Balancing Act

When I think of a balancing act, my mind is immediately drawn to a circus where agile performers walk across a tightrope high in the air, with a safety net below of course!  

Yet, these performers do not achieve this level of balance and sensitive feel right away. They use a really thick rope tied low to the ground and practice hard. As they gain skill, they start working higher up and with a thinner rope.  This is analogous to what we do in vocal training.

The balancing of the many muscles involved in singing, plus our ears and our minds, is not something that just happens. This “balancing act” is the result of much study.

We start where we are.  Through consistent correct work, vocal muscles develop and coordinate. We are enabled to be more free and natural when we sing. There are sensations that we feel with increasing sensitivity as we continue to practice – much like the performers feet plus the muscles in their legs and torso that have certain feelings of the rope and the ways to move so as to stay balanced, even up high and on a smaller rope!  As the muscles within the larynx literally become balanced, we also feel this balance and hear it and learn how to think it. Eventually this balance mostly becomes subconscious.

We then focus more on the text and melody of what we are singing; allowing our body to work and trusting in all the good exercises we have done. We still maintain a bit of conscious connection so if we need to focus on certain mechanics to regain balance, then we are able to do so without “falling off the tightrope.”  

Now, even if we do fall off, there is a safety net of mercy and understanding. We are all human and sometimes lose our balance, vocally or otherwise. That is okay. We get up, rebalance, and sing!

Allen Rascoe

about the author

Allen Rascoe Allen has been enjoying singing since he was a little kid. He officially studied voice at ECU and USC. However, he ran... Read More