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Position While Singing.

The correct position while singing—chest up, not stiffly, but naturally; abdomen in and weight resting on the balls of the feet—has more to do with the singing than a great many would-be vocalists, beginners especially, seem to think. It does not matter whether one is practicing or singing in public, the proper position should always be observed.

In the first place, one looks well; in the next place, the breath can flow in and out easily, provided the throat is relaxed, as it will be if one stands in a correct position, as then no motion of the body is “stiff”; and last, a much larger breath can be taken than would be possible with a caved-in chest. I think young singers especially would do well to practice daily exercises for position.

The best exercise I know for this purpose is to stand upright, weight resting on the balls of the feet, arms hanging loosely at the sides. Slowly raise the arms forward and upward, and when the hands meet above the head let them describe a half-circle to the sides again slowly. During the exercise the breath should be taken in, beginning at the diaphragm and filling upward until no more can be inhaled; then held. It will be noticed that this brings the chest up into position, and fills up the little hollows so frequent just in front of the shoulder-blades. Practice letting breath out suddenly and completely, also slowly, holding the chest erect throughout. Care should be taken not to allow the abdomen to protrude during the exercise, an upright position being maintained.

The present writer had a striking example the other day of the absolute necessity of correct position always when singing. A pupil was singing a long passage which she wished to take in one breath, but for some reason could not, as she was usually able to. Suddenly I discovered a “caved-in” chest, and suggested that she stand properly and try it. Result, she did it immediately in one breath. We repeated the experiment to prove it, and it was quite an object-lesson for her.

Many pupils sit at the piano while practicing, which they should not do, but should stand, or walk about the room, touching the piano occasionally to preserve the pitch. The above is an old story, but good things and great truths bear repeating, and correct position, as an aid to beautiful singing, is both a good thing and a great truth.—Serena Anna Parkinson.

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