Using images during your vocal studies
I found this article below very interesting, and thought it might help some of you. It talks about the importance of creating your own catalogue of images that work for you.
Images are especially useful to voice teachers and singers because most of what a singer does is invisible to the naked eye. There may be subtle indications of the singing process given by the face and body or by the sound, but for all practical purposes, images usually make learning vocal technical skills easier and faster than scientific explanations. For this reason, almost all voice teachers use them.
But first of all we must face the fact that any of the images proposed by voice teachers do not take on special meaning until the singer has experienced more than once the sensation described by the imagery. That is, you cannot imitate an image until you have have personal knowledge of it. Any psychologist will tell you that the time for settling on an image is after you have managed to execute the skill you are trying to achieve. The teacher, by whatever means necessary, gets the singer to execute the skill correctly. Right then and there the singer settles on a three-part image for what he/she just did. It will combine three images: (1) the feed-back muscular sensations from the larynx, pharynx, or mouth, also from ribs, back, abdomen, etc., (2) a visual image of what is actually taking place, (3) an auditory image of the sound produced by that procedure. The singer must use words of his own that describe the way the skill feels, sounds, and looks. It need not be anatomically accurate to be effective. One of the flaws in the ordinary use of imagery in the vocal studio is that the teacher will insist on using his/her words (which resonate to the teacher personally but perhaps not to the student) to describe the technical experience. Hence the possibility of misunderstandings and lack of progress.