Weekly Teaching Tip – April 16, 2012
I was fortunate to be able to teach Voice Conference Munich this week. I renewed an old friendship with Tom McKinney, a voice teacher from Houston, Texas with an amazing classical and musical theater voice who was also teaching at the camp. We were talking about exercises that were good for helping students find their mix quickly. I told him about my “Slovenian Sounds”. He shared this one with me that I tried and it really worked. I don’t know why I never thought of it earlier!!
You hold the “V” in “Victor” and vocalize on this on a long scale. This puts your front teeth just over your bottom lip. It has the same effect as the bubble, tongue roll and the slovenian sounds where in order to create the sound it requires you to have a balance of air and muscle. It can then easily grow into “V” up and “ee” down moving the singer into more singable sounds while maintaining the proper feeling.
I like sounds like this because they help the singers get into their mix quickly. But if you have more sounds that accomplish the same goal the singer can stay in this good place for longer before moving onto other sounds that are more “word like”, but usually cause them to fall out of their mix. If the singer stays in the mix with these sounds longer they are more likely to lock into the proper balance so that they are able to stay there when you move towards sounds that are more like actual words they would sing in a song.