The Newsletter
 February 1st, 2008                                                                  Find your natural dynamic speaking voice and maintain it!
Vocal Tip of the Month!
Your facial features define characteristics of your voice.  Your head is the main resonance box of your instrument.  It is therefore primordial to focus the vibrations of your voice forward and high up in your face to produce a rich tone.  Italians understood that principle and popularized the famous Bel Canto singing technique.   Bel Canto originated in Italy during the sixteenth century.  Bel Canto or "Beautiful Singing" focuses on placing the resonance of the voice in the mask to achieve a continuous tone and admirable timbre and colour.  My speaking voice approach is somewhat inspired by Bel Canto.  Even if you can't sing in tune you must know that the singing voice and the speaking voice are the same.  After all, you own only one set of vocal cords, don't you?!  To project your speaking voice effortlessly, it must resonate in the mask.  We call the mask the area of your face around your nose and cheeks and just above the eyes; in other words the sinus cavities.   Raise the pitch of your voice slightly and feel the buzzing happening when your voice is correctly focused in that area. 
Interesting Facts

The expression "the mask" comes from the renaissance period when men and woman wore costumes and fancy masks to masquerade balls in Europe.  These masks generally covered the area of the face where we want resonances to be focused, hence the reference to "singing in the mask". Click on the links below to listen to famous singers that are keeping the Bel Canto tradition alive:

Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
Josh Groban
Joan Sutherland
Luciano Pavarotti
What's Happening?
I would like to welcome every one to visit my website again and download my FREE and EASY voice warm-up exercises.  These are specifically designed to naturally place the voice in the mask and help you achieve beauty and power all at once.  If you have any questions as to how to do the exercises, please do not hesitate to e-mail me or initiate a thread on my Message Board.  There hasn't been any activity on it since I started my website and I would like to encourage you to go ahead and start a discussion topic!  It's there for you; use it!
Relevant Links

Voice Yourself in the Classroom

Valerie Bastien

The Voice Connection
Inspiring Quotes and Stories...
Tune yourself to your voice to achieve harmony.  Music is life.  It begins in the mother's womb as a baby listens to the calming sound of  its mother's heartbeat.  When the baby is born, its first cry confirms it's breathing and alive, hopefully healthy.  The power of vibrations is surprisingly unknown and underestimated.  Every being and object on earth is made of molecules and therefore vibrates. Every thought, every move, every sound is vibration.  Thus, your voice (inner voice or spoken) is your greatest asset.  Choose your thoughts and words carefully and you will discover the tremendous potential and the power it gives you and the people around you.  That is the best kept and the greatest secret of all time!
Things to Note
If you like what I do, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and feedback with me by signing my online Guest Book! You can also contact me directly at:

Have a wonderful month!

-Valerie Bastien