The Newsletter
 February 1st, 2009                                                                  Find your natural dynamic speaking voice and maintain it!
Vocal Tip of the Month!
Listen To Yourself ;)

The sound of your voice helps shape how your words are perceived and how your overall personality comes across.  In order to find your natural dynamic speaking voice, it is important to find self-awareness through attentive listening. This will allow two important steps to take place: First, point out your flaws to better correct them and second, find and love your true natural dynamic speaking or singing voice.  

Most people are somewhat mistaken as to what they truly sound like.  This is because the resonance of one's voice reverberating within the walls of its instrument can be quite overwhelming in comparison to how frequencies travel once they leave the limited space of the body.  Listening from within can therefore be misleading.  Who hasn't experienced a bit of a surprise after hearing oneself for the first time on a voice mail message or on video for example?        

This is therefore what I'm coming to for this month's vocal tip: record yourself and take position on what you really sound like and should improve.  Locate pleasing sounds and focus on developing that.  Identify weaknesses and work on placing the voice correctly in the mask.  Then, embrace the real you and get accustomed to your natural beautiful voice.

Recording yourself is fairly easy.  It can be done using a tape recorder but for tech savvy people like myself, recording on a computer is more convenient. Get yourself a decent mic (they start at approximately $40.00) and download the FREE music recording software below that will allow you to save and manipulate your files:

Experiment, analyze and record your progress.  Be receptive to your own impressions and honest constructive comments.  Share your files with other people for second opinions.  Keep your voice in check by recording yourself often.  I will be happy to give you my opinion may you want to send me your recording with a question!  Good luck :)
Interesting Facts


In Indian cultures, there is an energy system called Chakras that attributes certain energy flows to specific parts of our body.  Interestingly enough, there is a chakra located in the throat.  It is connected with the ability to communicate one's thoughts but also to perceive others.  It is a portal to inner and outer communication. Chakras are often pictured as a lotus in which the energy vortex spins at different speeds depending on one's physical and emotional state.  The throat chakra is seen as a deep blue color and is associated with the element of ether or sound.*  It makes sense to see how the voice connects to our emotions and health under that perspective. One might feel chocked up when sad or under stress for example.  

A way to restore the energy flow of the chakra is to put your hand above that center and move it in a clockwise motion above the throat for a few seconds until you feel the heat emanating from your body on that spot. Continue moving your hand slowly against the chakra as to pick up the negative energy affecting the spinning current.  Then, throw it out away from your body.  

*Constance Rodriguez.  Gifts of the Soul, Llewellyn Publications, p 57.
What's Happening?
Starting Fresh...

My life has been in a little bit of turmoil lately as I have decided a few months ago to change it around and start anew.  I have ended a 16 year old relationship that is inevitably affecting my professional life.  Hence, I'm still working on completing my book even though I feel like my hectic life is getting in the way.  As a result, the revision process has stalled and is taking a little more time then expected.  I'm confident however, that I will soon be able to dedicate myself back to it more persistently soon so I can publish my final version and present you with more strategies and ideas to find your natural dynamic speaking voice.  Thank you for your patience.  

Because I moved into a new place, I have been spending a lot of time trying to make it my own.  When my new home is ready, I would love to take on more voice students.  I'm very excited about that!  I will keep you updated soon; stay posted...
Relevant Links

Voice Yourself in the Classroom

Valerie Bastien

The Voice Connection
Inspiring Quotes and Stories...
Voice Appeal!

St-Valentine's Day is almost here therefore, I will dare to derive a little from my usual teacher talks and discuss the topic of sexual attraction properties of the voice.

In the late 80's in Quebec, there was a very popular TV show called "Coup de Foudre" on the French channel.  If translated literally, coup de foudre means thunder strike even though the English equivalent love at first sight would be better suited in the context of that show.  It consisted of a dating game where 3 men and 3 women asked each other questions to see if they were compatible without ever being able to see one another.  After a series of questions, they each had to choose their favorite and if a men and a women both happened to choose each other, they were one step closer to the ultimate "Coup de Foudre" challenge: being able to correctly put a face to the voice and the personality that transpired through the questioning.  In other words, being able to match one's first impressions to the right contestant after seeing him or her for the first time.  If successful, the new couple won a romantic getaway to celebrate the start of their newfound love in hopes to live happily ever after.  

Many of the winning contestants talked about the voice being an important factor in their attraction to the opposite sex and to determine who they might be interested in since they couldn't see each other until the very end of the game. They often said the voice was an instant turn on (or turn off) depending on the qualities it carried.  Kindness, integrity, confidence, sense of humor, wisdom, intelligence, health and more are easily perceived in one's voice.  That, to me is very sexy!

I think St-Valentine's Day coming up is making me a little naughty because I feel like taking this topic into an unexpected direction...  Sex!  Just as there is a difference between having sex and making love, someone's voice can leave you somewhat indifferent or touch your soul in the most intimate ways.  It becomes an extension and the expression of pleasure and exctasy during the act of love.  It is someone's voice, touch and energy that keep it real and beautiful. When you look into your lover's eyes and he/she says tenderly "I love you", that is when you know the world as you know it has brought you to life.  Cherish him/her.  Happy St-Valentine's Day!
Things to Note
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Have a wonderful month!

-Valerie Bastien