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Singing: Eyes open or closed?

the lemonade lady 22 Aug 02 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 22 Aug 02 - 05:20 AM
fogie 22 Aug 02 - 05:21 AM
My guru always said 22 Aug 02 - 05:27 AM
the lemonade lady 22 Aug 02 - 05:44 AM
Trevor 22 Aug 02 - 06:20 AM
Trevor 22 Aug 02 - 06:26 AM
C-flat 22 Aug 02 - 06:32 AM
Trevor 22 Aug 02 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 22 Aug 02 - 06:39 AM
Trevor 22 Aug 02 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 22 Aug 02 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,Mary Humphreys 22 Aug 02 - 07:55 AM
lady penelope 22 Aug 02 - 08:01 AM
Trevor 22 Aug 02 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Russ 22 Aug 02 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,rob 22 Aug 02 - 10:56 AM
dwditty 22 Aug 02 - 11:12 AM
MMario 22 Aug 02 - 11:25 AM
Trevor 22 Aug 02 - 11:32 AM
Grab 22 Aug 02 - 11:50 AM
Bobert 22 Aug 02 - 11:55 AM
the lemonade lady 22 Aug 02 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,Pat Darlington 22 Aug 02 - 01:10 PM
dwditty 22 Aug 02 - 02:11 PM
the lemonade lady 22 Aug 02 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter 22 Aug 02 - 04:28 PM
Kim C 22 Aug 02 - 04:28 PM
Firecat 22 Aug 02 - 04:32 PM
harpgirl 22 Aug 02 - 06:53 PM
Stephen L. Rich 22 Aug 02 - 07:25 PM
Rustic Rebel 22 Aug 02 - 08:34 PM
Trevor 23 Aug 02 - 04:52 AM
Trevor 23 Aug 02 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 23 Aug 02 - 05:21 AM
Trevor 23 Aug 02 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 23 Aug 02 - 07:08 AM
Celtic Soul 23 Aug 02 - 08:38 AM
MMario 23 Aug 02 - 08:43 AM
Trevor 23 Aug 02 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Russ 23 Aug 02 - 09:51 AM
dwditty 23 Aug 02 - 09:57 AM
Declan 23 Aug 02 - 10:04 AM
Trevor 23 Aug 02 - 10:06 AM
Alice 23 Aug 02 - 10:39 AM
Pied Piper 23 Aug 02 - 11:39 AM
Alice 23 Aug 02 - 12:02 PM
Alice 23 Aug 02 - 12:13 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Aug 02 - 04:35 PM
the lemonade lady 26 Aug 02 - 04:35 PM
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Subject: Eyes open or closed?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 05:09 AM

I have a theory that if you learn a song by reading the words, when you put the words down, the song will be sung with eyes closed because the words are stored in one certain place in the memory. When your eyes are closed you can 'see' the words. If you learn the words by ear you'll probably sing the song with your eyes open.

Why do some folk singers sing with eyes closed? As a member of the audience I find it distracting, anti-social and embarrasing. Like the singer puts up a wall between him/her and their audience. Like he/her is trying to get something over and done with. The look of relief when it's all over is obvious.

I sing with my eyes open, communicating with my audience, talking and connecting with them. What do others think?

Over to you........


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 05:20 AM

Sometimes I sing with my eyes closed. mainly if I am nervous, because when I am nervous I am easily distracted and more likely to make mistakes. With my eyes closed there is less to distract me and I can almost forget about how many and who is listening. When I feel more confident, I tend to keep my eyes open and interact more.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: fogie
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 05:21 AM

It depend on what the audience looks like. I always keep my ears open when I sing. Perhaps its to do with distraction / concentration that singers close ,or worse look up showing the whites of their eyes, to provide a safe environment for themselves, in a nervous situation. Clubs ought to invest in a pair of "Stevie Wonder specs" for passing round, or take the chance to make faces at the singer, while they're not looking like I always do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: My guru always said
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 05:27 AM

What an interesting theory! Thanks for opening this one up!

I'm fairly new to singing in front of people & tend to keep my eyes closed when singing - Sorry! I'm pretty sure that it's because I'm easily distracted.

I've been trying to open them & communicate with the audience more, but when I see the people (even friends) in front of me, my memory for the words just disintegrates & I stumble through the song & gain little satisfaction from the singing of it.

With my eyes shut I can concentrate on recalling the next line or where I am in the story of the song. This is probably just nerves & hopefully will be rectified by time & experience - I hope!

As to learning the words, I usually keep my eyes open otherwise I'd crash!

Other cats?


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 05:44 AM

I think learning words by ears makes a stronger memory of the song. Children learn by ear and I can still remember songs I learnt when I was little. (Not that it was THAT long ago ) I learn a lot in the car!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 06:20 AM

There's probably something in there about the way in which we learn. We all have 'sensory preferences' for the way in which we take in and give out information, and we give away clues as to how our brain works in this respect. For instance, when the message is 'I understand', one person may say 'I see what you mean' whilst others may say 'I hear what you're saying' or 'I feel like that as well'. We tend to represent our perception of the world in a personal (and usually distorted)way.

Our bodies and minds are part of the same cybernetic system - thoughts go hand-in-hand with feelings and emotion, emotion means movement, at many levels, in the body as well as physical happenings in the brain. Body and mind often act in concert to bring about your intentions.

I sing with my eyes shut. I learn best by use of the kinaesthetic sense and by visually. I have to conjure up a picture, not of the words, but a kind of film of the story of the song which is played on a screen behind my eyes. Others, for instance who may learn best through the auditory sense, may find that in order to access their memory of words they sing with their eyes open but occasionally out of focus slightly left or right of a centre point.

Try it out. Ask somebody to remember something that they have seen, maybe a picture on a wall in a hotel room, and see what they do with their eyes. It may well be that they look up slightly, a bit to their right. Now ask them to imagine seeing something - see what happens. Their gaze may shift to the left. do the same thing with recall of a sound.

The theory is that you can use these techniques in a conscious way to help recall. Have a think about what happens to your eyes naturally when you're remembering the words. Next time you need to use your memory 'assume the position'.

None of which mumbo-jumbo prevents me from often making a complete pratt of myself when I do forget the words. Mind you, at least because my eyes are shut I can't see the audience laughing at me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 06:26 AM

Just read your last post Sal, after I'd written mine. If your preferred learning style is auditory it would explain why you find it easier to sing with your eyes open, and in fact you display what I've just described above perfectly. When you sing your head is slightly to one side and you tend to scan the audience until you're happy that the words for a phrase are coming out right. You then engage an individual, again with head on one side (coquettishly, some would say, but not me 'cos I know what's happening!!) but eyes not really focused, until the next 'chunk' of the song, when you scan again. Honest, you do!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: C-flat
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 06:32 AM

Trevors comments about eye movement during memory recall was taught to me when I was involved in sales. It was explained to me that, when answering a question, if the persons eyes turned up and right they were drawing from factual memory. If, however, the eyes turned up and left they were drawing on the creative side of the brain to invent their answers.
A usual tip to help spot a liar but not a lot of help over the internet and also not really relevent to the topic at hand. Sorry for the diversion! :~)


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 06:36 AM

It would never stand up at an industrial tribunal C-flat! Generalising is big time dangerous, but you can do a kind of 'calibration' exercise to work out what is the norm for individuals, and then observe variations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 06:39 AM

I might be treading on a few toes here, but....

Although popularly believed, there is little evidence for the NLP (neuro linguistic programming) theory that Trevor is alluding to. Repeated scientific studies have found no correlation between eye movement direction, choice of language, type of thoughts and visual imagery.

In common with other pseudosciences, NLP has an over reliance on anecdote and on using the theory for financial gain rather than well researched theory and scientific evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 07:03 AM

Hello Bagpuss - you won't be treading on my toes for certain, and I've never heard NLP referred to as a science - I certainly don't see it that way. I speak as someone who makes a living out of having to communicate effectively, every day of my life, and I can, for sure, give you plenty of anecdotal evidence of my own in favour of how much sense I can make of NLP. I suppose I could give references (and reservations) but that isn't the point really is it in this discussion? I don't believe my use of NLP ideas aspires to a high level of scientific methodology - but I know what works for me and I'm really interested to try and figure out why it works.

You tell me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 07:13 AM

I wasn't having a go at *you* for being unscientific. It's the whole basis of NLP that doesn't have a scientific basis. You say you are interested to try and figure out why it works, but all the evidence that has been properly collected seems to indicate that it *doesn't* work. It's a theory that has caught the public attention because it has an intuitive appeal and because its proponents have marketed it really well especially in a business environment. But there is little evidence that it has any sort of truth.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Mary Humphreys
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 07:55 AM

I agree that it is much easier to engage audiences when they are under the scrutiny of a singer with eyes open. Also, when I am in audience I prefer a singer to look at those to whom s/he is singing.This is why I try to sing 'eyes open' much of the time.

Speaking from a singer's point of view, I lose a lot of the wonders of a song myself if I can't visualise it in my internal eye. Like others who have already contributed to this thread , I 'see' the action as in a movie - even down to the dress and setting of the characters in the song. When I sing with my eyes open, much of that goes in the distraction of looking at the audience.

So who do I please - myself or the audience?

Usually I try to please the audience, but when it is a song which requires complex emotional interpretation, I will keep my eyes closed to get the best out of the song -both for myself and for the audience.

Mary Humphreys


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: lady penelope
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 08:01 AM

Back to Mrs Lemon's original theory.....

I tend to remember a song better if I've written it out, however, I don't sing with my eyes closed, infact I find it positively disturbing to do so (in front of people that is.)

I think remembering lyrics and music is so wrapped up with a lot of stimulie that are not auditory that it makes it very difficult to nail any particular trait down.

The eyes closed thing is probably more to do with being nervous, as Bagpuss said, than learning songs and then recalling them.

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 08:25 AM

I'd be interested to know how people learn their songs - what techniques they use, how they recall. Bagpuss, we could list what works well for everybody and then see which bits of it work for us. We could tell loads of people that we have this list and they could have a look at it as well and they may find something useful too. We could call it, erm...'Baggie and Trev's Guide to Learning Songs', with a sub-title of 'Take What you Want'.

Nah, people would say it was a doctrine and attack us for being unscientific, when all we were saying was that sometimes, just sometimes mind, other people's techniques might work for us as well. Nah...that sounds like role modelling and we know that's wrong!!!!(BG)

Back to the thread, I'm not conscious of shutting my eyes to hide from the audience and it had never occurred to me that the audience may find it distracting. Sally Lemon, if I forget all my words at our gig tomorrow because I'm thinking of this you'll be in trouble! And who had to keep looking at the words at last night's practice then?


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 10:36 AM

Singing with eyes closed is not uncommon amongst the old singers of traditional ballads. It is sometimes part of a sort of cluster of mannerisms along with, for example, cocked head and clasped hands. However, what the old traditional ballad singers are doing is not exactly what modern folk singers in front of an audience are doing (other than the singing part, of course).

I can and do sing both ways.

Let me give a shot at trying to explain the closed eye thing.

The status of my eyes while singing has more to do with the intensity of the emotions I am experiencing while singing. If I am really into one of the old ballads I tend to close my eyes. The idea is to give all my attention to my to the song. I don't' want to be distracted by interactions with the listeners. When my eyes are closed it is not because I am afraid I'll be distracted and forget the words. It is because I want to focus entirely on the song. In a sense, it is a wall of sorts but my thinking is that if you're paying attention to me instead of the song, I'm not doing something right. It is not that I am not interested in engaging the audience, it is just that for some songs I am not interested in ME engaging the audience. I want the SONG to engage the audience (or not, if I blow it).


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,rob
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 10:56 AM

When it comes to rembering things the following is a good guideline

you remember:

90% of what you do

60% of what you say

40% of what you write

20% of what you see.

10% of what you hear

or something like that. I bet some body comes on and corrects me , because I cant remember properly???


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: dwditty
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 11:12 AM

Great discussion. I have been playing online for a couple of years (Hearme, now Paltalk), and I always sang with the words in front of me. Big mistake. Now I am playing out some....mostly open mics. After the first time, I realized how much work I need to do to be ready for an audience. Learning the words is essential, of course. Connecting with the audience seems just as important to me. I am in the process now of singing without words....if I mess up, I go back to that section after the song and do it a few times again. Eventually, I get it. Some songs seem to just graft to my head, while others take much effort to learn cold.

As far as eyes open or closed...I generally agree that watching someone "sing in their sleep" is not all that enjoyable...unless the closed eyes contribute to the deep feelings the song is stirring in the singer. Then, watching a performer lost in his/her music can be a very personal connection between the performer and the audience. For the most part, though, I try to connect with the audience by looking at them, stopping occasionally to sing to an individual, and if the song allows, to smile....they always smile back.

dw


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: MMario
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 11:25 AM

The status of my eyes while singing has more to do with the intensity of the emotions I am experiencing while singing.

Exactly! - Though I try to keep my eyes open - the more deeply I am feeling a song the harder it becomes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 11:32 AM

Hello Rob. Not far off, but it obviously varies from individual to individual. Your learning style is a combination of three factors: How you perceive information most easily
How you organize, process and make meaning of information
The conditions necessary to help you learn best – emotional, social, physical and environmental
There was some interesting research by Ken and Rita Dunn, from St John's University, New York, who discovered that:

Only 30% of students retain even 75 percent of what they hear during a lecture or presentation
40% retain three-quarters of what they read or see
15% learn best tactually – they need to handle materials –to write, draw and be involved with concrete experiences
Another 15% are kinesthetic – they learn best by physically doing things

If you can work out what works best for you, you stand a better chance of retaining stuff.

I've been doing some work on 'brain-friendly' learning and whether there were any specific techniques that would help me to hold on to words. I've come up with a couple of thoughts but don't want to get off thread. PM if you're interested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Grab
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 11:50 AM

My theory: closing eyes minimises distractions and focusses "processing" on the song. If your eyes are open, that's using up "processing" which would otherwise be going on other things.

If the song's a piece of piss (Wild Rover, etc) then singing eyes-open isn't a problem, bcos I don't have to concentrate hardly at all. And if it's a solo singing thing, that takes less concentration so I can keep eyes open. But if I'm playing a complex guitar part and singing at the same time, or if I'm singing harmony (which is hard for me), then I'll often close eyes to concentrate better on the hard bits.

For comparison, imagine doing something requiring immense hand-eye coordination and concentration, like rally driving. Then imagine that someone says, "You have to recite 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' at the same time, and it's not acceptable for you to stop talking so you can concentrate on the key thing of what you're actually doing, and no matter how well you've driven, you'll be considered a failure if you can't keep reciting that poem throughout the race."

If you want to "work the audience" with looking round and making eye contact, you'll doubtless be singing songs which are easy. If you're doing something hard (and generally therefore interesting) then you've got more things to worry about than making eye contact. For myself, if someone's playing a beautiful, heartfelt song then I'll often be listening with my eyes closed to better concentrate on the tune, so you're SOL if you want to make eye contact with me anyway!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 11:55 AM

I have to agree with GUEST,Russ and dwditty on this one. If I'm singing a fun song that involves the audience it's eyes open. But if I want to reach down for that extra intensity or emotion, its eyes closed. But, and this is a very important but.. when I do, there are other expressions of emotion, such as grimacing or cocking of my head so as to stay connected. I've really never given this subject much thought until now but from the reactions of folks who have heard me, I don't think that closing one's eye's, at least in my case, has done anything but enhance the story and the song.

Not too scientific, huh?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 12:59 PM

Dwditty: I think you and I think alike when it comes to an audience. Isn't it magical when you get a responce from odd members of the audience. I think they remember us for quite a while, because they think we were singing to them. Well we were, weren't we?

Sal


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Pat Darlington
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 01:10 PM

There are obviously a lot of factors in play here, of which I think one of the most significant is where there is a high emotional content to be communicated it can be easier to convey this when not distracted by taking in other information, visual or otherwise. For this reason my father sometimes refers (for some reason in a mock-Irish accent) to a song of raw emotion as a "shut-eye" song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: dwditty
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 02:11 PM

As I mentioned, closed eyes can add to the drama. And even though singing while using both hands to play, keeping the rhythm with a foot or two, remembering the words, and concentrating on the pitch is a lot to ask, to me it is still a dramatic performance. I can't help but believe that some famous moments in film or even speeches, for that matter, would have been as effective with the eyes closed. There may have been some who thought MLK was "having a dream" had his eyes been closed. Knute Rockne with his eyes closed? - forget it! All this being said, there will still be plenty of songs in which I will close my eyes.

dw


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 04:02 PM

but I still feel the audience feels it embarrasing and wonder what on earth they are doing sitting there watching someone with their eyes closed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 04:28 PM

When I was in college, I took a class called "The Irish Experience." As part of the class, we learned some of the traditional Irish sean-nos (don't know how to do the fada on the o there) singing style. I remember learning that when they would sing, sometimes they would actually turn their backs to the audience, in order (as I understood it from the professor) to allow people to concentrate on the song rather than on the performer. I found this idea fascinating.

That said, I know that when I listen to music, I will often close my eyes in order to better take in the sound and the feeling of it. Sure, I go out to see a musician or a band play, but really I go out to hear the music--seeing the musician playing live is just a bonus. I probably had my eyes shut through half of the Uprooted Tour show I saw last night with Seven Nations, Young Dubliners and Great(!) Big(!) Sea(!). But at the same time I had to remind myself to open my eyes to be able to enjoy the sights on stage--catch what chords they're playing, watch the fiddlers' fingers fly, and of course to see Sean McCann dance a ridiculous jig.

:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Kim C
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 04:28 PM

Mrs. Lemon, I sing with my eyes closed a lot, and have no problem whatsoever watching someone else do the same. If the singer feels no discomfort or embarrassment, neither will the audience. And as long as what they're hearing is pleasing, what they're looking at isn't so much of an issue. Stage presence comes in many different forms.

We rarely play in settings where there is a still audience. We are frequently outdoors, with people milling about everywhichway, and it can be very distracting. If I sing with eyes open, I focus on a spot over the audience's heads.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Firecat
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 04:32 PM

I personally sing with my eyes closed for the first couple of songs, cos I'm always really nervous, but as I progress through whatever I'm singing at, I open my eyes, because I like making sure people are enjoying what Im singing. Then I close them again!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: harpgirl
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 06:53 PM

Here is the correct NLP description for the meaning of eye movements for a normally organized right handed individual. I will refraim from commenting on Bandler and Grinder's training but I believe this information was gleaned from studies of stroke victims. I am still looking for references to back this remembrance up.

For a right handed person when their eyes go up they are visualizing. If their eyes go to the right they are contructing images and if they go up to the left they are remembering images. If the eyes remain straight but defocused the person is visualizing. When eyes stay on the horizontal plane and move side to side the person is hearing either words or sounds. When they move to the right side they are constructing (creating) and when they move to the left they are remembering. When eyes go down right the person is in a kinesthetic mode. This means they may be aware of feelings, movements and/or physical sensations. When eyes go down left the person is experiencing an internal dialogue. If you are a left handed person when your eyes go up you are visualizing. When they go to the right you are remembering and when they go to the left you are constructing images. If they are defocused they are visualizing. When your eyes are moving side to side you are hearing words and sounds. When they move to the right you are remembering and when they move to the left you are constructing. When your eyes look down right you are having an internal dialogue. When your eyels look down left you are in the kinesthectic mode, (feelings, movements and/or physical sensations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 07:25 PM

I've found that it depends on the song. For the most part, I agree that the most valuable thing which a performer can to to aid communication with an audience is to make as much eye contact with as many people as possible. However, there are songs which require a certain amount more concentration (many of the slower, more intense Stan Rogers tunes, for example;"Song of the Candle", "Second Effort",etc.) and closing one's eyes help toward that end. By the time one gets to the point in a given set that one can seriously think about doing such a song the closed eyes are, as a rule, no longer a barrier because, presumably, one has been maintaining the eye contact up to that point and will continue it afterward.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 08:34 PM

When I play on stage,I get into my music so much, not only do I have my eyes closed alot, but I don't even see the audience when they are open. It's kind of a strange thing that happens to me, that I tune out the audience, but I never have tried to analize it, it's just the way I am.
Mrs.Lemon, I hope you don't mind my saying so, but I find it strange that anyone would be embarrassed by a singer with closed eyes. I guess if I were to analize anything it would have to be your reaction to a closed-eyed singer.But, to each his own.
Peace, Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 04:52 AM

I think they remember us for quite a while, because they think we were singing to them


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 04:53 AM

Hey up Sal, your Diva's showing!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 05:21 AM

I don't mean to drag the thread off-topic, and keep harping on about it, but Harpgirl, I would be interested if you could find the references. Because I haven't been able to find any supporting evidence either for the tenets of NLP or its efficacy as a tool or treatment. I have found references to a review article which found that there were actually no correlations between types of imagery and processing, language choice and eye movement direction. This seems to be a basic tenet of the theory which has been shown not to be true in repeated tests.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 06:36 AM

Hello Bagpuss. Have a look here. You'll find plenty of stuff on both sides of the fence. As thread creep seems inevitable here it's probably worth saying that when Bandler and Grinder started their work they studied individuals who they felt were - in their terms - effective communicators. They realised that they could break down the components of their performance and teach them to others. They found that if the parts were broken down into small segments thay could be described and quantified and patterns seen for each individual.

The basis of training using NLP, therefore, is to identify the patterns found in excellent performers and transfer these patterns to individuals wishing to emulate their performance.

I wish when I'd been at school my teachers had known more about learning style preference, for instance. Kolb, Honey and Mumford are not part of the NLP movement (for want of a better word) but their work in this respect comes from more or less the same direction - although more scientifically based and, as I understand it is being used more and more in mainstream education.

For more evidence of mumbo-jumbo about, in this case, multiple intelligence - again coming from the same general direction - being used successfully, have a look at this, about an elementary school in Indianapolis.

Sorry to go on - I just knew I shouldn't engage on this!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 07:08 AM

Just read the abstracts listed, and they are predominantly unconfirming of NLP hypotheses. Those few that have significant results, are often not in the direction predicted, or they are only one result out of several which means they could be a result of comprimised confidence levels (if you test lots of things, you increase the chance that you will get one positive result by chance rather than due to a real effect). Not an impressive research database for an NLP website, which might have been expected to know about any positive research results.

Anyway I'll shut up about it now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:38 AM

This is an interesting one!

For me, I will not wind up closing my eyes, as I cannot see words in my mind.

Which is why it takes me a hell of a lot longer to learn by reading the lyrics than it does when I form images (pictograms) of the essence of the lyrics. I can learn a song fairly fast this way. I am guessing it has to do with left/right brain dominance, or the amount of synaptic crossings between the hemispheres.

Or, I am completely full of shit...who knows?

Wait...don't answer that question


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: MMario
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:43 AM

CS - you can't be full of it; there wouldn't be any room for your glorious voice!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:45 AM

Well if you are, I must be as well - as demonstrated above!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 09:51 AM

GUEST Old Brown's Daughter
I think I've read/heard/noticed that the old Appalachian ballad singers seem to owe some of their style to sean-nos.
Mrs Lemon
It's not just you.
A traditional singer doing an unaccompanied song with eyes wide shut can be quite traumatic if you're not used to it. The intensity, the emotion, the "no net" feeling, the starkness can be very discomfiting. Modern audiences with no previous experience sometimes don't know how to deal with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: dwditty
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 09:57 AM

Back again. I guess my final thought on the subject is if you are going to close your eyes in a song, there should be something very special going on with the music.

dw


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Declan
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 10:04 AM

For myself, I don't go to see music, I go to listen to it. It makes no difference to me if the singer has their eyes closed, mine may well be closed too if I'm listening intently, as they usually are when I'm singing. I'm much more interested in the performer giving the best to the performance than imagining they are looking straight at me, which they almost certainly aren't, however good they are at creating the illusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Trevor
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 10:06 AM

So Mrs L, are the audience there to listen to you or watch you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Alice
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 10:39 AM

I concur with the Irish trad info posted previoulsy in this thread. For myself, I automatically close my eyes when I am going into a deeply emotional or expressive slow song. If it's a fast song, a comedy, or a sing along, my eyes open. I think there is nothing at all about closed eyes that would "embarrass" an audience. Why in the world would people be embarrassed to see someone close their eyes? People close their eyes in many situations where the sound is what is the main thing being communicated. Haven't you ever seen a conductor, a violinist, a pianist, with eyes closed while concentrating on sound? It's no different for a singer.

This is what the great sean nós singer Joe Heaney had to say about singing traditional Irish songs:

"If you're asked to sing a song in a country house, you'll make sure or try to make sure that nobody sees you while you're singing it - don't you see anybody - you turn your back. Not through disrespect, but out of shyness - I don't know how you call it. If you're wearing a cap, you'll pull it over your eyes, so you're actually just living the song while you sing it, or if you haven't a cap on, you put your hand over your eyes. Then you'll see nobody while you're singing it. You're just singing the song to yourself. And that's the way you'll find it, even tomorrow if you go back there. You'll find the man what they call the cúinneach; the man who goes into the corner and sings a song, the song is heard but he's not seen. And a cúinne of course is a Gaelic word for a corner, and the man who sits in the corner is called the cúinneach." - Joe Heaney, The Road From Connemara, songs and stories told and sung to Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger

Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Pied Piper
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 11:39 AM

Hi Mrs Lemon. I think your confusing too different things here. When you sing a song with your eyes open (and making I contact) you are rooted in the "normal" world of social reality. When you play or sing intensely with eyes shut you can enter "mythic dream time space" where "I" and the "other" dissolve into being in the moment. When I here a song sung like this I too close my eyes and surrender to magic of the moment. Experiencing this state of mind is the main reason I'm a musician. I'm sorry that you find this embarrassing, because I think you're missing a very rich, life enhancing experience. A similar thing can happen at instrumental sessions when the tune seems to almost appear it's so real. In this state you are not playing the tune the tune is playing you, or more accurately you and the tune are one. I'm afraid this spiritual side of music is a bit of a taboo subject, and a lot of people will run a mile from the direct experience of transcendence. Maybe some people can enter this state with their eyes open, but I can't. All the best PP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Alice
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 12:02 PM

PP, your comment reminds me of the Joe Heaney quote of "living the song while you sing it". The awareness is totally focussed on the sound and the words, not on a stage setting, performer, props, facial expression or gestures. The awareness is focussed on sound, not sight, when one is that absorbed in the music, either singing or listening. It's a great experience and the part of singing I love best. - Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Alice
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 12:13 PM

Regarding learning from printed words or from listening to the song, I don't think it makes a difference at all to whether one closes the eyes. It is a matter of concentration and focus on the song and feeling the emotion of the song that leads me to close my eyes. I've learned lyrics both from hearing them and reading them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 04:35 PM

Peggy Seeger says she sings a lot (especially ballads) with her eyes closed. Why? "I want to watch the movie!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Eyes open or closed?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 04:35 PM

Having talked to a couple of people at Bridgnorth Festival this w/e, they said they sing with eyes shut because they feel nervous, and lack the confidence to open them and look at their audience.


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