The following is an activity that offers a change of scenery, as well as a chance to boost confidence and sharpen your memory. It engages what’s referred to as “neurobics” or exercising your brain. You start by finding an out of the way outdoor location that you enjoy or find intriguing, such as a park, an abandoned airstrip, a pasture, or field – or a spot along the shoreline of a river, stream, creek, or ocean.
Find some place where you won’t be too self-conscious about singing and speaking out loud. You want an open space where you can feel free to roam with your range as you simply sing.
Pick Two Songs – One Tough + One Easy
Have at least two songs committed to memory – one that’s so easy to sing that it’s almost second nature and another that you don’t quite feel comfortable with. You will engage in singing, speaking, and playing with these two songs in the free, outdoor space of your choice.
Heavy On The Accents
You can walk quickly or jog while singing or speaking. Or you can stand still and enjoy the view, the choice is yours. The goal is to start by singing each of the two songs through one time. Then, you speak them through using an accent or dialect that is not natural for you. You treat each of the two songs as a message you are delivering with a foreign accent.
Change up the accent as you deliver the songs two more times each. And then, sing the songs through as you normally would. Note any differences in inflection or the feel or images prompted in singing these two songs.
Switch Verse + Chorus
Next, you will sing the verses of the song that you’re not as comfortable with, but you’ll switch to singing the chorus (and bridge, if there is one) of the song that is second nature. Engage in this practice until it flows. And yes, you guessed, your next task is to sing the verses of the song that is second nature but switch to the chorus for the challenging song.
Again, keep singing through until you smoothly manage the delivery of the hybrid song. And then finally, sing through the songs, alternating verses one by one and their choruses. Incorporate any bridges in an alternating fashion as well.
Speak The Song + Dance
Now it’s time engage each song as a persuasive speech. You deliver each as a joke or something lighthearted, skipping or jogging or dancing as you sing. Once you work through, engage each as a tragic tale that becomes a dirge or prayer as you fall to your knees or slowly walk in sorrow.
Find Your Venue
Take a few minutes to find the perfect spot for delivering each of the two songs as they should be performed. These must be separate locations that you feel are the best spot for singing the respective songs. Then, close out the activity by singing each song in its chosen location as you feel it should be performed. Then, give yourself a rousing ovation!
The Benefits + Perks
This exercise helps to boost confidence. It’s also a great vocal workout. It helps improve concentration and memory. It also keeps the mind supple by increasing brain activity that enhances your senses and heightens your ability to adapt. It keeps your imagination and inspiration both healthy and available.
By playing around with sounds, physical locations, and body movements, you’ll stimulate muscles you use to sing, and you’ll become more conscious of the part that the physical environment plays in performance. For more information on neurobics activity, read Keep Your Brain Alive by Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D and Manning Rubin. Never underestimate the powerful role your mind plays in successfully delivering the message of each song you sing!