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Your Voice, and how it is made:
Have you ever recorded yourself and listened to the sound of your own voice? What did you discover? Did you sound the way you thought you sound?
In many ways, the voice we have is a result of our genetics. However, we do have methods and techniques that will allow us to change the quality of our voice, according to the needs of a character. But even if we are going to use "our own voice" for the character, we want to be able to speak with clarity, good volume, and a pleasing sound.
Vocal Warm-ups not only promote healthy vocal production, but warming up daily increases our ability to use our voices to their fullest potential. At first, when we perform the tongue twisters, for instance, you may find them difficult. But like all warm-ups, it is important to go slowly until you get the hang of it.
The voice is comprised of several different parts. They are:
Look to the next column for more details!
Good Warm-up Activities:
Sing "Apples and Bananas"
Vocally count as high as you can without taking a breath
Vocabulary and Diagrams
Words to Know:
These are the parts of your mouth that are responsible for forming the consonant sounds ('b', 'ch', 't', 'la', 'ma', 'na', 'ga', etc.) by stopping or modifying your air flow. They include your teeth, lips, tongue, and palate.
These are the parts of your mouth, chest, head, and throat that are responsible for the quality of your vowel sounds ('a', 'e', 'i', 'o', 'u'). If you hum, you can feel with your hand the parts of your body that vibrate. Those are your resonators. Some, like your nasal cavity, are difficult, if not impossible, to change, while changing your oral cavity is easy and can greatly affect the quality of your voice. Also, you will notice that as you get older, your vocal cords (an extremely important resonator) thicken, changing the quality of your voice. (But don't worry! It just means you are getting your 'adult voice'. The great news about that is there are lots and lots more characters written for adults than there are for kids!)
Without air, we can't...well....live. But having no air to push across your vocal cords also makes speech very difficult!
So, what provides the air you need to produce your voice? You guessed it: your lungs! But what is that muscle responsible for pushing that air out of your lungs? That's right! Your diaphragm (DIE-uh-fram).
Here is a diagram of the diaphragm. (We should use that phrase as one of our tongue twisters!!)