Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Singing with your eyes closed

I got an email from someone recently who said they thought they sang better with their eyes open instead of closed and wondered why.

Well, actually you CAN sing just fine with your eyes closed.
Or not.

What matters is what else you're doing with your eyes closed.

It WON'T work if:
  • You are going too far in to your head, like a songwriter writing or rehearsing a song. You must at all times be communicating TO someone with passion befitting the lyric.
  • You are numbing out, just going through the motions and avoiding eye contact with others
It WILL work if:
  • You move behind those closed eyes. Your eyebrows must lift naturally like if you were actively engaging someone with your eyes open. Your mask (nose, sinuses, eye sockets) must be engaged. A great example was the awesome singer Etta who just recently passed away. I watched a taped performance of her on National Public Television tonight.
  • You are really talking to someone with your emotions. It's hard to freeze behind the eyes when you are truly communicating.
  • You are actually closing your eyes because it feels like the most honest emotionally appropriate thing for you to do at the time. (best reason)

So, how do you know if you're doing the right thing when you sing with your eyes closed?

If your throat gets tight, you're not.
If your ribcage is still instead of open, you're not.
If your vocal ability is more limited than when your eyes are open, you're not.
If you are not feeling something yourself, you're not.
If you open your eyes and the audience is still with you, you probably are, unless they know you and just wondered if you're closing your eyes because you're about to pass out :<

What's your experience?

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