LESSON 1 FREEING THE BREATH BY MOBILIZING THE PELVIS.


This lesson is designed to bring mobility to the spine from the level of the pelvis to allow the abdominal muscles to release easily. The basic movement is one of arching and rounding the spine from the pelvis. This lesson can also be done standing leaning forward, back straight and the hands on the thighs. Once the pelvis is free to move, the abdominals can more easily release and breathing becomes easier. 


Sit with your feet on the floor and sufficient space behind you to comfortably bring your hand behind your back. 


1.    Place one hand behind on the small of your back, just at your waist Slowly round your back into your hand and return to your upright position. Keep your eyes soft and looking forward. Repeat several times so you can begin to feel the spine begin to bend and the pelvis roll backward. 


Notice: if you are getting a little shorter. [Some people find that using the image of tucking your tailbone under is useful.]


The movement should be in the pelvis, rolling on the “sitz bones” (the bones that constitute the bottom of the pelvis). Make sure you are NOT rounding your upper back. The movement MUST be in the pelvis. As the lower back arches and rounds you will feel yourself getting taller and shorter.


REST for a moment. 


2.    Keeping your hand on the small of your back, just at your waist, begin slowly to roll your pelvis forward, arching your lower back away from your hand. Repeat several times slowly. Perhaps thinking that you are lifting up your tailbone or imaginary tail. Keep your eyes forward and notice if you feel yourself getting a little taller. 


3.    Now switch hands. Place your other hand on the small of your back as you repeat the movements of rolling first forward then back, rounding and arching (bringing the tailbone down and lifting it up). Repeat several times slowly.


REST for a moment.


Notice: Do you notice any change in the way you are sitting or breathing?


4.    Keeping your hand on the small of your back, just at your waist, begin again to roll your pelvis backward, rounding your back into your hand then rolling your pelvis forward, arching away from your hand. Repeat 10 to 15 times. 


As you roll forward let your belly muscles release. Keep breathing. Find an easy rhythm for your breath. Gradually expand the range of the movement as long as it is free and easy. Be sure to allow your belly muscles to release as you roll your pelvis forward.


5.    Switch hands again as you continue rolling the pelvis forward and back. Gradually allow the movement to expand as long as it is free and easy. Repeat 10 to 15 times slowly. Notice: Is there a difference in the quality or character of the movement when you change hands?


6.    Do a few more slow movements with each hand. Pay attention if the movement changes depending on whether the left hand or the right hand is in back. REST for a moment. Notice: Listen to your breathing. Notice how you are sitting on the chair.


7.    Stand up and walk around. Sense if there is a change. Begin to speak or sing.




LESSON 2:REDUCING TENSION IN THE NECK AND SHOULDERS


Tension in the neck and shoulders can inhibit the ability of the larynx to move freely in the neck limiting not only range, but also vocal quality. The following simple lesson is intended to help release tension in the neck and shoulders.


All the following movements should be done SLOWLY and with attention to the quality of movement and the quality of breathing. Range of motion is not important. Range will naturally increase as the ease and softness of the movement increases. LESS IS MORE!!!! 


Notice how you are sitting.  Notice your right shoulder, then your left shoulder.  What is your awareness of them? Is it the same for each side or are there slight differences?


1. Sit comfortably upright in a chair. Gently and slowly begin to lift and lower your right shoulder towards your right ear.  Do this many times slowly.


Be sure to move slowly.  Let the movement be as smooth as possible. For many at the beginning movement may be jerky or uneven. Notice the direction of the movement. Is the shoulder going straight up and down, in a circle?  Or is it going a bit backwards or forwards? Do not change the movement just become aware what you are doing. Stay within the limits of ease and comfort.


How is your breathing? Try to breathe in an easy regular pattern as you continue lifting and lowering your shoulder.


Stop and rest.


Notice whether you are aware of any differences the feeling of  your right shoulder compared to your left.  Has the quality of your breathing changed at all?


2. Gently begin to tilt your head towards your right shoulder. Bringing your right ear TOWARDS BUT NOT TO your right shoulder and back down. Repeat this movement several times slowly.     


Go slowly. Make sure you bring your shoulder down all the way each time.


What is the quality of this movement? Think about your nose staying in the same plane, as though you had it gently pressed to a window and were trying to turn your head to look out at something?    


How are you breathing? Is it jerky, gentle or even? How much of your upper body is moving? Are you shifting your weight from side to side as you tilt your head towards your shoulder?


Stop and rest.  


Observe any changes you notice between the right and left side, in your breathing, in the way you are sitting.


3. Once again begin to lift and lower your right shoulder. At the same time bring your right ear towards your right shoulder, tilting your head. You are bringing your right shoulder towards your right ear and your right ear TOWARDS BUT NOT TO your right shoulder. Repeat several times slowly    


Go slowly; attend to your breathing.     


What is the quality of the movement? Is it clearer which parts need to move and which parts can stay still?


REST.  


Observe any differences between the right side and the left side of yourself.  Allow your attention to go to your breathing, the way you are sitting, and your face. Notice any differences between your right and left side.


4. Gently and slowly begin to lift and lower your LEFT shoulder towards your LEFT ear.  Do this many times slowly. Does it feel different on the left side? Repeat several times slowly.


As with the right side, pay attention to the quality of the movement of your shoulder. How are you breathing?


Stop and rest.


5. Gently begin to tilt your head towards your left shoulder. Bringing your left ear TOWARDS BUT NOT TO your left shoulder.  Be sure to let your shoulder release all the way. Repeat several times slowly. Keep the movement simple and light. Do not strain or force yourself to go farther than is easy. 


Stop and rest.  


Observe any changes you notice between the left and right side, in your breathing, in the way you are sitting.


6. Begin to lift and lower your left shoulder. At the same time bring your left ear towards your left shoulder, tilting your head. You are bringing your left shoulder towards left ear and your left ear TOWARDS BUT NOT TO your left shoulder. Repeat several times slowly.


Keep the movement light, and easy. Be sure each time to fully release your shoulder as you bring your head fully upright.


REST


Compare your right side and your left side.  Stand and observe any changes feel in the way you are sitting. Stand. Notice the way in which your feel make contact with the floor. Hum gently or glide easily on and /u/ (oo) sound. Is there any change in the ease or quality of voice?




SAMPLE LESSONS

As part of the individual and group sessions, short movement explorations are taught. These are not exercises, but rather movement sequences designed to heighten your awareness of your current patterns for movement and then provide new options. 


These lessons will give you a taste of what is possible. Try them and see for yourself.They should be done SLOWLY and with ATTENTION TO THE QUALITY OF THE MOVEMENT.The lessons are presented in audio as well as written form.


Lesson 1: Freeing The Breath By Mobilizing The Pelvis will facilitate breathing and breath support. It should be done in sitting and standing. The sitting version is presented here.


Lesson 2: Reducing Tension In The Neck And Shoulders helps to release shoulder and neck tension that limits movement of the larynx that negatively impacts vocal quality and resonance.


“After singing professionally for 31 years, I developed vocal and technical problems.  I faced the possibility of having to stop singing… Due to Marina Gilman’s excellent technical knowledge, intuition, wonderful common sense and commitment to helping her clients, I overcame my original vocal issues and developed a solid technique enabling me to have joy in singing more than ever.  Marina has truly helped me create a second (and better) singing career."
- Al Sofia

Atlanta, Georgia 30345

Phone: (404) 444-4647

marinagilman@voice-movement.com

“How in touch are you with your voice from the “inside”?