Pilates (and Planks) and Singing: Why and How Pilates Helps the Singing Voice
What are the main components of Pilates and how do they relate to the singing voice?
6 Essential Components of Pilates (from the BodyBook) (and Singing by Me)
1. Centering: Everything begins and ends with the center
Pilates: All movements are energized and empowered by the strengthening of the core muscles
Singing: All breath flow starts with the direction of the core muscles and coordinates with the ribs and entire body to balance breath flow. Breath flow is initiated and ends with the center core.
2. Concentration: Attention is on the intention of the movement or beginning of a phrase
Pilates: Attention is spent on the intention of movement before it begins and as it happens
Singing: Concentration on how our breath and sound is coordinated is the focus of much of our practice time until it becomes second nature.
3. Control: Body and mind
Pilates and Singing: In both, we control and sync together the body and mind
4. Precision: Focus on each part being precise!
Pilates: Each movement is performed with precision and focus. The details matter.
Singing: Each start, duration, and end of musical phrases is performed with precision and focus. The details matter to practice to make it seem flawless and effortless.
5. Breath: Transformative
Pilates: Breath transforms the body and mind by working together
Singing: The sycronization of the the breath with the body and mind makes singing such a unique art. The mind slows to be in sync and the breath then does its job to provide the catalyst for our sound.
6. Flow: Breath, body, mind.
Pilates: The goal is to flow from one exercise to the next gracefully.
Singing: The goal is to flow from one phrase to the next (coordinating our breath and muscles) gracefully.
One thing the book does not address which I find to be paramount to Pilates and Singing is that it works on improving and strengthening your posture. Good posture is essential to good breath and therefore good singing. Pilates work strengthens our core and posture which in turn improves singing and makes the motions of good singing more natural.
Explore Pilates practice and see how it impacts your singing past doing the basic planks we already explored. Check in soon for tips on some of the best Pilates moves for your singing!