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Grade: Middle
Subject: Music

#3514. Introduction to Correct Posture for Singing

Music, level: Middle
Posted Mon Jul 11 15:32:54 PDT 2005 by Craig McCauley (cmccaule@usd497.org).
Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence, Kansas USA
Materials Required: Posture Instruction Information Sheets, Dictionaries, Blank Wall Space, Full Length Mirror
Activity Time: 45 min
Concepts Taught: Singing alone and with others, Evaluating music performances

Objectives:
1. Students will demonstrate correct body posture for proper singing technique.
2. Students will accurately perform correct breathing technique in preparation for singing.

Anticipatory Set: Students perform general vocal warm-ups that incorporate stretching, and basic scale movement singing.


Input (including proceedures):

1. Students are assigned work groups of 5 or 6 students and asked to move in the room into group circles. Groups are given the following instructions and asked to experiment and demonstrate correct body posture as a group. (10 minutes).

Instructions:
Proper singing technique begins with good posture, setting up the body to produce the best sound possible. Please attempt all of these exercises while standing in a circle facing each other in your group.

* Feet: Shoulder length apart, one foot slightly ahead of the other, weight evenly distributed and toward your toes. Raise up on your tiptoes, and lower back down slightly so your heals are barely touching the ground.
* Knees: Slightly bent so that you can feel it, but no one can see it. Wiggle your knees forward and back to feel how relaxed they are while still standing tall.
Chest: Raised comfortably, creating a lift throughout the middle of your body (a buoyant rib cage). Tap on your sternum to feel the area you want to lift (ask your partners or look up sternum in the dictionary if you don't know where this body part is located!). In raising your chest you should feel a tilt in your ribcage, rotating upward from the sternum.
* Shoulders: Relaxed and lowered comfortably, parallel to your chest. Raise your shoulders to your ears, and then lower them to the ground. Now take a deep breath, relax, and try to lower them an inch more.
* Arms: Resting at your sides, hanging in a relaxed position. Shake your hands out and let your fingers hang.
* Chin: Imagine your chin is resting on a table, parallel to the ground.

2. Ask each group to demonstrate their version of correct body posture for the group. Class members are encouraged to evaluate group performance in a positive, constructive way.

3. The instructor leads the entire class in completing the instructions, modeling the correct body posture for each stage.

4. To further emphasize correct alignment, the teacher asks students to find a blank wall space and stand with their backs against the wall. Students place their heels, buttocks, shoulder blades, and back of the head (with chin parallel to the ground) against the wall. The teacher points out that this is the "standing tall" posture we're looking for. Students are then instructed to move 6 inches away from the wall, keeping this posture alignment. In a final step, students are asked to raise up on their tip-toes, and lower slightly so their heals are barely touching. This will create the weight shift desired.

5. Students are asked to come to the front of the room and demonstrate correct posture individually, while looking into a mirror.

Modeling:

During Input Step 2. Teacher modeling with group mirroring in participation - this is to be done after students have constructed their concept of correct body posture in small groups based on handout instructions.

During Input Step4. Prior to having the students stand against the wall, the teacher will model the correct proceedure.

Guided Practice: Students work in groups, and individually, recreating correct body posture.

Independent Practice: Students are to recreate the exercise at home developing a feel for correct body posture.

Assessment: Group assessment verbally within class. Individual student evaluation in front of a mirror.

Adaptations: Students with disabilities will have adapted strategies based on their physical abilities.