Monday, November 12, 2007

Rehearsing and Speaking to the Orchestra

This post is primarily targeted to my female colleagues.

Often I see my colleagues talking in the upper part of their voice ranges, which can be unpleasant to the ear, as well as make them seem like a school teacher. Some people will interpret this as aggressiveness, and it can sound whiny. Since many people have to address this issue at some point, here it is.

The solution to this is quite simple; talk in the lower part of the voice. No, you don’t want to talk at the very bottom, because that would sound weird, and possibly harm your voice over time. You do, however, want to talk in about the lower third of the voice. This area of the voice gives you power and makes you sound confident.

You can find the right pitch area by humming up and down your voice range in a non-pitched fashion. You will find an area or a pitch in the lower range where your voice will be more resonant than the surrounding areas. It will be very specific. You will feel and hear it. This is about where you want to speak. Mine is B natural right below middle C. Then, you can practice (in the shower or wherever) chanting on this one note, like recit., singing everything on this one note. Now, when you talk, obviously the pitch will rise and fall naturally, but you can talk in this area of the voice, which will sound pleasing to everyone, not to mention authoritative.

Remember; speak in the lower part of the voice and project with air and the energy. Happy conducting.