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So, how is this voice-building business done?

The voice is unique among musical instruments in that its structure must be established - and continually reestablished (i.e kept fit) - in addition to its being played. It is also uniquely susceptible, on a structural level, to intrusion by negative emotion. 

That accounted for, its free-function also depends, to some extent, upon the fitness and flexibility of its foundation  - that is to say, the whole body. Did you know, for example that simply locking your knees back (a very common habit) drastically interferes with vocal quality and ease? I check my students' knees as often as a driver checks their mirrors. 

That said, the methods I use are predominantly focussed on building the strength of the vocal muscles: muscles of, and around, the larynx which help the vocal folds to come together properly and the larynx to remain in a stable mid to low position. These exercises are based on the work of some of the great Italian operatic teachers, themselves behind some of the great voices of the twentieth century.

 

Here's an example of the kind of thing I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0VnSN8cEAo&t=39s

And here's me working my way through the same kinds of exercises (please excuse the Al-Qaeda production values - they weren't intended for public consumption): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jje70C-4K90

After a period of muscular development, singers working with me can move onto the development of artistic expression and performance and the successful integration of voice-building precepts into the art of singing and/or speaking well. 

It is likely that, in addition to the exercises we go through, I will recommend you begin a good stretching regimen, a bit of cardio and the odd massage. I am also a great admirer of the Alexander technique. None of these are necessarily mandatory, but they are all helpful, and the needs of each student vary according to their particular condition. 

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