Breath and Voice
This week, we learnt about how to connect our breathing with the sounds we make.
I didn’t write about The Lazy Day Warm-up in my last post, and I really should have, because it’s the only exercise that I’ve actually been practising at home (oops!). Last week we focused on being able to do the relaxed roll, with the arm movements, and this week we focused on adding sound. We added ‘ffs’ then ‘vvs’ then ‘mms’ then ‘maaahs’. I noticed with these exercises, my voice wavered almost, especially with the ‘v’ sound and I’m not sure why.
From this, we moved onto Vibration Pools where we would repeat the same sounds from the exercise before, but this time in prayer pose. I really liked this, because I find prayer pose really comfy, and you could physically feel the vibrations of the sounds you were making throughout your whole body.
Following on from this, we stood up and practised The Three Sons – moving your hands in the direction of your breath. I liked doing this action as it was almost hypnotic, and very calming.
The next exercise was The Archer, here you put on hand on your hip, and hold the other one out to the side, at a 90° angle. You would inhale and look towards the hand sticking out, then as you exhale, you would bring the hand round to be parallel with your body, after on go you would swap hands, then keep swapping after every breath.. Again, this exercise was almost hypnotic, especially when we added the vowel sounds, as everyone was making the same sounds, but were completely focused on their hands.
Next we moved onto Breath Play. Here we looked at the meaning behind actions when you altered your breath. For example we would wave to a partner, first breathing in, then breathing out, then holding our breath. Each try would change the meaning of the action. Breathing in conveyed excitement, Breathing out disgust and holding your breath conveyed a sense of trying not to cry. For me, this emphasised the complete need to be calm on stage, and immerse fully into your character, even down to your breathing, as it can alter the meaning of an action immensely.
Group Sound III was our last activity of the day. For this we stood in a circle all facing the back of the person in front. Then we had to dig, and take it in turns to create a sound to go with the digging; for example we had “HOOOO HEE” the different sounds we created would ever so slightly effect the way that we would dig, proving that our voice and actions are connected.
I really now need to get into a routine of practising multiple exercises at home, because I am really enjoying these voice classes (and I am so glad they’re not about singing!)