The Washington Post recently released an article on a new epidemic- "Text Neck". Read it here.
So what's this got to do with singing?!
Actors and singers are already forward-leaning people. By that, I mean we carry our energy outward and tend to lean in to whomever is speaking with the upper half of our bodies. We are naturally inclined to radiate our energy forward toward the teacher, toward our scene partner, toward the audience, etc. This giving of forward energy can result in our chest and ribcage coming along for the ride if we're unaware of our physicality. When this couples with "text neck", or "computer head", or any other forward or slouching head and neck position, it's DOOMSDAY for the singer. Our spinal alignment is then all out of whack!
"But Jenna," you say, "It's 2016. I must text." To which I say, duh. BUT is it possible to start to notice where your head is in space while you text? Is your head always facing down, with your chin tucked, when you read something on your phone? When you're typing something on a computer, is your chin jutted out and are your shoulders scrunched up? Start to notice what position your body is in when you aren't paying attention.
The first step is recognizing that you have a problem (in this case, a physical habitual tendency). Once you recognize it and notice it's presence, you can begin to contemplate other options. You can begin to explore other possibilities! For example, could you bring your phone up to eye level when you want to read something? Can you type something on your computer while keeping your ears over your shoulders? Can you begin to explore the space and energy behind you rather that solely focusing on that which is in front? What if you tried listening to a director's feedback while thinking about your heels rooting into the ground?
Let's face it- we spend way more time on our computers and phones than we do singing. So these "bad habits" transfer into the voice studio unless we choose to change them outside of the studio first. It's easy to switch your behavior from an unconscious habit to a conscious choice once you notice it and begin to play with your physical options.