Alexa is joined on Singing Teachers Talk this week by osteopath and former ballet dancer and singer, Jennie Morton. Jennie works as a performance coach for singers and actors, focusing on anatomical efficiency, the embodiment of artistry, movement education and rehabilitation from vocal injury. She is here to tell you how you can elevate your performance through your anatomy.
- As musicians and performers, our heart rates can reach the same levels of endurance as an athlete running a marathon. We don’t think about how blood is pumping around our bodies to our muscles delivering the right amount of oxygen to avoid fatigue.
- Our muscles interact differently with different musical instruments. For example, when we lift an instrument with one hand and manipulate strings with the fingers of the other hand, we’re not using our bodies symmetrically. This can affect the way our muscles develop.
- Muscular endurance is the ability to continue contracting a muscle, or group of muscles, against resistance over a period of time. Increasing the performance of these muscles means they can continue to contract and work against resistance.
- All of our bodies have a neutral state when it comes to things like the curve of our spines. The issue is that when people have played an instrument for a long time, they don’t know where the neutral state is.
- We often only consider the vocal apparatus in terms of how it relates to the way we speak and sing. But it is also part of what holds up our heads and how we balance.
‘We call instrumental musicians the athletes of the small muscles’
‘People’s bodies actually develop around the instrument’
‘Your body is an organic instrument’
‘The body ideally has equal tone on the right and left’
- Youtube: youtube.com/@jenniemorton9317
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep. 40 Integrated Skills: Teaching Singing to Dancers with Jennie Morton: open.spotify.com/episode/3fm53D7NcGWTmwzE3Sg2nM?si=bcdb8934210246b9
- Masters Degree in Performing Arts Medicine at University College London: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/performing-arts-medicine-msc
- Chris JohnsonVocal Coach: chrisjohnsonvocalcoach.com
- Singing With Your Whole Self by Samuel H. Nelson and Elizabeth L. Blades
- BAST Training Membership: basttraining.com/bast-training-membership
ABOUT THE GUEST
After a long performing career as a ballet dancer, West End musical theatre performer, and lead singer of a London big band, Jennie is now a clinical osteopath specialising in the field of Performing Arts Medicine. She provides treatment for musculoskeletal, neurobiological, and psycho-physiological issues from her base in Los Angeles. She also works as a performance coach for singers and actors, focusing on anatomical efficiency, the embodiment of artistry, movement education, and rehabilitation from vocal injury. Jennie co-created the MSc in Performing Arts Medicine at University College, London, and lectures internationally to artists, arts educators, and healthcare professionals on the subject of performance-related injuries. She is the author of three books: The Authentic Performer: Wearing A Mask And The Effect On Health; The Embodied Dancer: A Guide To Optimal Performance; and Dancing Longer, Dancing Stronger. Her website www.jenniemorton.com contains many of her published articles and educational resources, as well as links to her online courses on a range of health topics.