Saturday, October 25, 2008

Voice Suicide

Morton Cooper's Stop Committing Voice Suicide was recommended to me. After interlibrary loaning it, I skimmed the first chapter and found a few pertinent pages. Then I got busy and set the book aside. Seeing as how it's due back in a week, I figured I best be reading the rest of the book.

Most of the book is testimonials as to how people can learn to stop abusing their voices, and how badly most of the medical community misunderstands this, resorting instead to ineffective medications and treatments and surgeries and poisons (Botox injections). Essentially, the author needs only a few pages to give the advice that's necessary to find one's "natural voice." And it only takes a minute or two to figure that out. The problem is practicing practicing practicing to learn to use your natural voice (in the bottom half of your skull) instead of the throat voice (in the upper part of the neck).

Homeschooling inadvertently taught me to start using my voice from my throat, and I paid the price for it. After all the laryngitis and pain, my method of compensation was to get quieter, not to talk to friends as much in person or on the phone, to sing less, to read aloud to the kids less, to limit the use of my voice. So today I managed to figure out how to make the sounds "in the mask" and to bop back and forth between the throat and the resonance "in the mask" (sound coming from the mouth and the nasal cavity). I still can't make words the right way, but I've been humming and la-la-ing in my baby steps of learning to speak in a way that doesn't exhaust my voice. I feel dumb practicing, but I'm holding out hopes that I may once again be able to read aloud or discuss the kids' schoolwork for more than an hour or two a day.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thinking maybe I should read this book preventatively. Last week my voice was SORE after all the reading I did with Sparkle. I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to belt out A Mighty Fortress today! Luckily, I was ok. But still! I've got a lot of homeschooling years ahead of me!