Thursday, October 09, 2008

Occupational Hazard

Still struggling with my voice. (Jenny, I have requested the book your speech-therapist friend recommended and am still waiting for it.) I've realized a huge part of my voice problems are because I have learned, over the last couple of decades, to speak from my throat instead of from my gut. I used to be in choirs all the time, and that gave me better training/habits in how to use my voice and have it come from my belly.

So what changed?

All I can figure is it's because of the lovely, wonderful, terrific, enjoyable pleasure of curling up on the couch with my kids and reading aloud to them. Snuggling on a bed for bedtime stories, or piled together on the couch to read chapter after chapter... the cuddling and the back-rubs and the blankets take priority over posture. And yet, the posture of reading aloud while curled up on the sofa meant that my lungs couldn't fill properly, my diaphragm couldn't do its job, and thus my voice was coming out of my upper chest and throat. And it wore out.

Now I have to straighten out those habits and set them right again. And it's hard. It means paying attention to my diaphragm when I'm singing instead of paying attention to the notes in choir, or the text of the hymn during prayers. It may even mean having to stand to read aloud to the kids. Bummers! But it's gotta be done if I want to keep my voice.

But yikesy, does the good new/old habit have to be practiced ALL the time? I am not yet ready to give up the joys of curling up on the couch with my kids to read.

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