Do we use our core muscles when we sing? Yes we do, we are athletes and we need all the strength our bodies can give us but we must not tighten our muscles unnecessarily. It is a matter of flexing the muscles and being ready to use them, rather than ‘locking’ them into position or ‘turning them on’. So many singers get stuck with knees locking, tightened leg muscles etc. (me included – I’ve made all the mistakes) which stops the diaphragm from working optimally. We need to release more often than we think. Rotating hips is a fantastic way of loosening off the tension in the lower body and yet when we are ready to sing it is all about muscular readiness as well as mental readiness.
So often we are not fully aware of what our bodies are doing, what the muscles need, where we have hidden tensions etc. Singers need to have total kinaesthetic awareness when they sing so that they can target the unwanted tension and focus on release and then positive energising of the sound.
I am off to Santiago de Compostela tomorrow on a singing pilgrimage and the Renaissance choir is singing in the amazing Cathedral itself. What a privilege! But we have to be on top form and that means being absolutely on the beat at the beginning of every phrase. Release breath, have the body ready and the mind pumped up with adrenalin and sing to The Lord!