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By Selena, 21/11/2017, Category:Taking care of your voice
In holistic health circles it is starting to be recognised that many of us 'operate' according to an unconscious mental map of how our body works. And because as singers we know that the vocal instrument is located mainly in the throat, there is a very common tendency for us to sing as if the 'engine' of the voice is in the the throat. I frequently see and hear people singing in this way, they seem to be 'pushing' the voice out from their throats. Does that sound like your habit too? And the trouble is that this can cause several problems, such as: ~ Getting a sore throat quite quickly; ~ The voice tiring too soon whilst singing; ~ A pressed or hard/ strident/ glottal sound to the voice, especially at the start of vowels; ~ Long term deterioration of the condition of your voice; ~ A lack of some of the richer qualities of singing such as ringing resonance. It's a shame to see and hear this unconscious mis-use of our fabulous vocal instrument and the frustration people experience when they are doing this, running into problems with it and not knowing how to shift out of it. So to help you grasp the correct 'mental map' of your voice, I'd like to quickly sketch out for you how your voice really works and then give you a lovely 'recipe' for vocalising more in tune with your instrument. Your voice has 3 main parts: 1. The power comes from the breath, from your lungs; 2. The pitch, and initial sound, is produced in the larynx or 'voice box' (in the throat); 3. The amplifier and resonator is in the spaces inside your throat/mouth/nose/face. So hopefully you can see from this that your throat is really more like the 'channel' of your voice than the engine. Because, although the throat does 'work' to make sound ( your vocal folds vibrate); you want to treat it as if the voice is 'flowing through' the throat instead of being pushed out from there. ( and it literally is flowing through because the breath flows through your vocal folds and onwards). So I've got a lovely and easy-to-grasp 'recipe' for you - which is a way to sing that uses your instrument effectively, healthily, and tends to create a stronger, richer, livelier sound. So what is this recipe? I like to call it 'the Fountain Method' of singing... Since the breath-power starts right down below your navel, imagine that the source of your fountain is there, in the centre of your pelvis. 'Begin' your tone in this place. ( But make sure not to 'push from here either) Now picture the water spouting upwards through your torso and your throat; Continuing up through the central channel of your throat/mouth/head; Emerging a few inches above your head and spreading out from there! Have a go at this and see how you find it! You really want to picture the WHOLE fountain image within you as you sing. I have taught this to many of my students and they find: ~ it makes singing easier and more pleasurable, ~ they usually get a much stronger 'ring' to their voice! ~ they also find the throat-pushing problems start to go away. I hope you have enjoyed discovering my Fountain Method and have fun using it!
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