Exercises For Lesson 10
Some vocal teachers instruct their pupils to keep the throat and the muscles of the larynx open and relaxed. In fact, several systems of voice training have been founded upon this rule, but none of them have ever been successful as far as the improvement of the pupil’s voice was concerned. It must be evident to everyone having the slightest knowledge of physiology, that no work can be done by relaxed muscles, and that no one can speak or sing while the vocal muscles remain lax. To be relaxed is to be inactive, to lack force. For example, the reason an intoxicated person is unable to control his motions and his speech is because he has lost the control over his muscles. They have become relaxed and therefore cannot function naturally.
Because a set of relaxed muscles can perform little or no work, it does not necessarily follow that muscles must be stiff, or hard, in order to do their work. That would be going to the other extreme and would be equally incorrect. Nearly all singers are inclined to make the singing muscles rigid, especially in the higher registers. Recognizing this, and seeing the destructive effect of it, teachers came to the conclusion that the muscles should be kept lax. It was the best they could advice for a middle way; a method of strengthening the muscles so that they could work freely, flexibly and apparently loosely, did not exist until I made my discovery. Now we avoid both extremes and follow a normal course.
All muscles directly or indirectly concerned in speech are connected with nerves which connect with the brain. The desire or command of the will is communicated from the brain through the nerves to the muscles and thus stimulates them into action.
For instance, the process by which a muscle contracts is this:
Register, Login or continue reading below:
This content is restricted