“Wanting to Please” Voice
When I was teenager and in my 20s, I had a breathy voice. This “wanting to please voice” came from a need for outer approval. I remember the shock of first hearing a colleague younger than me who had a low resonant voice. She sounded smart and confident and gutsy. I began to lower my vocal range. It made me sound like I knew what I was talking about.
But that was just the beginning of my voice exploration.
Eight Tips to a More Resonant Authentic Voice
I learned to release pain, tension, as I uncovered my authentic voice through many acting coaches and vocal coaches. I found strengths and vulnerable sides I didn’t know I had. I write more of this in my book, but here are some tips to discover a more whole voice.
1. Use movement to loosen your voice. When you stretch add sound to your stretches. Experiment with vowel and consonant sounds. Imagine that the sound relaxes your muscles and your joints. (It does!)
2. Explore sounds like “Ohhhh” and “Ahhhh” while you do your yoga stretches or move in a way that feels easy and fun for you. Try these sounds when bending down and lifting up. This way you engage a little more of your breath and can relax your diaphragm. Your voice and body will remember some of this new range and resonance when you stand and speak in your normal voice. You’ll hear a change right away.
3. Study voices of people you love. Begin to sense beyond your ears. Where do you feel the voice? What is it you like about it. Where in your body do you feel it? How might you imitate it? Play with your voice in imitation.
4. Check out the vocal exercises Krisitn Linklater’s book on voice.
5. Visit a voice coach who has practiced voice release work with people like Catherine Fitzmaurice or members of the Roy Hart theater. These coaches have learned how to observe and sense tension and blocks in the voice and can provide appropriate exercises to release the voice.
6. Sing without wanting to be pretty. Wanting to sound pretty constricts the voice unconsciously. You want to stretch your capacity for sound.
7. Read different characters in well-written plays out loud. Read in slow motion to “chew” the sound and expand the sounds.
8. Be yourself and breathe. In the end, it’s your voice everyone wants to hear. If you are tense, afraid, worried what others will think, your voice will reflect it. Try different breathing techniques to help you relax.
When you do these exercises and shift your attitude to one of creative exploration, you’ll drop habitual tensions and move more quickly to an authentic voice.
Ultimately, we want our voice to capture the meaning and emotion of the words we speak. In order to do this we have to tune our instrument and tune into our instrument. It can be a fun life long practice.
Share your thoughts about your own voice below, and if this post helped you feel free to share via the social media button below. Thanks for reading!