The SJB Choir recently participated in a Feldenkrais workshop
This is part of a contextualised choral programme which encourages the singers to be aware of their body & movement as well as the sound they make.
Raiyen, in Year 4, has told us more about his experience;
I was lucky enough to be invited to a wonderful Chorister workshop with Anita Morrison. She is known for having amazing musicianship skills and teaches choral scholars at Cambridge University and is a vocal coach for The London Symphony Chorus.
Anita believes that by doing certain exercises you can make your singing voice better, this is called the Feldenkrais Method.
We kicked off the session by warming up with some stretches and then did some singing. Second of all, we lay on the floor with our legs slightly apart and our hands by our sides. We took lots of deep breaths through our noses and out through our mouths, trying to fill up as much as we could. After a while, we bent our legs and pushed our feet into the ground as strongly as we could. Seconds later, we let go and relaxed and repeated this 5 times. Finally, we put our legs straight again and did some more deep breathing and then did a big, full-body stretch with our arms above our heads.
There were lots of exercises involving singing whilst lying down to show us that it was more natural to sing while lying down. Once we stood up, I found that my posture and voice were different in a positive way. Some people found that they were able to sing louder, while others felt an improvement in their tone.
This session was so enjoyable and I found that it helped me to improve my singing voice through awareness of my body. I felt much calmer and more relaxed after doing the Feldenkrais exercises – and because of this, it made me want to sing! It was particularly useful to learn how to breathe correctly while singing.
I think that the other choristers will benefit from this session because they learned so much information. We can use this Feldenkrais method and the Chapel Choir and Training Choir will be stronger and more musical.
I would really encourage everyone to learn about the Feldenkrais method and I thank Miss Morrison for teaching us this.
Lower Elements 2
The Feldenkrais Method offers a unique and practical way to realise our potential more fully. It is an educational method focusing on learning and movement, which can bring about improved movement and enhanced functioning. It is named after its originator, Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), an engineer and physicist as well as a Judo teacher.