Your free gift from NW Center for Vocal Arts
By Malya Muth, director
Stand straight. Your spine needs to be straight,
no curving in your lower back from your pelvis
being shifted forward or backwards.
Rib cage should be slightly lifted to give your
lungs plenty of room to expand.
Singing is a very physical activity. Your muscles
need to be warmed up and stretched, especially
the back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs and
muscles around the torso.
Check your neck. Can you move your head easily
from side to side?
Check your chin. Is it raised or lowered? It
should be in a center, neutral position – not
lifted or lowered.
You need to be supported by your legs
while you sing. Your feet help you feel
balanced and support the position of your
legs. Find the right position to stand in.
Stand with feet apart, side by side.
Stand with feet apart, but one foot in front of
Stand with together, but the heel of one foot
touching the arch of the other.
Whatever feels best to you, the goal is to
feel balanced and strong.
This might sound funny, and look even funnier –
but tension in the face and jaw has a real impact
on singing because it prevents you from using the
muscles correctly. The muscles in the
jaw, cheeks, and lips should be free to move
up, down and all around.
Again, singing is a very
physical activity and
requires correct muscle
tension and strength.
Try to get enough sleep
each night, so your
singing efforts will not
be weakened by feeling
Do not try to sing on an empty stomach. You
need energy to sing, plus you tend to get a lot of
oxygen from inhaling. Singing on an empty
stomach can make you dizzy and keep you from
having the energy it requires to make a strong
It is much better to drink before
you sing than while you are
singing. Why? We need liquid in
our system to keep everything
lubricated, like our vocal
chords, our sinuses, our throats.
But drinking while we sing
actually washes away that
lubrication. The best thing to do
is to have a warm drink before
you begin, and then leave it at
that. If you are seriously
dry, use a cough drop – but not
while you sing!
Keep your thoughts quiet when you are preparing
to sing and stay focused on the technique you
need to use or on the song you are going to sing.
The more mentally tuned in to your task, the
more you’ll be able to pay attention to the
details. This is one of the benefits of singing; it
turns our minds away from the mundane
problems of our day to day lives and
lets us focus on the joy of just singing.
Before you begin to sing a song, play a few
chords from the key the song is written in. If
you are not an instrumentalist, or have access
to an instrument, hum through the song in your
mind and hear the harmony that accompanies
the melody. The better your sense of key and
harmony, the more on pitch you will sing.
For more information
about private coaching
or to check out
upcoming seminars visit
Too busy or too far away for
We can give you voice lessons
over the internet! For more
information write us at
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