Sticking your neck out (literally)

Cell phones are not Bel Canto friendly! Photo taken from Link below.

The attitude of the pupil, in singing, should be as natural and easy as possible.

Mathilde Marchesi, Bel Canto: A theoretical & practical vocal method. Dover Publications, Inc., New York.

The image above says it all.

Here are two audio examples to demonstrate the importance of the neck position for singing.

Example one demonstrates a note that is distorted by sticking my neck out. I begin the note in a noble posture. I then stick my neck out as if I am looking at my iPhone. I then resume the noble posture. I repeat this. Listen to the sound deteriorate. I change nothing except my neck position!

Sticking neck out (twice) to demonstrate the effect on the sound.

Example two demonstrates scales to a top C. As the scale went higher I adjusted my neck position to enable more length in the back of my neck. (I trained myself to lengthen my neck by grabbing my pigtail and pulling it upwards. Good luck with using this training method in today’s world).

Importance of neck position for high notes.
Oskar Guttman’s book is referred to by Lilli Lehmann in her book ‘How to Sing’. Guttman’s book is a fabulous 19th century manual for singers and actors on posture and breathing.

Here is a link to a previous post of mine for more information about this diagram above. I use Oskar Guttmann’s exercises every day for about six minutes before I vocalise. His 19th Century book is freely available on the internet.

As an aside, here is a post from to assist if the phone has got the better of your neck position.

Published by Deborah Wai Kapohe

I am a classical singer and guitarist. I have created a project called 'The Lilli Lehmann Project'. The project, lasting from 2020 until 2023, aims to refresh my voice and prepare me to be a singing teacher. The scope of the project is that I am studying Lilli Lehmann's singing book, bibliography, recordings and her reviews, as well as other historical vocal pedagogy. I have chosen this platform in order to blog about my discoveries, demonstrate techniques and exercises, and perform pieces of music. I have done so because I wish to be transparent. I think that if a student is prepared to learn from me then I should stand up to public scrutiny.

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