Run for your... Lungs?
To help raise money for the Brighton-based charity RISE to help those effected by domestic abuse, I decided to challenge myself and run the Brighton Half Marathon in February. Why am I blogging about this on my soprano page, you ask? Well as I've began to train for the event I've noticed a few things about my singing that I wanted to explore and share.
1) Cardio is my favourite warm up.
Settling into a practice room to sing various scales and vocalises is all well and good, but sometimes I feel I can get stuck. I start to consider what I feel is expected of a "warm up" and can't connect to the breath properly, get too held on the throat or even get bored (sorry but it's true!). Running changes ALL of that. In doing cardio before I sing/warm up I feel immediately connected to the breath with a sense of embodiment and vocal freedom that I don't even have to think about. In pushing my lungs to their full potential, I have a much greater sense of what a full breath feels like and what I'm capable of.
Not only is training for the half marathon helping me run for longer, it's helping me sustain a phrase for longer too! By improving my cardiovascular stamina I am starting to notice that my stamina in singing is far greater, allowing me to attempt longer phrases with much more ease.
Sure, I'll get the occasional pre-run dread, but the feeling you get after a run is envigorating and leaves you buzzing and ready to go. Feel tired? Do some exercise! Chances are you'll feel much more awake and alive after a good bout of cardio (plus you'll sleep better!)
4) Happy Chappy.
Doing a run makes me happy. I feel confident with a sense of achievement that can translate to all walks of life let alone singing! Harnessing the confidence and positive emotion and using it in your singing reminds us why we're in the profession and can help us convey these emotions easier to our audience.
5) It's good for you!
Im not saying that everyone should be training for a half marathon by any means, but in upping our exercise we as musicians can be mentally and physically ready for anything a director or teacher asks of us. It will help us sleep better, sing better and think better too!