Our next voice workshop on Protecting Your Voice in the Classroom will be announced shortly.
Voice is an essential part of being human. We express ourselves, communicate, teach, entertain, sooth and console with our voice. We are limited without it.
Voice is not just the vocal mechanism and the vocal tract such as the vocal cords, larynx and mouth. Research by the MIT Media Lab shows we have to co-ordinate as many as 100 muscles throughout the body just to speak!
Voice is totally dependent on the quality of our breath. This in turn depends on our posture or, to be exact, how well we co-ordinate our musculo-skeletal system. And all three are directly influenced by our mind.
Voice is thus the product of our vocal mechanism, breath, musculo-skeletal system and mind. After all his research into human performance and voice, F.M. Alexander was left to conclude: “the mind and body are one”.
When it comes to performance, the speaker, story-teller, teacher, singer, instrumentalist and even dancer must appreciate and understand the influence of each element on each other and on their performance.
Preparation and rehearsals are essential for developing the skills of conscious performance. In the absence of conscious performance there is only habit to fall back on.
For example, when it comes to using our voice it is very easy to distort the vocal tract because of poor posture, inefficient breathing or beliefs. These can result in hoarseness, singing off pitch, or worse, damaging vocal cords.