1. Stand straight - Well yes BUT---
- stand with feet slightly apart and weight centred on the balls of the feet
- make certain you do NOT throw your head back but rather tuck your chin down slightly. Now try both ways. Stand with your eyes looking to the ceiling. Yes, you will feel the restriction in your throat. Now, stand with your chin slightly tucked while thinking of your spin as a straight stick right up the back of your head. Feel now how much more open your throat feels. You got it!!
2. Take a deep breath - Indeed you need lots of air to produce a lovely in tune sound. However, if you breathe incorrectly it can end up being a breathy sound instead.
- prepare for the note by always breathing well. Depending on where that note occurs in the song, you may have to break up phrases to get the required breath. When you are a choir singer, just breathe where the person beside you does not. That will ensure no "holes" in the sound.
3. Stop thinking - Yes I really mean it. If you THINK the note is high, you will reach for it and that usually means you will hit just under the note.
- think like a basketball player instead. The note is the ball. Stand well, chin down then let the note fly and enter the basket gently from the top. No jamming here. I find thinking of the note as being gently dropped from the top allows me to get it in tune. If the basketball player always thought about just how high the basket was, there would be very few that scored. Think above the note and let it sit in the right place. Ah.
4. Be a champion athlete -
- We all know that it takes a lot of physical effort to sing well.
- It takes a positive mental attitude as well.
- If you think you can, you will. If you think you can't, you're right.
- Be in the best shape YOU can be. Walk and breathe between the poles on the road and let it out in a hiss. Think about your posture while in the shower.
- When you let the little "can't" gremlin into your brain, quickly say, "Cancel, cancel, cancel!" or shake your hands as if getting rid of something sticky and say, "Let it go, let it go, let it go." You are in control.
4. Relax, enjoy and do the best you can with the tools you have. Sometimes the best of us have a bad day and those top notes just aren't going to happen. Get in the proper stance, breathe and open your mouth with a singer's smile. Someone will get it. THAT is the true joy of being in a choir. There are very few times when that note is yours alone. Fake it and smile. Oh yeah.