Introduction to Vocal Training is the introduction to the complete e-course in Voice Culture that will be made available on this site in the near future. The course is designed for those that are serious about building their voice whether they are a beginner or a seasoned professional.
The lessons can be done in specific order for the beginner or can be selected according to the specific needs in targeted areas of improvement for the advanced student or professional. These lessons are also designed for instructor assisted lessons. Included in this will be a course for artistic deep breathing which everyone who is going through vocal training should learn.
Everyone has limits in the progress that can be made but most people never even come close to reaching those limits. In this introduction to vocal training we will discuss nine principles of the successful building of the voice.
1st PRINCIPLE: The Voice Grows By Using It.
We were not intended by our Creator to remain silent. The infant or child that does not cry, becomes weak lunged and poor in health. Children should never be restrained from making noise with their voice as in boisterous talking and laughter. If children are outside the rule should be that the growing child should be allowed to cry, yell, shout, and laugh all it wishes. The high pitch should be avoided , if possible, in children, especially the screech. The formative years of a child are very important in the future of their vocal training.
2nd PRINCIPLE: The Volume Of The Voice Depends Upon The Size Of The Throat
The length and width of the throat passages determine the volume of the voice. Large lungs do not determine the volume but they do sustain it. Large lungs and small throats would result in strong shrill tones with no volume. In this course there will be exercises given that lengthen the throat and enlarge the throat.
3rd PRINCIPLE: The Strength Of The Voice Depends Upon The Muscular Action In And About The Diaphragm
The diaphragm is a large muscle located between the lungs, which are above it, and the stomach and abdominal contents which are below it. The diaphragm is said to be the floor of the lungs or the roof of the stomach.
See image below:
It's movements are assisted by the abdominal muscles. The strength of the voice is directly related to the strength and use of these muscles. In the beginning stages of voice training (before acquiring the art of deep breathing) it is utterly essential that the back is not resting against any support. So if sitting in a chair the body should be sitting away from the back of the chair, chest raised and straight up and down (vertical), feet flat on the floor.
We will cover this in more detail later on in the voice training when we get to the Lessons in
Artistic Deep Breathing
4th PRINCIPLE: The Force Of The Voice Depends Upon The Vitality Of The Membrane Which Lines The Throat Cavity
In vocal training there is an important distinction between force and strength. The voice has strength when the air column which rests upon the diaphragm is sustained by a healthy vigorous set of muscles. The muscles of the diaphragm or those that assist its movement furnish the voice with strength.
The walls of the throat however give the loudness or force that is produced in the voice. Strength and Force of the voice are dependent on each other.
5th PRINCIPLE: Explosive Tones Must Be Projected By Abdominal Contraction
For explosive tones or for production of sudden strength, abdominal contraction gives the best results and puts no stress or tension on the throat cavity. Thus the importance developing healthy and strong diaphragm and abdominal muscles through exercise.
6th PRINCIPLE: Sustained Tones Must Be Projected By The Action Of Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is essential for all voice training students. Explosive tones are produced effectively with abdominal breathing but to get an evenness of sustained power, and perfect vocalization that can be always relied upon, Deep Breathing action is necessary. A voice established on this lives longer than the body itself, for it never fails, never grows weary, never decays.
The Artistic Deep Breathing Course that we offer and will be made available on this site in the near future, is a course that can be done as self training or can be teacher assisted training.
There are two general choices the student has for study:
1. The Thorough Drill which is done in 100 days. Shorter time frames should not be attempted for they will not have successful results.
2. The Leisure Drill which is done in 210 days. This course only takes five minutes a day which is perfect for people who have time restraints.
Each of these courses include Calisthenic Drills In Deep Breathing.
7th PRINCIPLE: The Two Chief Elements Of Richness In The Voice Are Head Resonance And Chest Reverberation
This of course assumes that the voice has been purified of defects and clarified (which is covered as part of the full Voice Culture course).
The head resonance requires a large well opened nasal cavity in which the tone echoes after hitting the sounding board (which is the roof of the mouth or hard palate along with walls of throat). The best use of this open nasal cavity comes through training.
Another large cavity is known as the dome of the chest. The tone does not exactly resound but the term reverberate describes the sound. The movement of tone in the dome of the chest is a valuable and necessary accompaniment to a perfect low register. The perfect vocal training will result with the chest reverberation slightly blended into the higher register and the head resonance blended with the lower register.
The Voice Culture course we offer have approximately 17 lessons dealing with enriching the voice.
8th PRINCIPLE: The Intensity Of The Voice Comes From Direct Action Of The Nerves
The muscular side of the voice produces everything that a good voice requires. But there is another side of the voice called intensity--the power to move, to thrill, to captivate. It has nothing to do with force or loudness but is apparent even when sung or said as quiet as a whisper. This intensity is purely a nerve force, and it is magnetic. This requires another type of training for developing magnetism which is not covered in this course.
9th PRINCIPLE: The Training Of The Voice Should Be Done In The Following Order:
1st. The True Position Of The Organs, 2nd. Removal Of Defects, 3rd. Clarifying, 4th. Enriching, 5th. Range, 6th. Flexibility, 7th. Strengthening, 8. Timbres and Qualities
I hope that this introduction to vocal training has been informative and helpful. We will continue in the next installment with Part 1 of the Voice Culture Lessons where I will share the exercises involved in The True Position Of the Organs. There are muscles that have to be developed so that they can be controlled at will. These series of lessons will help prepare you for the proper execution of the exercises in the rest of the course so that you can get maximum results.
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