Voice work

Day 102:

After the break we gathered around the piano and tried to guess if the two notes Lynn was playing were the same or not with our eyes closed. I don’t know if I got mine right but I understand how it works. The piano is divided in octaves ‘do’, ‘re’, ‘mi’, etc. From these they can either be more high pitched or lower. I had to sing the note really quietly to myself whenever it was played to see where it was and then on the second one try to keep singing it and if it didn’t work then it was different.

We could only say yes or no in pairs; I was the ‘yes’ person. The objective of this exercise is to make you understand what different ways of saying it there are and what they mean. This was the introduction to this game called ‘Word Orchestra’ where we had a list of words each, pairs again, and had to make a conversation out of that. We could only say one word at a time and the other person would say their word after ours and us after them, etc until the story was finished. We each had different words and there were about 8 for each. There were a few words I wasn’t sure of how to say because I couldn’t make out what they meant in the story. Some of them I ended up understanding and being able to say them properly, others I never really got their exact meaning.

Day 72:

We played a game where we had an expert who was from another country that spoke an unintelligible language and the translator had to translate for the interviewer and vice-versa. After watching some clips of people speaking gibberish language that sounded like a specific dialect; a completely foreign language that was saying actual words that we could pick up on the general sounds that they made when speaking it, we had to: make a scene using some sort of gibberish language which sounded like an actual language. We had to make it sound like a real language and explain something in it.

Day 26:

Today we learned a bit of music and how it works.

Pentatonic scale: 5 note scale played only on the black keys on a piano.
Octave: Sequence of 8 notes; 1 and 8 sound the same.
Interval: Gap between notes.
Perfect pitch: Being able to sing a given note without reference.
Concert pitch: How most western instruments are tuned.
Major chord: Notes 1,3 and 5 of a major scale.
Minor chord: Notes 1,5 and a flattened 3.
Flat: Lower than said note.
Sharp: Higher than said note.

We worked on our pitch by saying “more” going from the lowest note we could do to the highest. We also learned how different an open throat voice is to a nasal voice. Nasal voice is very hard to articulate words with and whenever we do an open throat voice we suddenly sound a lot more dimmer.

Day 16:

We did voice projection exercises where firstly we had to speak in a regular voice to our partner and say “I can’t hear you”. We could clearly hear each other though and saying that took no effort. When we moved to having our partner in the other side of the room, as everyone was shouting I had to shout too and so I shouted and made extra effort to articulate my words correctly. I also spoke a bit slower. Then we were moved outside and our partner was quite far from us so to have our partner hear “I can’t hear you” was quite difficult. I noticed I leaned in, spoke even slower, and as was mentioned we also take a massive breath before saying anything because we know we have to put in a lot of effort.

Second exercise had us close our eyes when our partner was speaking (inside the room but the pairs were separated to be facing each other from opposite ends of the room) and try to locate them and find out what they were saying. I was able to catch that Ines was saying “Twinkle, twinkle little star” But Ines wasn’t able to catch that I was saying “5 little monkeys jumping on the bed” I tried but Lynn said that it could be that sometimes no matter how well you articulate the words, how loud you speak or how slow you say it, sometimes the other person is just expecting it to be said in another accent, more specifically RP and my accent is not even close to that. So I must practice the RP accent.

Day 2:

My group partner had to watch my body language while I spoke about something, and afterwards we had to discuss what we observed. The way he talked about me was “he kind of leans in forward and moves his hands around when he talks”. Now, this is interesting because my body language was compensating for the way he speaks, which is a bit quiet. I had to pay attention to his voice and to imitate him all I did was lower my volume, go for a slightly mild tone and fumble a bit on the words.  We learned these speaking variables: Pitch (high/low, tune); Volume (loud/quiet); tone (aggressive/mild); accent (Irish, Russian, Italian, etc…); articulation; tempo. We discussed on what forms are the best to listen and capture someone else’s accent and I learned where the alveolar ridge is located as well as how to do an alveolar “r”, which my colleagues struggled a bit with.


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