October 29, 2011

Hustle & Flow

Have you ever been involved in an activity where you lose track of time? Maybe you were writing a great story or even playing a video game. Your mind was completely engaged in the task at hand. This kind of focused energy is often referred to as flow. It’s a term created by Hungarian psychology professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, which refers to “the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.” To achieve flow requires complete engagement. In singing the word flow is also referred to in terms of breath flow. The goal is to create a steady stream of air without tension or obstruction so the vocal chords can vibrate freely. In order to do so you must coordinate many different parts of the body. You must relax some muscles while fully engaging others. The result is the feeling of having an open, malleable instrument where the breath flows easily.