Letting go………belongs to making, above. Once you have started the engine, trust it will take you where you want to go. Trust it will do it for you. It particularly applies to muscular, and therefore breath, holding.
Do nothing………this belongs with 'letting go' and is about the nature of effort. If you try too hard when singing, you will stop the mechanism from functioning freely. By means of the simple act of making a connected sound you have started it all working. Your singing work is with the song, the story and text. Let the voice get on with itself. It is very obedient, and obeys imagination, feeling and intention. It does not take kindly to being told how to work. These instructions live in the unconscious process.
Softness………the opposite of trying. When we try hard, muscles tighten. If this happens it stops the breath coming both out and in. Effectively you are holding your breath. Real power in singing comes with a state of muscular softness, exactly the same as for sportsmen. Soft hands in cricket or rugby, soft feet in football and running. Softness allows the power to come from the spine via the muscles into the breath. You feel as if the body has gone limp, except for the centre, which feels increasingly stretched as you breath out. This is the result of the lengthening spine, stretched up and down at the same time. When muscles are working effectively they feel relaxed and empty. The ability to be soft is probably the most important skill for the singer. You need to be able to let go to be soft. It is about finding the power of relaxation, of 'non resistance'.
Breathing Out…….seems obvious but isn't. There are loads of ways to breath and most of the population isn't aware of any of them. For the singer, the more of your body you can soften into the act of breathing the more powerful your singing will be. Muscle holds emotion. The object of singing is to express the feelings of the music by letting your own feelings release out into your breath.
Emotion…… It is from the Latin and means 'to move out from'…….'e' means out of, 'motion from 'movere', to move. In other words, feeling only comes with movement. That is why not getting stuck is so crucial to singing, and the first place we get stuck tends to be in the breath.
Fear………this is a place many performers visit without wanting to. Not surprising really as performing is an exposing place which triggers a primal response in us, the 'fight or flight' mechanism. The first response to fear is to hold on to everything, ready to uncoil all that energy either to run or fight. This creates………
Tension……..this is blocked energy looking for somewhere to go. It gets stuck inside the muscles waiting to be released into useful action. The most obvious example is the relaxation of the Olympic sprinter as they run incredibly fast. The same applies to singing. Softness and relaxation is required for effective performance power.