Please refer to 6-16-09 posting on freedom in singing and 5-19-09 posting on Zen and bondage.
Recall Zen Buddhism is Indian in origin. Yoga asanas (stretches) are the initial steps to meditation– yoga to still the body before sitting meditations that still the mind. Stilling the mind diminishes craving (similar to compulsion).
Hindu and Buddhist spiritual leaders thus answered on vocal freedom–stretches and meditation. VocalPosture.com explains that simply stretches (without vocalizing or singing exercises), can be used for learning singing. Alan Greene’s book, the New Voice, is a series of silent exercises to stretch, detense, and establish or the proper vocal structure. Alan Greene, , was a singing instructor endorsed by Harry Belafonte and Walter Matheau who developed such a silent stretches for his students. Yes, for 10+ years, he taught students how to sing without their singing. (A Zen riddle for you).
VocalPosture.com supplements Alan Greene’s work in that VocalPosture.com focus is that proper posture will great faciliate proper vocal structure.
VocalPosture believes that stretches, alike asanas, are the first steps to gaining singing freedom, alike how yoga asanas are the first step to meditation. Unlike the ultimate goal of meditation, VocalPosture is less concerned with freedom or vocal freedom, but is interested in the journey.
This journey means that while one is trying to attain vocal freedom (a long journey), one should utilize rather than free one’s bondage. In psychology, this means, sublimation of one’s suppressed emotions.
Blues, sorrowful songs–these are examples of sublimation of sorrow (and Zen and Buddha know a lot about sorrow).
One should, in VocalPosture’s view, use stretches to attain a perfect vocal structure; but before achieving this, utilize the improvements in stretches coupled with sublimation of the suppressed emotions.