Before Voicing - WARM UP Your Voice.
After Voicing - WARM DOWN. Here's How ...
February 23, 2015
By Dory Rigopoulos Kafoure, M.A., CCC-SLP
Speech Pathologist / Voice Coach / Singing Rehab Specialist
Did you know that voice over actors are VOCAL ATHLETES? You use your voice more and in more varied ways than the typical everyday speaker.
Think of it this way: An athlete would not think of running a race before warming up his muscles to protect him from injury and allow him to perform at his best.
Warming up the voice is the same idea.
The other important point that we most often overlook is to ‘warm-down’ - often known as cool-down.
After the athlete runs that race he doesn’t just sit down. He walks to prevent muscles from cramping and allow his heart to return to a resting heartbeat.
Warming down the voice follows the same premise. After a great deal of talking, singing or making vocally demanding sounds the muscles of the voice as well as secondary muscles need to release and return to neutral.
If the muscles don’t return to neutral they tend to retain some of the intensity of the effort that was used and the speaker may begin to compensate with this new state of normal ensuing a road of bad habits.
A warm-up should include breathing and loosening up the body along with variation of pitch and loudness.
To make it easy, you can do some of these in the shower or driving in the car. This only takes 5 minutes.
A warm-down should begin where you ended vocally and return to natural relaxed speech:
Speaking or Singing
ESTABLISH YOUR BASELINE
Finally, establish a baseline for your voice. Why is that useful?
Once you discover your best voice ‘warm-up’ you will know what is normal for your voice on a good day.
For example, if you warm up your voice every day and today your voice sounds different, you can start troubleshooting and resolve the problem before your gig.
Dory Rigopoulos Kafoure is a speech pathologist, voice coach and singing rehab specialist who helps actors and voice actors with articulation (diction), breathing techniques, accent reduction and voice improvement. Working in this field for 34 years, she is licensed and has a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), and has done extra study and certification in the areas of voice "which is my passion and specialty." With basic training in articulation, language, voice and stuttering, she is a Lessac Voice and Body Kinisensics Practitioner, clinically trained in LMRVT (for resonant voice) and LSVT (for Parkinson's voice), trained in Estill Voice Treatment, and is currently learning Vibrant Voice Technique.
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