Most lessons I give have their smaller or bigger ‘yes moments’: a breakthrough of sorts. Yessss! In this post, I’ll show some clips of a singing lesson with Helena.
Helena Bobek is an aspiring professional singer. She already has an appealing and vibrating instrument, and is aware of the artistic choices that an interpretation of a song requires.
This small section of our lesson is mostly about two issues: dropping the jaw, and closing the vocal cords. Those are the issues she still needs to work on.
My and her own hand movements in the beginning of the video are to remind her to keep her jaw loose. We have worked on that already in previous lessons.
How articulation helps your vocal technique
At the 1:10 minute mark in the video I say to her for the first time: ‘Say clearly: ‘way”. The purpose is to get Helena to use her speaking voice. A yes moment follows only seconds after that 🙂
At 1:26 Helena starts a new phrase (‘And every time…’) and her voice turns airy again. That’s why I remind her at that point to articulate. The words were not clear, which allowed her vocal cords to close only halfway. But when we think about clearly articulating our words, we are automatically drawn back to our speaking voice, which is good.
If you’ll watch the full video on top of this page, you’ll notice that every time she manages to start with her speaking voice, she keeps control over her vocal cords for the rest of the phrase. Until she has to breathe again. After each breath – when we breathe we open our vocal cords – there is the risk of not re-closing them properly, which makes the voice airy.
We already know how to use our voices
The thing is: our speaking voice is already working in a natural and effective way. If your normal speaking voice doesn’t give you trouble, you know how to close your vocal cords. (if it does give you trouble, check out my causes of hoarse voice article).
So you probably already know what you have to do when you sing. It’s fundamentally the same usage of the vocal cords as speaking.
At 1:55 I tell Helena not to be soft. I mean by that she is letting too much air out. Be meticulous with the speaking voice, don’t go there halfway.
My moment of greediness and yes!
At 3:05 I have a moment of greediness / pickiness. When students do something well, I want to get them to achieve even more. In this case, I remind Helena to drop her jaw at every syllable, to get her voice to flow even more.
You can hear the natural vibrations happen on every note. Yes! Beautiful! Brava, Helena.