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Vocal Practice

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I am following this person's course for pronunciation

What do you think about his voice?

Replying to John's previous message, I do the exercises I share in PU, which are in good part taken from this voice coach review here.
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on January 18, 2021, 6:34 pm

I am following this person's course for pronunciation

What do you think about his voice?

I think it's great.

Warm, grounded, sounds confident, and great enunciation.

From a global and power dynamics perspective, I'd personally look more into American pronunciation / accent, and even more so now that UK has gone at it alone outside of the EU.
The USA is the current English-speaking center of power, so it might be better to power-align with that :).

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Replying to John's previous message, I do the exercises I share in PU, which are in good part taken from this voice coach review here.

I bought Speaking Pro from your link a while ago.
I have been practising the daily warm-up exercises.
Very helpful in improving voice.

From a global and power dynamics perspective, I'd personally look more into American pronunciation / accent, and even more so now that UK has gone at it alone outside of the EU.
The USA is the current English-speaking center of power, so it might be better to power-align with that :).

I didn't think of this.
Looks like there are many layers to which accent and voice convey more authority.

I decided to buy his course ETJ English to work on my stresses and intonation before seeing your reply.
I have been working more with UK and Europeans so decided to go for a UK accent.
He offers a 1-year voice consultation with the course through WhatsApp.
You can send 5-minute samples of your recordings on weekdays.

I should definitely look into the US accent.
Probably not now because it's hard to learn 2 accents at the same time.
Unless it's a big power mistake to go for the UK accent if it's declining in power.

His course teaches how stressing and intonation smoothens your voice regardless of accent.
So I will continue working on this part of the course while practising Roger Love's course.

RESOURCES ON VOICE

Roger Love's Speaking Pro Course

ThePowerMoves Resources
Basics of Voice

POSTURE

Posture goes hand-in-hand with voice.
A solid posture helps with voice.

Basics of Posture

Low Larynx Exercise

It can be challenging to lower your larynx if you have never done it before.
Even if you put your finger on your throat.

This instructional video has helped me immensely in lowering the larynx.

The main exercises are

  1. Bubble Lip
  2. Dopy Goo
  3. Dopy Gee

The sound when you lower the larynx should sound like a dopey "duh".
There should be a hollow sound.

Check the same video at this time below for the sound:

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Hi there Matthews,

Really interesting thread! I've done bits and pieces of journalism over the years - it's where I started my career, moved out of it quite a while ago but still do some freelance work. A couple of years ago I had to present a radio documentary, so I went and did a few voice coaching sessions to make sure I'd sound ok... it's an amazingly powerful way to get into your body and find the physical aspect of that inner authority and power... I'm gonna check out some fo the videos posted here and see what I might learn..

Keep it up!

Lucas

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Hi Lucas!

I went for voice coaching in the past as well.
I really wanted to sharpen my communication skills, and voice has always been a huge part.
And I'm still working on my communication skills.

What I'm focusing on at the moment:

  1. Lower Larynx Exercises
  2. Mastering the stresses of English words
    • Next will be sentence-level stress

When it comes to voice, I realise it's best to focus on a few aspects.
I made the mistake of spreading my attention too wide before.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on January 22, 2021, 12:52 pm

I went for voice coaching in the past as well.

How was it?

I've considered doing it as well, was checking some guys online from a channel I really liked and I think I'll go for it eventually.

Do you think that personalized and in person was better somehow?

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on January 22, 2021, 12:52 pm

I went for voice coaching in the past as well.

How was it?

From personal experience, in-person is definitely useful.
However, it is not the most important aspect.
The ability of a coach to identify what you need to improve upon and what drills to focus on is most important.
And I have found that a great coach can give brilliant feedback remotely.

In fact, the ease of getting feedback and how you can get this feedback while fitting your practice into your schedule often be more beneficial than an occasional, highly accurate & precise, in-person feedback.
You don't want to slip up on your practice sessions because you are spending so much time travelling to meet your vocal coach.

That being said, I would go for in-person if you do manage to find a good coach and it's convenient schedule-wise & logistically.
A face-to-face coach can observe your body/throat tensions and your body posture when speaking.
He can observe how you speak when you sit and stand.
I had a coach who gave me a small mirror so I can observe my tongue movements during his face-to-face sessions.

It's like how the feedback on this forum can be really solid even though many of us have not even heard each other's voices.
In fact, I have found the feedback on this forum on Power Dynamics often more useful than those of my friends.
The considerations here are a bit different than those of voice coaching, but some similarities can be drawn.

This can be explained by going back to your article on learning and a few other points:

  • You can be good at knowing how to play power dynamics but be bad at breaking the situation down and explaining the concepts to others.
    For voice, it is similar.
    You can have a good voice but be bad at breaking down people's voices.
    Roger Love is amazing at this from the way he recognises and imitates people's voices at an instance.
    -
  • Powerful people often don't want to teach others about power dynamics.
    Because why would they want power-savvy people to be around them.
    Easier to manage and control naive people.For voice, it's not that bad.
    But sometimes people want to share generic vocal advice to build social capital without the intention of helping others improve their voice.
    I would watch out for coaches who give generic, non-actionable vocal advice as well.
    Always a good sign when they can tell you what's wrong with your current voice and give you actionable drills to work on these areas.
    -
  • Objectivity: People who know you well may not necessarily give you the best advice on your voice.
    They are too used to your voice.
    You need someone fresh to you with experience to hear you for the first time.
    -
  • The forum here is specifically for sharing advice on power dynamics (and more).
    Naturally, when we come onto this forum, we get onto this mindset.
    Which I believe Lucio has worked hard to build this environment.
    Your friend on WhatsApp may not subconsciously get into this mindset with the other messages competing for his attention.

At the moment, I'm taking advice from Elliott Giles through WhatsApp, founder of ETJ English.
He gives superb advice.
He tells me very directly:

I feel that you are trying too hard to practise stresses and conform to the standard pronunciation of Cambridge dictionary at the same time.
Focus on word stresses. That's all for now.
Work on that for a few weeks.
Make that muscle memory.
Then we can decide on the next step.
Send me another voice message in a couple of days.
Let's see your progress.

On a few levels, this is a sign of a brilliant coach.
Yes, he identifies what I need to improve and how I can work on it.
He also knows when I am getting sidetracked & distracted and need to refocus myself on my current main weakness.
He understands that it takes times to build a habit/skill and acknowledges that focused repetition is essential.
And all this takes place by exchanging only voice messages on WhatsApp.

He builds this around his course on his website ETJ English so there's a structure around his training.
He can point me towards different parts of courses if he thinks that's what I need to focus on.
And he can ask me to tweak my practice through his feedback over WhatsApp.

I had an in-person voice coach a few years ago. (The same one I mentioned above. He gave me a small mirror to observe mouth movements during training)
He was good and recommended a lot of exercises.
The problem was that I wasn't sure of what to focus on.
Partly, it was my fault for underestimating the amount of time required to commit to improving my voice.
Sometimes, I wanted someone to tell me "For the next month, focus only on this for 15 minutes a day. Do this exercise.".

In my opinion, it is a good sign if a vocal coach has crafted out an online course.
This shows that he/she knows how to break down vocals in a way for a student to understand the concepts and practise drills.
This is one way of screening that a vocal coach is not only good at vocals but also a good coach.
Elliott Giles has crafted out an online course while my previous in-person coach did not.

There's a vocal coach that I really want to talk about, but he has been under unfair attacks and is currently defending his public perception.
He told me that it's best for him to remain under the radar at his point.
Sometimes people get triggered when an expert puts out realistic advice.

What I'm Doing Now

  • Working on Roger Love's Speaking Pro program from Lucio's link
  • Practising word stresses with WhatsApp feedback from Elliott Giles and his course ETJ English
Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Awesome explanation, thank you Matthew!!

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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