Understanding Compression for Singing

Good morning all of you beautiful singers/teachers of singing. It's a cold, cloudy day here in the the northeast, so what better time to learn more about the voice and some awesome Voice Soaring tips! The picture you see here was taken at my studio home in New York at the Ripley Grier Studios. I have been teaching there for 18 years and am so fortunate to teach so many amazingly talented singers at that studio. In the picture attached you see my lovely student Bijou using an old fashioned toy called the Floating Ball Game. I was first informed about this fun little toy by my dear friend, student and fellow vocal coach Ruth Ratliff. I remember Ruth coming to a lesson one day with the Floating Ball Game for me to try out. I was amazed at how much abdominal effort was required to get that little ball to float! At first I couldn't get it to stay in one position, and it (the ball) would either go flying off to the other side of the room from too much air pressure, or would simply drop on the ground. Once I found just the right amount of air pressure, I was able to make the ball go up, spin in one position and then gently come down to the holder. I began taking this little device to voice lessons to let my students try it out. Each of them had the same challenges I had and each noticed how much abdominal control it took to get the ball to float! I asked them where they felt the resistance in their abdominals, and without fail everyone of them pointed to the center of their abdominal muscles just below the diaphragm. These are the same muscles that we use to control the stream of breath for singing and especially for holding a high note. These are also the muscles that create "compression" for singing. I am currently in the pre-production stages of a video for my YouTube channel which will cover as much of what I know/understand and teach about compression. So stay tuned! Until then, you can find the Floating Ball Toy on Amazon.com for anywhere from $3.00-$8.00. It's a fun and will really work those abdominals so necessary for the sustaining notes! Peace and harmony to you all! Jeff


Jeffrey Stanfill