Use Movement To Reveal A Control Freak!

assessment learning Sep 08, 2022
Movement to reveal a control freak

There are lots of uses for movement during singing. I use it a lot for assessing where muscular patterns might be problematic, but there's a really good use for it...

To show just how many things a person is trying to consciously control!

Something simple like rolling the shoulders, turning the head left and right, walking... stuff much less complicated than dancing... can have singers unable to carry on.

Either the movement is thrown out the window when voicing starts, or singing can't be focussed on so they stop. There are even times when the singer knows they can't even begin to combine movement, so they don't even start. There's no headroom for it all!


We AREN'T multitaskers

Now, we aren't really multitaskers. We can just switch attention really fast between a few things, but that doesn't really mean we are multitasking IE doing more than one thing at once.

So, movement can throw someone out who is trying to hold lots of instructions in their consciousness. Maybe that's breath, posture, soft palate, lyrics and melody and more, all together.

Now, throw movement in there, just to see what happens. Chances are, it'll give you a great opportunity to reveal their controlling side. If there appears to be an inability to combine melody and movement, you could ask yourself "could I help this singer to push something OUT of the main focus of attention?". 

Example of focus

Singer says "My main focus is listening to the pitch to make sure I'm in tune".

I hear this a lot, but in most situations the pitching of every note doesn't need to be consciously monitored and judged closely. It takes too much resource and it can be difficult to apply something new. 

Asking a singer to ignore the pitch for a moment and focus their attention on singing like a wobbly ghost, or vigorously shaking fists, you so often find:

a) They were way more accurate anyway, but...

b) They couldn't tell you if they were accurate or not because they weren't listening to it (this always cracks me up!)

c) They can now focus on other things like technique, emotion or gesture, that can serve the song


What does that tell you?

It tells you that the subconscious part of the nervous system/brain that takes this task over is ready. You don't need to proverbially stare at it, waiting for the alarm to go off. It is ready to be automated, predictive and ultimately less costly on your attention.

Movement is one way to shift someones focus and encourage this important switch, or secretly reveal a control freak!

I'd love to hear how you get on when using this to get your singers out of their heads! Please do comment and share.

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