Lift hands for better posture

Lift Your Hands

Nick discovered that his voice tone improves when he lifts his hands above his head. Why is that? Well, read on and I’ll tell you.

Your Question

I have a question regarding the resonance of the voice. When I am raising my arms above my head (e.g. like when I prepare to dive in a swimming pool) my voice becomes very clear with a full resonant sound with easy high notes. When I bring my hands back to normal my voice is not so clear and I push for high notes. What is happening when I raised my arms? How can I achieve the same vocal result with arms in normal position?

My Answer

What a great question, Nick. Without seeing/hearing a video of what you describe I will take a stab at what I think is happening. Basically, lifting the arms all but guarantees efficient posture and breathing, which in turn set the stage for good tone and easy access to the upper register.

I use this position with students regularly to help them build muscle memory. The other concept I use is to find a tray or similar prop. Then, imagine you are serving a very formal meal and holding a tray of very high end food. You should have almost the same posture as with lifted arms. Elbows will be out to the sides and the thoracic cavity (chest/ribs) will be still and wonderfully expanded.

I have one student who is a competitive table tennis player. I have him squat as if about to receive a serve. Again, he is in an athletic, alert balanced position even though bent from the waist.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Let me know if this helps. I’m curious. And if you’d like to confirm my suspicion, a quick Vocal Coach Voice Assessment would let me see you and, well, assess the situation.

Anyone else have any tricks to force your body into proper posture? Let me know in the comments.