Page 14 - Voice for Life Yellow Workbook
P. 14

 Vowels
Here is a list of words containing five different vowel sounds. Practise these vowels regularly with your usual vocal exercises. Producing good vowel sounds will enable you to develop a resonant and bright tone. This will make the sound project and will help your tuning.
Your consonants need to be clear, without interrupting the line of the music. Think of them as being added within a melody to energize the vowels. The following exercise can help you to achieve the right balance of clear consonants and smooth lines.
 Clear consonants and smooth lines
Choose a phrase which has lots of consonants, or one which you find difficult. Sing the phrase with a single vowel sound throughout. Repeat this until you can achieve a smooth line. Then add the words, but aim to keep the line as smooth as when you sang it with just the vowel sound.
 Use the words in the box, or your own list of words which have consonants at the beginning and the end. Practise singing each of these words on one note in your chest register. Make the consonants short and the vowels long. How resonant can you make each vowel?
‘I’ve had Alexander Technique lessons every week for the last 4 years in term time and I have noticed a huge difference in the way I hold myself to sing. It enables all my muscles to be free and work to their optimum.’ Jane, aged 17
When you sing, your aim is to communicate the words and the music to your listeners. Vowels and consonants are the tools that you use to do this. In each piece that you sing, they should be used and adapted to create the appropriate style, give conviction to the performance and bring the music to life.
Working on diction – the correct production of vowels and consonants – helps you to develop a full range of tone and to sing texts with greater expression, meaning and clarity.
    Ee as in me Eh as in leg Ah as in father Aw as in door Oo as in moon
 Moving between vowels and consonants
Remember that the vowel provides the sustained sound and the consonants add the punctuation. So, when a vowel follows a consonant, the vowel needs to be formed quickly. When the mouth opens to produce the vowel, the tongue should be prepared and shaped immediately to produce a resonant sound.
When a consonant follows a vowel, aim to keep the resonant vowel sound for as long as possible, and move the mouth and tongue to form the final consonant quickly. In this way, consonants do not interrupt the line of the melody (which is produced by the vowel sounds).
    Loop L oo p Need N ee d Blend Bl eh nd Lark L ah k Lord L awd
 14 Module A: Using the voice well

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