Working with Adolescents and Young Adult Singers

Weekly Teaching Tip – May 27, 2013
by Dr. Steven Sims

Remember that we teach singers to place their whole body under their singing and many adolescents are struggling with body image issues. So, we must tread very carefully.

1. 2/3 of adolescent girls are unhappy with their weight

a. Girls more more likely to engage in binge eating/buliminia or to develop anorexia

2. 1/3 of adolescent boys are unhappy with their weight

a. Boys more like to exercise excessively, take protein supplements, try steroids

I strive to remind young artists that much of what we see in print and in media (including podcasts and youtube) is not real or did not occur naturally. I caution everyone not to be confused by costumes, make-up, clever lighting and reconstructive surgery when idealizing current artists.

I also highlight proper nutrition, a balanced diet, and the importance of exercise and physical activity to overall health. I recommend 8-10, 8 oz. glasses of water daily. I recommend 30 minutes of cardio 3-4times weekly. I recommend yoga and stretching and I encourage young people to keep the people who have known them since they were little kids close to help keep them grounded.

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