When Jane* started voice training she was a senior in high school and very quiet. After some initial progress at two lessons per week, she switched to one lesson per week and her progress….halted. She kept at lessons persistently but after two years had made very little progress. I was carefully checking her technique and was convinced that she was doing everything correctly, but that she just needed more strength.
As we approached the December holidays we began discussing the idea of taking a month off, then switching back to two lessons per week for a month, then another month off (to keep within her budget). My idea of having more lessons closer together was to see if we could build up her strength and have a “break through”.
When Jane returned after the holidays I was dumbfounded to find the vocal exercises that we had been trying (and largely failing) over the past two years suddenly WORKED! She could move up and down through her registers without a break and the breathiness was gone!
“Jane! What happened? What are you doing differently that, after all this time, your voice suddenly works!?”
“Um…well, I started Yoga and Pilates over Christmas?”
I knew from my studies of Vocal Anatomy that the core muscles (between the rib cage and pelvis) play a large roll in the ability of the singer to control the breath, but I had no idea the potential size of the effect!
I was so impressed with the change in Jane’s voice that I started doing just one Pilates exercise regularly to see what would happen. Three weeks later as I prepared for an upcoming performance I noticed a difference in my singing – I felt stronger, could hold the high notes more easily, all while noticing that my core muscles were doing significantly more work than I was used to.
I am a believer! Do you want a stronger voice? Then start a core exercise routine and reap the benefits!
* Jane isn’t her real name, but she is a real student of mine.