Jacqui, I’ve started feeling tense in my throat while I’m practising, and I’m not sure that overthinking about it is helping, but do you have any suggestions for relaxing in practice? Are there some warmups that might help? Thank you!!!
It's hard without actually watching you to see where the problem might lie, but it sounds like your brain might be ruling your body (a feeling I know all too well - you're not alone!)
My suggestions would be:
* Warm up with gentle humming and lip trills ('brrrrrrrrrrrr' with your lips). It's actually really good to go through whole pieces like this, as it's almost impossible to lip trill with any tension!
* If you have a balance board or fit-ball, stand/sit on these and wobble about whilst singing. I know it sounds weird, but if your brain is concentrating on keeping your balance, it doesn't have time to panic and tighten up your jaw - it works!!!
* If you don't have the above, try singing whilst 'hula-hooping' your hips, or swaying them smoothly and loosely from side to side with slightly bent knees. This can also provide brain distraction, as well as unlocking any hip tension you might have.
Another trick is to bend over from the waist and let your whole upper body, arms and head hang down. Try singing from there (keep everything hanging loosely!) and see if that does the trick.
Hopefully some of these will help - get back to me and let me know how you go!