Voice Work

Tuesday 6th September 2016

We aimed at adding vocal observation to our skills set in the our session on voice today, which you can see more of on Tuesday the 6th September 2016’s blog post. We learnt how people’s voice qualities vary through pitch, tone, volume, tempo, accents and their articulation. The variations within these characteristics make up each individuals voice and I saw how important it was in giving a more truthful portrayal of a person or a character if you pay close attention in how they speak. Slight differences in the voice can have a huge effect on how an audience perceives a character so understanding the voice is of high importance.

We observed other members of the groups voices without their knowledge in a starter activity where we were split into half and only one half were told to look out for the other halves vocal qualities. This meant we could hear other peoples different qualities in their voices without them changing how they would normally talk,seeing as they were unaware that I was carefully listening to their voice. We also gained some wider knowledge on how the voice and mouth function, learning new terms such as the alveolar ridge and the soft and hard palate, this gave me a new way to think about voice and how sounds are physically created. At home i developed this understanding further by looking into different diagrams to give a more visual idea on the voice, such as the diagram bellow.


Heroic and villainous characters tend to have stock voices to immerse and engage audiences. In things such as pantomimes this can add clarity on who are the good and bad characters, as well as this it sometimes adds comedy by having such over exaggerated dominant ideologies for characters voices. For example villains often use creak voice or have a lower pitch and an aggressive or menacing tone, whereas heroes in traditional stories tend to have a stock voice which has a more innocent tone and often of a higher pitch as this is stereo-typically seen as more friendly and inviting. You can see my opinions about the session we looked at this on my blog post for the 8th September 2016.

Monday 26th September 2016

In our lesson with Lynn we did some more practical work relating to our commission show. We firstly got into pairs and then stood side by side saying ‘I can’t hear you’. We then said the same thing but this time across the room and after this we did it yet again but further away and outside. It was interesting to see that after loosing our eye contact and the decline in clarity from being further away, we seemed to make up for this my making our gestures bigger and more open so that we could still be understood. We also slowed the tempo of our speech when we were outside to allow for more time to articulate. This was accompanied by larger mouth movements and a louder volume so that we could be heard and understood. I thought this was particularly useful to know and understand for our commission piece as we will be outside and as it will be at the Christmas fair there is likely to be a lot of noise from the public. This means we now know that its important to speak with extra articulation and volume whilst keeping a slower pace so that we can be understood. The lesson really emphasised the point that we need focus on getting ourselves heard when performing which we can apply to our commission work.

Monday 10th October 2016

For our vocal lesson we talked about how not many people have concert pitch and the ability to find a note without hearing it before hand and be able to tell you the note they are singing. We also talked about some things that I already had some knowledge of having played piano for a long time when I was younger. In this was the different sounds of flats and sharps and how a sharp is a half note above and a flat is a half note bellow. We also looked at major and minor chords and how they can create either a happy or sad atmosphere through the noise they create. Another thing we looked at today was octaves and how with our voices we can sing the same note but higher or lower. Finally we looked at where our voices reside. We saw that an open throat voice sounds like a yawn and can even help to create a yawn if required. On top of this we found the juxtaposition of a nasal voice often comes out more persistently. A use for these could be for over the top characters such as the spies in our commission piece as they have such a comedic element whilst also being the bad characters.

Monday 27th February 2017

In our voice lesson, we started with Lynn playing two notes on the piano and we went around the circle with our eyes closed to see if we could identify if she was playing the same note or a different one. It was surprising to see how many people were incorrect as for myself I found it relatively easy. This may be due to the fact that I have singing lessons each week and have previously learnt piano, so am more accustomed to music and note finding. However it was still a fun task to get us listening to pitch and finding notes. We then warmed up our voices with a round of ‘Our poor bird’. This helped us prepare for our main task, which was to do ‘word orchestra’. This is an exercise where you get given a list of words each in a pair and also a scene scenario. You then have to use only these words and your voice to tell the story. This helps us to vary our tone, pitch and look for all the possible meanings and interpretations of the words. It was such a useful task and working on it with Ryan was highly enjoyable. We got given a hairdresser scene and it was interesting to see how the words could be used in a way to make them make sense. It definitely got me thinking about how important your interpretation of the words are and how you need to be able to vocally translate your intended meaning when acting.



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