Be Brave!

Be brave!

Breath…. Resonance… Articulation… Variety…Energy…


It is a useful exercise to stretch the upper body with the ‘tulip stretch’ at least that is what I call it. Lift your arms above your head and stretch the middle of your torso to make space for your diaphragm to work and be released. Then drop your arms but DO NOT drop your chest. You need to keep the breast bones off your lungs so they can expand. It is the noble posture that singers and actors adopt to enable them to deliver their words with resonance. Breathe out for 5 then in for 5. Then do some short quick breaths feeling the ribs spring and expand around your middle.


High hums, sniff hums and sirening on ‘ng’ can help wake up the resonances in the sinuses and nasal passages. It also helps if you are congested to breathe in steam!


Consonants need to be crisp and clear and forward in a big acoustic space. The sound is carried on the vowels and the consonants make the meaning clear. Tongue rolling and lip trilling wakes up the essential muscles you need.

Variety of tone

Without being ridiculous you need to make subtle changes in the pitch and timbre of your voice to keep the listener engaged! Have you ever heard a monotone speaker? You soon switch off and fall asleep! ‘Falling off a cliff’ exercise is a simple way of extending your range. Start with a gentle sigh as high as you can and slide down in a pitch that feels comfortable. You shouldn’t hear any breaks in the sound. It is an excellent warm up!


A subtle attribute, not too much or too little but a feeling that what you have to say is important and you want to get it across. Feel the energy coming from the space around you, sometimes you can feel you are bouncing on the edge of a diving board. Rotate the hips to release the lower abdominal muscles that need to be flexible for breathing. Make sure you haven’t locked up your energy in your jaw or your knees. Have a good shake down!

SJM 2015


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