Exercises For Lesson 14
The remarks and exercises which follow are for the speaker, singer and those with defective voices. These exercises are of the utmost importance and should be carefully and frequently studied. You will get most convincing proof not only of the correctness of this method, but also if its “infallibility.” Knowing this should only encourage you and make you feel that you are on an absolutely straight road.
Of necessity some of you must battle for victory. You must practice hard for final and complete success. This you can do only when you are convinced that the method here will bring results.
Nature confers the blessing of a voice of adequate strength, she seldom adds the desirable flexibility or modulation. So, whether it be a stronger voice or a more manageable one that is needed, a person’s only method of acquiring it is to usre his/her will power, and with the help of these exercises, to develop the needed flexibility.
The main and final exercise for strengthening the voice has not yet been given to you. It will be given when you are ready to understand and accept it. That last and final exercise will develop a strength of voice such as you have never dreamed of as being possible in your own case.
Then there is that large unfortunate class of persons who stammer or lisp, or who have other vocal impediments. To them these exercises are a matter of life or death. Once learned in EVERY case, these exercises are responded to with surprising speed. That is, so long as they consciously talked “out of the tongue”, which physiologically considered, means by the activity of the hyo-glossi muscle, not only will you not stammer but you COULD NOT stammer. So long as you understand what you have been taught so far; that is, that each tone must be produced with the “beat of the tongue.”
To goes same to the harsh voice of the speaker and singer. In all three cases, the jaw muscle interfere and make impossible the correct action of the hyo-glossi muscles.
Now, to many it will seem that the cure would consist in relaxing the jaw and chin muscles, but this is not the case. If you were to try this, and provided you succeeded in relaxing the jaw and chin muscles you would at the same time relax the important, legitimate tongue muscles also, and your later case would be worse than the first, for instead of having a loud and harsh voice, you would have, at best, a weak and husky voice. The reasons for this will be explained in the lessons on “interfering Muscles.” To explain this now would merely confuse you.
The person with a weak voice is in some ways worse off than either of the other three, because a weak voice indicates weak tongue muscles and it takes much time to make these muscles strong. But in another sense, the weak voice does not have to unlearn and overcome habits of wrong speech, of stiffening, as do harsh voices and stammerers. The weak voice merely needs to strengthen the weak muscles and is all right ever after.
Also, may singers’ voices are hard and harsh, or shrill because they use their jaw and chin muscles, often to the exclusion of the only muscles which really produce a sweet voice. For this reason the training of the speaker and of the singer is identical. The singer must first apply this knowledge of voice to speaking. Incidentally this will help the dictation in singing as it is in speaking. The singer and speaker part company only when it comes to the matter of range. The speaker needs but a small range; the singer must have a compass of at least two octaves. Both speaker and singer must be able to modulate from loud to soft, the singer needs some special effects such as the Italian Bel Canto, or legato singing, in staccato, martellato, portamento, swelling and decreasing the same tone, echo effects, trills and rapid runs, etc. All these and other points will be thoroughly covered in the course of these lessons, but for the purpose of purely vocal development all classes of vocalists go together.
If you have acquired false habits of speaking and singing, do not think that you can at once eliminate them. Therefore, if your jaws are stiff, or if you feel any tightness in the chest or abdomen, for the present pay no attention to that, but concentrate all your efforts, all your attention, upon acquiring a flexible tongue.
When you know the right way, when you have learned the right direction, you will gradually eliminate wrong habits and forget them. By this time, you have mastered the tongue enough to make the groove with utmost ease, without moving either the palate or the larynx.
When you make the groove correctly, your throat feels “open,” free, and loose.
Also, when you place the little finger under one side of the tongue and make the groove, you feel a distinct pressing downward of the tongue upon the finger.
This is called the “beat,” somewhat like a heart beat. This “beat” (pressure on the finger) as the groove is made, is the physiological “Cause of Every Tone” whether you speak or sing. Without this beat no good tone or voice is EVER POSSIBLE. It is like the tick or tapping of a telegraph instrument, each tap releases a current, each tongue beat releases a tone. When the tongue beat is lacking, the tone is inferior or even bad. The beat is the cause of a good tone. The absence of the beat has as its consequence a poor tone.
THIS IS ABSOLUTE AND FINAL! NEVER FORGET THIS!
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