Vocal Warms up and Workouts Coming Soon

Any moment now this site will offer various work outs and warm ups for your voice.  You can download them and play them at your convenience.  It’s hard to motivate yourself  (I’ve never done any of the exercises any Physio has given me for more than a few days!) so now you can use me for motivation.   Or, if you don’t know my work, you can do a Zoom session with me and I will design a bespoke work out for you. Make no mistake, the most communicable and easy to listen to voices always get the role, get the job etc.  Directors don’t like to take risks.   You know yourself you become very tired of voices  eg “Kardashian throat sound”, or voices that  drone on in a nasal way.  Or, voices that are not emotionally accessible enough to bring a script to life.

So my friends, I hope this new little enterprise of mine is going to be useful to you.  I do hope so.  Let me know.

 

The V Voice Secret

 What is the V Voice secret? Flight or Flight or Rest and Digest ? 

Your Vagal system sends messages to your brain.  If your Vagal nerve transmits a message that you are under threat,  you will feel performance anxiety: the fight or flight or freeze response.

Your diaphragm is the big breathing muscle that is hooked into this Vagal system. The way to send the message to rest and digest (and therefore, decreasing anxiety),  is to allow your diaphragm to move the way it wants to move. It wants to move downwards towards your pelvic floor.  Diaphragmatic breathing sends the right message.  The brain believes what the body tells it is true!

Test: Place your hand on your collar bone. If it moves when you breathe, you are breathing shallowly and  you run the risk of sending the fight or flight spark to your brain.

I love this system  – it means you can decide how you want your voice to be – connected and real or tense and forced.

 

NEW WORLD FOR ME

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.

 

Are you a bit nasal?

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.

Zoom/Skype is working for me now. I have learned to keep my hands from reaching into the screen to adjust an alignment or to soften a tense jaw.

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.

Do you like your voice?

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

TEACH YOUR VOICE TO LAUGH HEALTHILY

TEN TIPS TO LAUGHING HAPPILY

An Actors Guide to Safe Stage Laughter

1. Rest and hydrate all through your run.

2. Warm up your voice before the show.

3. Maintain supported breath in an open chest, throat, and vowel space — the more relaxed your system, the less stress on it!

4. Gentle on the inhale — laughing is a breathing pattern, and the inhales can be short and sharp. If you can inhale through your nose, do so.

5. Start slow and low — give yourself somewhere to go.

6. Take breaks in the laughter — don’t “freight train” the work. Stop and sigh it out throughout. This also keeps the laughs natural.

7. Make sure the text is understood — this will put focus on the words and not the laughter, and help you treat the laughs lightly. The words matter more.

8. A little bit of hysterical laughing goes a long way — you don’t really need to sell it as hard as you think.

9. Reset with a sigh — a beautiful series of happy exhales of relief can “reset” the body, breath and ribs so you’re ready to move into the next moment.

10. Ramp up slowly — return to natural conversation with your breath supported, and your chest, throat and vowel space open and relaxed.

PRESS HERE FOR A FREE VOICE

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

Julius Caesar could not pronounce his “v”

Why Julius Caesar could not say the sound “v”

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.