Be Present!

This means to turn off our tendency to live on autopilot. It means mindful movement. It means living in your body. It means focusing your attention on what you are doing at any given moment.

We, humans, are creatures of routine and ritual. Through our routines and our rituals we learn how to move about the world safely and gain a sense of security. The downside of this is that after a while many of us zone out.

Remember all those times you walked, biked or drove to a familiar place and once you got there you couldn’t remember the details of the route. That’s letting your inner autopilot take over.

We live in a world that is moving at tremendous speed. Multitasking is our way of life, but divided attention doesn’t work for singing, that important business meeting, the training class you’re leading, the sport you’re playing, the speech you need to give, or any activity where you need to be fully involved and at the top of your game.

It’s easy to tune out or get caught up in the beautiful sound we are making if we are singing/playing. This disconnects us from our body, our emotions and our audience.

In public speaking or music performance, your body is the instrument of communication. When you rehearse you must be tuned in to your body to consciously in order to recognize the sensations of speaking, singing, or playing a musical instrument, so that you can properly reproduce and gain mastery of them. This way the performance or conversation goes as planned.

Now, nothing is perfect in a “live” environment. Please accept this and don’t beat yourself up about it. We rehearse our talk, our song, our presentation, because we know nothing is perfect. Rehearsing is a way of managing your outcome. It’s training, you have a better chance of winning the game, doing your best under pressure, if you’ve trained for it.

Before speaking/performing, you must get grounded, meaning that you get your mind connected to your body. The easiest way to do this is with some physical warm ups before making sound.

Physical Warm Up Exercises

1.Circle your arms

2.Stretch up to the sky

3.Stretch down to the ground

4.Bend your knees

5.Shake out your arms and legs

After warming up your body, begin to warm up your voice.

Vocal Warm Up Exercises

1.Gently sigh or yawn

2.Hum on pitch, do some arpeggios

3.Try a few lip or tongue trills

4.Then add vowel sounds

5.Do some breathing exercises

Physical and Vocal Warm Ups are essential for connecting the mind to the body and for avoiding vocal or musculo-skeletal injury.

Work on connecting your mind to your body and you will be well prepared to gain conscious mastery over your instrument.

The by product of this internal connecting is that the more you develop it, the more it will spill over into other areas of your life, expanding your opportunities to develop authentic and aware relationships, whether you are speaking in a formal setting such as your classroom, the company boardroom, on the stage, or on a date.

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about how to connect with yourself and your audience.

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