Singers – Can the jaw have more significance than we know?
His jaw is set!
That is obvious in someone…. he is determined! Muscularly his jaw is tight and tensed like his decision.
The jaw is the gauge. It can tell you a lot about a person on meeting.
Anger; nerves; determination; stubbornness; pouting….
…the jaw is a pivotal point in holding tension.
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 business partner was just not pulling their weight. This meant as the other one slackened off so did my acquaintance have to bite in more and more.
(I did not intend the bite pun at all, but I notice it is very apt in the place it is.)
You see, unconsciously, the more aggravated he became, 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?
Did you know, if you tell someone to relax their jaw, they tense it to do so!
You see, everyone feels they need to do something to relax it. The jaw usually tenses instead!
When I was first introduced to Alexander Technique, I discovered I had a great deal of deep tension on the one side of my jaw. I never realized it! Other than slight numbness it felt quite normal to me.
And there was another surprise for me. Trying to (directly) relax the jaw was futile. Because…….
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!!)
Yet that is what happened as I practiced allowing my neck to release.
I experienced a magic domino effect.
My neck gradually free more and more, then…..
…..my jaw freed itself without…..my help!
I was learning to get out of my own way!
You see… you actually cannot un-tense the jaw directly……..
I also learnt something very fascinating.
If you ask someone asks to open your mouth or drop their jaw, would they know how to?
Most often we raise our heads in order to open our mouths. Yup it sounds illogical, it happens too often though. Whereas the jaw is separate and hinges where it joins the skull.
In order to free the tense jaw, it is necessary to first free the neck.
And that allows the perfectly easy hinging to the skull?
Go on, try it!
As you free the neck the jaw can gently drop to make a sound. Its just easy.
An extremely small tip that can have a huge impact on your whole self.
Give some thought to how you manage your ‘apparatus. To “how” you live your life”!
Watch for my next little tip to help you.
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