Lockdown balance

We are now in the 8th week of the corona virus lockdown and I am getting to grips with Zoom lessons and getting my head around running courses online, too. I’m such a ‘hands on’ teacher that it has been quite a shock to have all of that connection suddenly removed. My online skills are improving and as I get used to it, my observation and ‘tuning’ in skills are adapting to the new structure.

I am noticing a lack of balance in singers coming through and this is affecting their vocal, emotional and physical integration. Some of us are furloughed with lots of free time to fill and others are at the very harsh, front end of life. Many of my adult singers are having to work from home, which in reality means they are working longer hours, pinned to a screen all day. Others are working telephone lines and using their voices all day and more than likely will have postural issues from hugging the phone to their shoulders or craning their necks forward.

What I am noticing is the change in breathing; holding breath patterns, high chest patterns and sighing. Some are verbally speeding with the amount of adrenaline coursing through their systems, hardly able to grab a breath or stop the speed of the non stop talking! Interestingly, the listening skills subside dramatically when the speed and anxiety is running this high. I’m checking in with singers I haven’t heard from for a while and have talked some of them out of the speeding over the phone or have done an online session with them to get their breathing and voice centred again. They have enough experience to know how to be guided into the release, so it doesn’t take too long.

Anxiety through this lockdown is a very real thing. Even going to the shops for food has become a huge and stressful thing to do. Some days are better than others, but in reality we are all up and down as this continues into the 3rd month. There is no point pretending that you are fine if you are not – we are all feeling it – so let’s keep it real!

So, if you feel you aren’t coping and would like to work on your breath and learn how to come out of that relentless treadmill and to feel like you have some quietness inside again – get in touch, I can help.

Love, Sandra

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Sandra Smith is the director of The Lost Sound Dartmoor Folk Choir, visit their dedicated website to find out more.

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