Updated: Feb 29, 2020
There are twelve days left in the year, so why not have a little fun, and maybe remind ourselves to take care of our voices and our bodies in the new year. Hint: You don't have to wait until January to start with these practices! Here we go!
On the first day of vocal health, my true love gave to me......
................a straw not really meant for drinking.
I think we all know by now the nearly mythical properties of straw phonation, one of many types of semi-occluded vocal tract exercises, or SOVTs. Straw phonation and other types of SOVTs really do have a lot going for them, and science to back up the magic. (Caveat: just like how not everyone likes "The Christmas Story" or "Elf," SOVTs are not one-size-fits-all. Experiment, and then use your best judgment with the help of your teacher or coach.)
It's really quite simple. Put the straw between your lips and hum a melody or exercise. Be cautious not to hold too much tension in your embouchure around the straw or in your jaw. Probably just a few minutes is plenty.
Try it out! Send me a picture or a video of you with your best straw phonation attempt. Maybe hum "Let It Snow!" You can post your comments below or on my Facebook or Instagram pages. Happy humming!