No, it’s not a throat muscle, and it’s not your abdominals.
Of course, the abdominals are very important in good singing technique. Any good singing teacher will teach you how to breathe diaphragmatically and activate your abdominal muscles correctly to maximise your air flow, essential to good singing technique.
But there is one humble muscle that is often forgotten – the pelvic floor.
The muscles that form the floor of the pelvis need to coordinate with the abdominals and the diaphragm for effective technique in singing.
And it’s not just singing, but other more mundane daily activities. Take this quick quiz:
Can you coordinate your pelvic floor muscles with your abdominals and diaphragm when you…
…blow out a match?
…blow your nose?
…blow up a balloon?
Click on this link from the clever people at Burrell Education – the dynamic image will give you a sense of how these muscles coordinate together.
If the abdominals and diaphragm work correctly, but the pelvic floor doesn’t play its part, not only will you produce sound less efficiently, but you put yourself at risk of causing or worsening things like prolapse and bladder leakage.
I frequently see women who can coordinate the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles, but the pelvic floor gets left behind.
Yes, it is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time…but it can be trained!
The pelvic floor, like the abdominals, should be released during the intake of breath, and activated during the production of sound for best airflow.
I give my musical patients a very structured program to incorporate the pelvic floor correctly in order to improve their singing or instrument playing.
These exercises are a must to incorporate into your singing warm-ups and singing training.
And for those who avoid singing anywhere except the shower, you may find that training this way makes you want to break into song outside of the bathroom!