Exercises

Exercise 3 - Exercise to induce head resonance using humming

One of the most effective exercises for practicing head resonance is humming. Humming is a manner of singing in which the voice is redirected into the nasal cavity and the voice exits through the nose instead of the mouth. The purpose of this exercise is to eliminate the palatopharyngeal closure: the path through the mouth is blocked and so we automatically open the path to the nasal cavity P31. Leading the voice this way we achieve to set head resonance much more easily than when singing vowels.

Correctly performed humming requires that you check each child individually whether they don't "pull" humming through their throat. In the following demonstration, listen first to a correctly performed humming and then to humming "pulled through the throat" D457.

To avoid the throat involvement, I have "lightened" the following humming exercises with the consonants B. Their regular insertion into the humming flow helps to activate the diaphragm over and over, thus minimising the risk of the throat getting involved.

 

Practice to the syllables BÖM - BÖ - BÖM - BÖ - BÖM - BÖ - BÖM - BÖ - BÖMMM - BÖ

according to the attached notation. No.90 D458

If this exercise is not suitable for you or your choir, move on to its variation, i.e. exercise 4)Exercise to induce head resonance using humming-variant 2.


Exercise 5 - Exercise to activate the resonance form (vowels ŌO - Ü - ŌO -ĒE)

The easiest way to activate the resonance form is through the slight yawning sensation, which is closely related to the upward movement of the soft palate (but still anchoring the tongue tip behind the lower incisors). As the soft palate lifts, the jaw automatically relaxes and at the same time the chin moves slightly back. These two movements are essential prerequisites for correct singing. It is only when your speech organs are set in this way that you are able to perceive the cupola sensation, which enables you to sing in a supported yet unconstricted manner. The vowel ŌO has the greatest arch and it is therefore used as the first vowel in warm-up singing. But since this vowel affects the back part of the cupola, it can sometimes lead to a sunken voice. For this reason the vowel ĒE, which is located further forward in the cupola, has been interspersed into this exercise.

Teach the children to imagine the vowel ĒE when they sing the vowel ŌO and vice versa. Imagining the vowel ĒE should move the vowel ŌO toward the front and imagining the vowel ŌO should lend the vowel ĒE a sufficiently lifted palate and thus a sufficient resonance form.

In order to practice a sustained resonance form, first sing the vowel ŌO. Leave the lips in this position and sing the "barrelled" Ü, see the Table of Vowels (The vowel "barrelled" Ü guarantees much easier maintaining of the cupola sensation.) In the second part of the exercise start with the vowel ŌO again, then sing the vowel ĒE. The entire exercise is thus practiced with pouted lips which relax only for the final vowel ĒE.

Practice the vowels HŌO - Ü - ŌOĒE according to the attached notation. No.91 D459


Exercise 7 - Inducing legato (vowels ŌO – ŌH, ŌO - ĀH)

A) This exercise is sung legato (legato being an Italian expression for "tied together") to the syllables ZŌO-ZŌH-ZŌO-ZŌH-ZŌO-ZŌH-ZŌO No.93 D464

Make sure that the singing sounds truly legato, i.e. that it feels like singing in one uninterrupted exhalation.

If it is possible, let the children occasionally "bubble" this exercise into a glass of water (see the exercise 19) Exhalation into water using the voice in Lesson 2. This practice is far more effective for understanding the breath work than lengthy explanations. Watch the following demonstration. D466.

B) Perform this exercise to syllables ZŌO - ZĀH - ZŌO - ZĀH - ZŌO - ZĀH - ZŌO

No.94 Watch the following demonstration. D467