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Lazy Palate Mini-Breakthrough

April 10, 2009

I’m not a pedagogy wonk, so I can’t tell you the names of all the musculature in my throat, but I do know that my soft palate is forever giving me trouble. I can never seem to keep it high without getting tight, but when it sags, I go flat and my voice fatigues easily. I sense that there is an air leak, so I’m losing power and stamina.

Maybe it was the double dose of morning yoga, but today’s warm-ups felt different and more focused. I was able to feel the sound flowing high and down my nose, and my throat felt more relaxed than usual. It felt more heady, less chesty. I had power, but it seemed to take less effort than usual. I was paying more attention to my body and taking a little more time with each exercise, rather than rushing through. I wasn’t able to maintain that feeling throughout my entire practice session when applied to actual rep, but it’s a promising start!

My relationship with my entire body has slowly been changing over the past few weeks. I started going to the gym (again), and I have been working really hard. I am much more conscious of my physical body than before, and I am trying to be less critical and more observant. I am starting to see more muscle definition and I have an overall sense of well-being and strength. My goal was never to lose weight, and I haven’t so far, but I can tell my body is changing in other ways. More so than ever before, this morning I was able to connect with the rest of my body through singing. Funny how the sensations felt higher in my head, yet I was more conscious than ever of my body below the neck.

It’s amazing how much I’ve relied on my teachers in the past. I don’t think I’ve made even one breakthrough on my own before. Practice room experimentation has always lead to frustration, not progress. Maybe I know more than I thought.

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