on kinesthetic movements for breath control.