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Singing for your life

Singing has changed my life. It’s great for the lungs, heart and tummy. It sends endomorphins racing through your body. It’s relaxing, great for your confidence, it’s life affirming, its a natural beauty therapy, it can massively enhance your social life in a choir or am dram. Critically it strengthens your resilience and builds immunity.

For me with nasty respiratory diseases about like Covid, singing is a life saver. Because it’s all about the breath, listening, concentrating.

You’ve got a beautiful musical instrument just sitting there, waiting for you to use it. Imagine if you had to buy a voice! Priceless.

Diseases that are most likely to kill us, as we have have learned to our cost, are often respiratory.

We know that the coronavirus strikes the immune system and especially the lungs. It’s clearly here to stay – so we all need to take action now to strengthen our bodies ability to resist invaders.  Singing is a such a great way to boost immunity naturally, give you a healthy pair of lungs – and make you feel good too!

Julia and I like to write a lot in posts about how to fight disease. Our lived experience of epilepsy and cancer, and our experience of relearning habits to enhance and develop a healthy immune system, have taught us to be resilient by preparing our bodies and our immune system to fight whatever comes as naturally as possible.

Singing is an incredible thing to do. If you can talk, you can sing. Singing improves the respiratory function, a sense of well being and  bodily function…..and you can sound totally great.

Practice massively improves your spoken voice and prepares you to wow the friends and family at Karaoke, and lets face it those pub sessions need a little, shall we say professionalising.

I started singing in St George’s Elgar Choir in Worcester as a child initially as a soprano.

When my voice broke I became a high tenor and as I got older I became a baritone.

I sang in bands when I was young and I performed in musicals.

For many years I never used my voice and later in life I decided to go on stage and into film professionally. I yearned to sing but I came up against a problem. I’d been trained to sing in the choir – that training compartmentalised my higher head and chest register and so my voice was totally dominated by chest and did not blend well with my head voice and higher range.

In the chest register my voice was strained at B and middle C and up to F and F sharp in my chest voice was impossible.

My range was fine but the 5 or 6 notes between middle C and A were weak.

I took lessons from a choir master and I looked at You Tube but nothing was working. I was worried because I’ve gotten to a stage in life where I want to create and develop my voice professionally.

I’ve written 20 songs for an album I am producing with my dear friend and colleague James Lascelles, the keyboard player with Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, of “Come up and see me make me smile” fame. The idea of recording albums and touring came up.

I had to deal with my particular problem and so I hit You Tube again and found an incredible singing coach . I used the exercises he gives away online and they started to make a difference within a week. So I signed up and after 6 weeks intensive work I was singing those 5 or 6 notes without being too strained.

They are not perfect but I can tell that with daily practice I will be ready for the studio soon and by the Autumn be ready for touring.

The 1:1 tuition and the brilliant voice exercises are a great combination. The way he micromanages the notes as he teaches the proper way to exercise ones voice is awesome. Truly effective and truly empowering.

The impact of the training on my generals health and well being is stunning. I’ve lost weight and feel great.

 

Can I tell you a secret?

My daily vocal warm up is the #1 thing I do to improve my voice and you can improve your singing every day by doing the same.

Unfortunately, too few singers or professional speakers actually bother to do one!

But the very best singers warm up every day.

10 of the best singing exercises for your voice:

The 5-Tone Count
The Octave and a Half Lip Trill
The Octave and a Half “Squeaky Door”
The Octave and a Half “Gee”
The Octave Repeat “Bee”
The Octave Repeat Bratty “Nay”
The Octave and a Half Bratty “Nae”
The Octave Repeat “No”
The Octave and a Half “Crying Go”
The Octave and a Half “Mum”

Click on this link to get access to the Vocal Studio here
Here is a link to my singing coaching. Introducing Matt Ramsey.

Let me know your thoughts below, whether you are simply starting out or whether you want to sing on stage. I’d love to talk singing anytime.

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