How to be sure your teeth dont cramp your best voice.
His jaw is set! …. he is determined. He will not be swayed. (Muscularly his jaw is tight and tensed like his decision).
The jaw can tell you a lot about a person on meeting them.
Anger; nerves, determined, stubborn, pouting….
The jaw is the gauge. It is easy to spot a mood and to read it in the person.
…the jaw is a pivotal point in holding tension. That’s one thing I do know.
And a singer is so very much at peril when this happens….the whole voice pays the price.
Someone I know was going through a particularly stressful time; his partner was just not pulling their weight. This meant as the other one slackened off so my friend had to bite in more and more. (I didn’t intend a bite pun, but it seems apt in the place it is.)
You see, unconsciously, the more aggravated he became, the more he ground his teeth, the more tense his jaw became. Not that he noticed it.
It got so bad that his teeth actually loosened….and then fell out.
A rather hard lesson don’t you think?
This was one of the first things I learnt when I had my introduction to Alexander Technique. I discovered much to my surprise I had a great deal of tension on the one side of my face.
And there was another surprise for me. Trying to relax the jaw was futile.
The wellspring of it was actually in my neck.
Yes, this I only found out when I stopped holding my head tight (why would anyone hold their head tight? It’s not going to fall off!!)
The magic of it was the domino effect. My neck was freeing more and more, and with less and less ado…..!
Bit by bit.
Then my jaw freed itself — without my help.
You see… I was learning to get out of my own way!
I also learnt something very fascinating. If someone asks you to open your mouth, would you really know how to?
Would you know that it is only necessary to let your jaw drop to do it? Most often we raise our heads in order to open our mouths. Yup it sounds illogical, it happens too often though. You go to the dentist, he says ‘open your mouth’, you push your head into the head rest and lift your top palette..to open your mouth!
And that disturbs the perfect settlement in the head and causes tightness (over time becoming a permanent fixture)?
Sometimes it is so imperceptible, you dont realize it and no one else sees it at all.
Go on, try it!
As you drop your jaw, your neck can just remain stable, just easy.
What is your knee jerk reaction to the instruction to ‘open your mouth’?
An extremely small tip that can have a huge impact on your whole self. And especially on your singing.
Give some thought to “how” you live your life, how you manage your ‘apparatus’!
Watch for my next little tip to help you.
p.s. There is a new class planned. To be on the waiting list and get advanced notice, add your name here