Exercises to restore the proper muscle functions that are necessary for a correct singing posture

(Exercises to tone up the back muscles, stretch the intercostal muscles, practice the correct spinal posture, tone up the muscles of the abdomen and lower abdomen).

Exercise 15 - Sitting with a forward bend

Exercise focusing on relaxation and stretching of back muscles and the spine
Children sit on chairs with their knees apart. They bend the upper part of the body slowly between the knees so that the head and bent arms are perpendicular to the floor (the back is bent). They then inhale through the nose into the stretched back. With the exhalation, the body bends even deeper down, stretching the back muscles more. The children inhale and exhale several times, thus achieving a complete relaxation of the upper body D23.


Exercise 16 - Cradle

Exercise to enhance the elasticity of the spine and to tone and stretch the back muscles.
D24
The children squat down, hug their knees with their hands so they touch their chests. This way they achieve a round back, as if it was a cradle. They swing backwards on a mat and then return to the squat. This exercise should be repeated several times.


Exercise 17 - Slow bending and straightening up

Exercise to tone up and coordinate the whole body (see the exercise 4) Flower in Lesson 1 )
Children begin this exercise standing upright with their legs slightly apart and their arms freely raised sideways (avoid raised shoulders). They then bend down slowly from the head, one vertebra after another into a relaxed forward bend. It is important that the head hangs vertically toward the ground (otherwise the neck and throat will be unhealthily tense). The shoulders are relaxed, both arms hang down freely as if burdened with small weights. Children sway gently several times in this relaxed position, then on the teacher's prompt straighten themselves up again slowly one vertebra after another into an upright position; mind that the head is not raised too early (unhealthy tension in the neck). The most important thing in the last phase of the roll-up is to make sure that the shoulders remain hanging down freely even when the head is rising up. Finally the children raise their arms freely to the sides with an inhalation, then finish the exercise with an exhalation on the vowel Pfff.
Children breathe through the nose throughout the exercise, with the exception of the final inhalation which is combined (through the nose and mouth at the same time). D25 + D26
Make sure that the children keep breathing freely, under no circumstances should they hold their breath.


Exercise 18 - Spring Flower (Snowdrop)

Exercise to stretch the back and intercostal muscles (and at the same time a preparatory exercise for the ideal singing sitting posture)
This exercise (a modification of the "cold - hot" exercise) is practiced sitting on a chair and consists of three stages. In the first stage the children huddle - arms crossed, shoulders pointing to one another, shoulder blades pulled apart. In the second stage the children sit up straight, pull up gently from the waist, push their shoulder blades together gently, which results in a wide arching of the chest. The third stage consists of relaxation (but not collapsing), as the shoulder blades and the chest settle in the ideal mid-position, hands loosely laid down in the lap. D27

Story for younger children:
Imagine you are a spring flower (snowdrop) huddling in the snowy ground against the wind and frost. Suddenly the sun comes out and the wind stops. The snowdrop cheerfully straightens up to catch as much sunshine as it can. It seems that the sun is going to shine for the rest of the day, so the spring flower relaxes and enjoys the warm rays of sunshine. D28


Exercise 19 - Crab walk

A very efficient exercise to tone up the lower abdomen.
(The exercise was originally meant for the younger children but if needed the older children can practice it as well) D19