Jul 28 2015

Do cookies make you want to sing? How to form a new habit

Published by under Musings

dreamstime_m_19387308Want to form a new habit? There’s good news out there. First a story: When I was a little girl learning to play the violin, my mom had me practice every day at the same time…right after my after-school snack. Once the cookies were gone it was time to practice. That snack became my instigation cue for practicing, and this is why I told you that story; a recent study published in the journal, Health Psychology, looked at habit formation vs. execution in exercise routines, and determined that “Exercise instigation habit strength was the only unique predictor of exercise frequency.” Even frequency of exercising was not as important as that cue for forming a habit to be healthy.“ No wonder eating cookies always makes me want to play the violin!

The implication for using instigation cues to help you become a better voice professional is obvious. The next time you decide you want to try my voice strengthening workout, or apply my advice about kicking the habit of too many filler words , pick a cue that will get you going and make a habit of the cue. Suggestions:

  •  When you get in the car to go to work, always do some warm ups. (cue=car going to work)
  • When your alarm rings, get up and run through your breathing exercises. (cue=alarm)
  • When you get home, have a cup of tea and then practice. (cue=tea)

You can mix up your practice routine, but keep the cue the same. But be careful; you may begin making funny sounds every time you have a cup of tea.

For info on finding the right practice routine for you, please see my post How to create a strong voice, Part 4: Practice.

© Parkinsonsniper | Dreamstime.com

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Jul 09 2015

A voice lesson from the soccer field

Published by under Delivery

dreamstime_m_11013710I loved seeing the US team win the women’s world cup of soccer. What an amazing display of skill and strategy, and what fun! I passed by restaurants and sports bars that day, and they were full of people shouting and carrying on about the victory. But no one expressed enthusiasm about Carli Lloyd’s performance better than the commentator in this clip.

His vocalisms point out how a voice can be unique and expressive and make a much greater impact than others when one chooses an extraordinary way to say something. There are more than a dozen characteristics of sound that you can use for “vocal variety,” or inflection. This commentator used elongation of words to make his point. He also played with volume. The next time you have something important to say, say it like you mean it. And try some new ways to say what’s on your mind. It’s all about hitting your goooooooooaaaallll!

For more on this topic, please see my post, 5 Colors for Vibrant Vocal Variety

© Mikdam | Dreamstime.comSoccer Ball Photo

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