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Music and vocals: learning to sing

The exercises of this system are aimed at releasing the voice from tension, at developing and strengthening it, primarily as a human tool and as an actor’s tool. It is, rather, the release of a natural voice, rather than the development of voice technology. (But I think that it will be very useful for the vocalists to get some relaxation, release from the clamps.)

The goal of the Linklater method is to force the intellect to form a voice in direct contact with emotional impulses, without being an obstacle. Since the sounding voice is the result of physical processes, the muscles of the body must be free of tension in order to become susceptible to the impulses of the brain that generate speech. The natural voice is most noticeably blocked and distorted by physical stress. He also suffers from emotional, intellectual, and emotional stress. All these interferences are of a psychophysical nature. When they are eliminated, the voice will be able to convey the full range of human emotions and all the wealth of thought.

Linklater suggests working on exercises not alone, but with someone together, from time to time returning to the methodology and testing each other – joint training will be more successful.

You should not make hasty conclusions about what is right and what is wrong. Do not trust only “self-censorship”; your inner judge is not always objective, based on familiar feelings and assessments. Neglect your intellect for new emotional and sensual experiences. In order for the result of work to be obvious, you need to devote at least an hour a day to classes for a year. Pay attention to how you use your voice all day, thus continuing your practice exercises. Do not expect immediate success and be patient. Even if you fully comprehend the methodology and put it into practice in exercises, it will take a lot of time until the learning results appear in the performances where you play.

Scheme demonstrating the voice mechanism:

• a) a series of impulses originate in the motor part of the cerebral cortex and through nerve endings participate in the formation of speech;

• b) the movement of impulses is regulated in such a way as to ensure their coordinated activity upon arrival at the appropriate parts of the body;

• c) part of the pharynx opens, the respiratory muscles of the inspiration contract, the pressure in the chest area decreases, the air penetrates relatively freely into the lungs;

• d) when enough air is accumulated in the lungs, the abdominal and chest muscles push air back through the section of the sound channel of the throat, mouth and nose;

• e) the vocal folds partially close the throat, obstructing the flow of air, its exit;

• e) the plastic vocal folds begin to vibrate when air passes between them;

• g) these vibrations separate the outgoing air stream, which gusts passes through the sound channel;

• h) these impulses set in motion air in the resonant cavities of the mouth and nose, forming sound in the sound channel;

• i) the shape, volume, degree of openness of the resonator determines the overtone sound quality, while the pitch depends on the pace at which the vocal folds vibrate;

• k) there are two types of resonance: the first gives shape and color to a voice that is not converted to speech, in the second case, the sound undergoes changes, adapting to speech. The first type of sound is inherent in man by nature. The second is closely related to speech. The efforts necessary to move from the first type to the second, as well as the movements that these forces cause, we call articulation.

Why the voice does not work

In the process of communication, the voice encounters obstacles that prevent it from being heard directly, because immediacy depends on reflex reactions.

Most people have lost this ability, and perhaps their desire to behave directly (exception – moments that get out of control – severe pain, fear, ecstasy). The reflex response to excitations is supplanted as we grow up as a result of the influence of parents or teachers, then friends, screen stars, etc. (just remember how we were taught to behave in public – “sit quietly”, “do not scream”, etc. ) A mature person’s answer provides a balance between the controlled and the instinctive.

Communication begins with an impulse that is transmitted through the spinal cord to the nerve endings that regulate the muscles that drive the organs of speech. The energy of an impulse, its greater or lesser voltage, will depend on the stimulus that generates this impulse. Suppose someone tells you, “Good morning!” If you see this person every day and he does not care about you, the incentive will be minimal. This will cause a weak response impulse and a minimal change in breathing. The throat muscles will only to a small extent participate in the vibration process for a “standby” response. If you really love this person, then meeting him will be a significant incentive and excite your emotions.

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