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Bobby McFerrin’s Daily Singing Exercise

by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer

Bobby McFerrin be HappyBobby McFerrin at TED2011. (photo: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr, cc by 2.0)

The musician Bobby McFerrin describes the art and act of improvisation as “simply motion, just the courage to keep moving.” In the audio above (from this week’s show "Catching Song"), he offers a three-week challenge for building improvisational muscles and describes how it works. Here are the steps:

  1. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
  2. Open up your mouth and sing.
  3. Don’t stop for 10 minutes.
  4. Do this every day for three weeks.

Sounds pretty simple, right? McFerrin, however, warns that every inch, atom, and molecule of your being will want to bail. Self-judgment will creep in. But don’t falter. Keep going. McFerrin holds open the tantalizing promise that, in a few short weeks, you’ll see a change.

So, who’s up for the challenge?

Once you’ve tried McFerrin’s improvisational workout, we’d love to hear what it was like. What surprised you? Delighted you? Share your reflections here in the comments section. You can even record yourself and send in your improvisational vocal creations here at (612) 326-4044. If enough people participate, we’ll produce an audio montage and post it to the blog.

Are you in?

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  1. rorowe reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    Nada to do with cycling, or anything else I’ve ever shared on my Tumblr, but I’m doing this. Everytime I’m in the car,...
  2. drwh0 reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    This is some kind...privacy of one’s own room.
  3. koyl reblogged this from beingblog
  4. americanpublicmedia reblogged this from beingblog
  5. authenticbee reblogged this from kayds
  6. kayds reblogged this from birnblog and added:
    Vocalist friends… Check this out:
  7. birnblog reblogged this from beingblog
  8. beingblog posted this