Yuri Sabatini Singing Teacher

Yuri Sabatini Singing Teacher
Voice coach in London

Monday, 3 January 2011

An interesting parallel

Yesterday we brought the children to bowling and ice skating. It was real fun for all of us and we decided to repeat it soon and make a habit of it.
For me, it has been a great learning experience. And you will see how later.
Preface: I have never been ice skating and only twice bowling. The evening before, I wanted to google for ice skating on youtube in search of some tips for beginners ice skaters... and that is part of the way am now: I don't jump into things because I know one should have some knowledge beforehand if doesn't want to end up doing what many seem to do keep doing - repeatedly making the same mistakes. If information is available for you, why not equip yourself with it and make the most of your experience, in whatever field?
Thanks to that search, I learned the theory of the basics for ice skating the night before and when we arrived there I knew what to do - as opposed as simply enter the ice ring with no clue. Surprisingly for my wife, I didn't end up falling all the time: to the opposite I went in confidently and progressed pretty quickly, to the point of going round the the ring at reasonable speed. Many things of what I learned the night before were the centre of my attention, as the example of those who were skating with elegance and effortlessly.

And here is the parallel that stroke me with the singing. I hope I can put it in words for you to see the point.
If you look at the seasoned skater moving around, you see that even if he/she moves with speed, he keeps the balance in the centre, there is no excessive shift of the weight in anticipation of the movement. There is a sense of calm. And the result to the eye is: beauty. Well, in the elite singing, exactly the same is in place. One doesn't lose the inner calm at any point, there is no tension going on, no pushing. There is, as in those athletes, positive tonus in the body, but any manoeuvre is approached with dynamic muscle balance and harmoniously. This is most evident in the torso, the shoulders, the neck and the tongue.

Both in ice-skating and in singing, the one who doesn't give a thought about the task on hand and is too busy juggling himself in the continuous attempt to react to the situation, is clueless of those things on which he should instead pay attention to.

I don't think you can learn efficiently to skate if you don't give a thought about what you are doing and if are not coached. In bowling, I witnessed yesterday, this is also true: one who simply throw the ball without analysing why it doesn't go where one wants it to go, and keep putting in place the same wrong coordination not aware of the reasons why he fails, will not improve: only if one gives thought on the swing of the arm, the balancing of the body by means of the back crossing of the other leg and consider the spin/effect phenomenon that can be imparted to the ball... only then one can move forward.

In learning to sing freely, the same applies: you need to think analytically, to observe the coordination that brings about the right results and that which brings about the wrong ones, and to practise with intelligence, in a step by step fashion and building on gradually. Well, maybe the first bit is more for the teacher than the student, but it wouldn't be a bad thing!

Mmmm. I'm not sure I was able to deliver the message I had so clear in my mind. Apologies, but I'm not so good with writing, even less in a second language.
Well, I know I am good in teaching these things though... and so far that's enough for me :)

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