I have to be honest. Since we went online, I haven’t done much with my students about hip flexor exercises. Or any kind of stretching, for that matter.
And when we were in-person, I did hip flexor stretches because I had injured my own hip flexor, and they were prescribed by my physical therapist. Since the only way I could guarantee I would do them regularly was to incorporate them into my pre-lesson stretches, I decided to do that. So I did and I kept doing it.
Besides, they were good for us as singers, because singers tend to lock through that area. My teacher in Milwaukee, Connie Haas, told me once, “You’re very flat in the front,” and I said, “Oh, thank you!”
It wasn’t a compliment. I was flat because I was locking my lip flexor (as well as my knees).
But I’ve found that there’s more to it – there’s a direct connection between the diaphragm, the primary muscle of breathing, and the psoas, the primary muscle of walking. Stretching our hip flexors and freeing the psoas allows us to have more mobility in the diaphragm. You can read about it here.
I’m doing a lot more thinking about this because today I’m starting teacher training in Total Vocal Freedom, which will focus on learning about Alexander Technique and body mapping, and how these concepts can be applied to vocal training. I’ve been considering this for quite some time, and I’m really excited to be starting this!
If you’d like to know more about Alexander Technique or any other part of vocal training,
please stay tuned for more information about World Voice Weekend this coming April!
Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass.
As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination.
Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.
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