There are so many benefits of meditation for singers. When you learn to meditate you will be more relaxed onstage, you will have more breath control, and ultimately you will improve your voice.
I spent many of my younger years as a singer. I started singing in the school choir when I was fifteen. We mostly sang gospel songs, and we sang at various auditoriums, including the Albert Hall one time. Then I got into singing classical music and took lessons from a professional vocal coach. I loved it, but there was one problem: I was exceedingly nervous.
Indeed, I was so nervous that I ended up flunking my Grade 5 singing exam.
Nerves always used to get the better of me. It’s hard to be a singer when you’re nervous. And unfortunately, I had anxiety. When I sang, my nervousness would make my throat tense. This affected the flow of air through my vocal cords and totally ruined my voice.
As I wrote about in my guide to meditation for actors, meditation was a game-changer for me.
When I learned to meditate, I found a way to relax my mind. This helped me to stay calm when I was performing. Not only did this help me enjoy singing more, but it improved my voice. When we are relaxed our voices sound more pleasant because of reduced physical tension.
I’ll be honest. Unlike my acting, I never really excelled at singing. Today I mostly just sing karaoke for fun. But even as an amateur singer, meditation helps.
Today, I work as a meditation teacher. Indeed, I’m regarded as a leading expert in the modern application of traditional meditation. And one of my favourite things is teaching singers meditation. So let me tell you all about it.
Best Meditation for Singers
In the main menu of this site, you can find guides to all the most powerful meditation techniques. However, I’d like to share what I consider to be the best meditation for singers.
Many people are tempted to use guided meditations for singers. However, this is a mistake. Why? Because although guided meditations are easy, they don’t work. At least, not as well as traditional meditation according to research [Harvard Medical School, 2019].
One of the best meditations for singers is the Kundalini yoga method called Kriya Kirtan meditation.
Why is this the best meditation for singers? Because it involves meditating while singing. Indeed, many methods in Kundalini Yoga use singing, which is why they are perfect for singers.
Here’s the script. Note that this is a simplified version. For the complete version, refer to the link above.
- Stand with good posture. Make sure your spine is straight but relaxed. In fact, you can stand in the same posture you use when singing.
- Take a minimum of ten mindful breaths to relax. Simply watch your breath moving through your body.
- Start to sing “Sa Ta Na Ma” as is noted in the musical score below.
- Focus your mind on the sound of “Sa Ta Na Ma.” When thoughts or feelings enter your mind, simply observe them and let them pass.
- Aim to make your mind one with the sound.
- Continue for ten minutes.
This method will train your mind to relax when you’re singing. That way you can be relaxed whether you’re singing on stage or at an audition.
Benefits of Meditation for Singers
You might be surprised by some of the benefits of meditation for singers. Indeed, in my opinion, meditation helps with virtually all aspects of singing. Whether you’re a soprano singer in the opera or a baritone rock singer, meditation will help.
Here’s an overview of some of the best benefits of meditation for singers. And you might also like to read my article on meditation for performers.
1: Better Voice
Stress directly affects your voice. We have muscles in the back of the throat called constrictors. When we feel stressed, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in. This leads to the “fight or flight” response. In turn, the constrictor muscles tense. When you sing with tense constrictor muscles your voice sounds harsh.
There are many singing exercises to relax the constrictor muscles. One of the best is meditation.
Research shows that meditation increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. This creates a state of relaxation. Relaxation helps loosen the constrictor muscles. Then, air can flow more freely. And in turn, the voice sounds more pleasant.
2: Better Breathing
One of the most important skills for a singer is breath control. You need to use your breath effectively. This is especially true if you are an opera singer, in which case you might have to hold a note for minutes at a time.
Thankfully, one of the benefits of meditation for singers is that it improves breath control.
When we meditate, often we meditate on the breath, i.e, “breathing meditation”. These techniques help to relax the body. In turn, the breath is drawn deeper into the diaphragm. You probably already know how important diaphragmatic breathing is to singers. Meditation helps us to breathe diaphragmatically, without even trying.
Of course, meditation is just one type of breathing exercises for singers. Here are some more exercises you might like.
You can learn more in my guide to breathing meditation techniques.
3: Improved Posture
Does your singing teacher often tell you to stand with good posture? Mine did. Actually, both my singing teacher and my piano teacher repeatedly told me to have good posture. And with good reason.
When we stand with good posture, we help the breath enter deeply into the body. This increases the amount of breath we take into the body. Plus, it helps with breath control.
Meditation naturally improves our posture. When we meditate, we release the tension in the body. The result is relaxed muscles and better posture. Ultimately, this helps to improve your singing voice.
When you sing you want to feel confident. Not just because confidence helps us to perform better, but because, well, it just feels good to be confident, right?
One thing meditation is very good for is increasing confidence. Meditating activates and thickens the striatum, mesolimbic dopamine system, and prefrontal cortex according to Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Sara Lazar. These are parts of the brain involved with confidence. Hence, when we meditate, we become more confident.
There are so many benefits of meditation for singers. Not only does it help us to relax, but it helps the body to perform at its peak condition. Ultimately, this improves our singing voices.
If you are a singer and you would like to get the best out of meditation, book an online meditation lesson with me today.
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison