Personal Trainers – you are opening a new world for me. I’m an age where I think I have the field of study pretty well covered and yet, here I am finding a new kind of language to use : Gym talk. Love it. New lexicon for this voice coach. I feel at the bottom of another mountain. So I am beginning another hike upwards. It’s fun – freeing the voice from such fabulous bodies – bodies which already, can isolate, find alignment easily, understand bones and muscle energies. The challenge is to find the balance between support and push and release and communicate: to work from the inside out for a voice class.
Can’t help this post. I’m obsessed with all things voice. Listen to yourself – if you even suspect you might be a bit nasal – you will be! If you don’t care, I certainly don’t, but if you do care, then you can stop being nasal. Here is how to check if you are. Make a long, sustained, “eeeeeeeeeee” sound on any note that is comfortable and while you are doing that, squeeze and release both of your nostrils. If you sound like a siren, then you are nasal. Just thought I’d mention it.
It seems strange but there is an especially nice freedom/focus at being able to look at you with a sustained intimacy that isn’t threatening. My voice work operates just as well which has amazed me. What’s more, it’s a nice challenge for me as an educator because I have to be super clear in my instructions to you.
Here’s an exercise for you The Wallow in Vibrations Experience…….. 1) Hum on a a long, indulgent “m” sound with your lips gently closed. Feel where the vibrations fall. (You might like to touch your face lightly with your finger tips to increase the tactile nature of the sounds.) 2)Then….. without opening or moving your lips, allow your lower jaw bone to drop just a little inside your mouth. 3)Keep humming and you will feel the vibrations more intensely. 4) Release your belly for breath to replace whenever you need to and 4)enjoy the sensation.
If you don’t like your voice, then do something about it. Your voice will be yearning to be free and expressive. People who have to listen to you also will be yearning for you to sound “better”. It’s not hard. I’ve spent a life-time doing this work and while it is challenging, it’s very pleasant to do. BTW, someone said they didn’t come to me because I look so fierce in my website image. Well, I am fierce but I’m very friendly to my clients. Yawn, stretch the throat, yawn again. Keep your throat easy. Dianne
YOUR FREE, OPEN VOICE IS IN THE PALMS OF YOUR HANDS
Stand, say a few lines of something or count just as a test. Yup, there is your normal voice, (maybe it’s a voice you don’t much like).
Then, press the heels of your hands together quite strongly in front of you. Press them in parallel, not like you are saying a prayer. When you do that, you will feel two little pieces of movement involving your ribs and your pelvic floor.
Keep pressing (watch you don’t include shoulder effort) and now repeat the lines or count. This time you will “feel” and hear your voice in a new way.
The big jump in improving your vocal skills is learning how to feel your voice. . You will like it more if you understand how it works and can feel it in your bones. Try it. Dx
Scholars have always believed that his famous phrase “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) was pronounded “weni, widi, wici”. However, scientists now claim humans have only been able to pronounce the letters “v” and “f” relatively recently because our hunter-gathered ancestors had worn down teeth through chewing hard meat and bones. A much softer diet has led to an overbite which allows “v” and “f” sounds by touching the lower lips to the top teeth.
Now, I know that information does not shake your world and it may not be true (and I don’t much care whether it is or not) but I found it an interesting enough thought to share with you.
There are heaps of voice exercises out there on social media. I was thinking that one of the things I tell my students and clients is that we must not take our selves too seriously. Voice and speech work should be fun. I have been teaching actors and worrying about how to help them enter the profession, and being very serious. I’ve just seen something on the web that make me laugh. I did the exercises and they work. I want to share them with people who care. I don’t know who posted it but thank you very much.
Your best voice is clear, intelligible and effortless. You want people to listen to what you say, not listen to your voice. When you are making a speech, you will feel more confident if you do this exercise about 30 minutes before. Actors love it.
*Slide your tongue, flatly, out of your mouth so it rests on your lower lip. Keep it there as you speak you first one or two sentences. Use your lips so that you can be understood, (you just sound very strange and it is also quite a big effort.) Make sure you don’t push your head forward and that you continue to breathe low. Speak with strong meaning and intention so that you don’t sound like a robot. I should be able to follow you as you do this.
*Then, let the tongue slide back into the bottom of your mouth (where it wants to be) and repeat those same sentences. You will find that, because you have stretched the muscles at the back of the tongue, the tongue is happier, faster, more specific in its movements. You
will feel that it is just so easy to say the words. As Shakespeare said your words will be …..trippingly on the tongue.