Hi Everyone:

It occurs to be that it might be worth explaining why I am getting into body mechanics when this is a voice and speech studio, not a medical school.  Fair enough.  Here’s the thing, if you study piano you get to see the whole piano.  You learn how a piano works and how it makes the sound it makes.  You can observe the entirety of the instrument and in large part, those parameters do not change.

The vocal instrument is different.  You cannot see it and its parameters are constantly changing.  You can learn to work with the voice without knowledge of the house in which it lives, or the systems which govern how it produces sound but that doesn’t help you really know it.

My reason for teaching the way I do is that I learned how to sing the hard way.  Which is to say, no matter how clever the vocal exercise, technical explanation, or imagery that was thrown at me, I simply did not understand how to do what was being asked.  As it turns out, I understand physiology, function, and interconnectedness.  I learned to sing well only after I understood the complete instrument — the human body.

Back to my piano analogy.  I could say that the keys cause the hammers to hit the strings making pitches and that the soundboard produces and carries the resonance.  Still, if I presented you with just keys and hammers, strings and a soundboard that would not be a piano.  It would not even sound like a piano; It needs its body.  Likewise, voice users are not lungs, vocal folds, and a mouth.  I truly believe you need to know the entire instrument.  You need not know what a muscle is called but you should know how it helps to make the sounds you want to make.

That is why there is a Focus Friday.  Not because anatomy is the point, or because you need to think about it at all when you are in process of using your voice (in fact I recommend against that), but because you should know your instrument.