The Newsletter
 November 1st, 2009                                                                  Find your natural dynamic speaking voice and maintain it!
Vocal Tip of the Month!
Funny Exercises to Feel the Natural Dynamic Voice!

1) Yawning is an excellent way to relax the voice apparatus and place it in the mask.  Take a big breath and make a big fat yawn.  I find that adding the arm action to it always helps letting go and let the voice find its place naturally without worrying too much about what to do with it exactly.  The point is to always start from something you know and that comes naturally to you.  
2) Crying like a dog brings the resonance of the voice right towards the upper portion of the face without it going in the nose completely.  Try to be aware of where of vibrations occur.
3) Sticking the tongue out and saying "Ah" similarly to what you would do at the doctor's office also sends the voice into its natural cavities.  If you pay close attention, you might hear how vibrant and sort of shiny, the quality of the voice becomes.

You can add these exercises to your daily vocal warm-up.  They are perfect to develop self-awareness and confidence in what your natural dynamic speaking voice should sound like.  You can really talk with those exercises obviously but the fact that you could probably practice those sounds for hours without hurting your vocal cords or feeling vocal fatigue is direct evidence of their efficiency.  Good luck!
Interesting Facts
Vocal Warm-Up

If you can, try to take at least 20 minutes in the morning to warm-up your voice before starting class.  The logic behind this is the same as for althletes.  Warming-up muscles involved in speech and singing and the vocal cords, helps stretching them to a comfortable level and increases blood flow to these area.  Most importantly, it awakes the brain to appropriate muscle memory therefore helping the voice function effortlessly during speech and singing.  

The exercises to your left suggested for this month's vocal tip are excellent starters.
Please visit my website for more warm-up suggestions:

Voice Exercises

What's Happening?
A Couple of Songs!

As promised, here are a couple of songs I wrote and recorded at home for fun!  Hope you like them :)

We Are One
Hold On To Me

Thanks for listening!
Relevant Links

Voice Yourself in the Classroom

Valerie Bastien

The Voice Connection
Inspiring Quotes and Stories...

The Secret to be Successful!

I recently interviewed a man that inspires me very much with his skills, his creativity and his drive.  If you play guitar, you might be familiar with his name: Paul Reed Smith from PRS Guitars.  He is an important figure in the music insdustry and recently celebrated the 25th aniversary of PRS Guitars.  He builds guitars that are played by a great variety of artists such as Ali Di Meola, Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro, Mark Tremonti, Chris Henderson, and the list goes on and on... During my interview, I asked him what was the secret to being successful.  His answer was to be happy in his personal life and always keep trying.  This struck me as a very simple yet wise answer.  It seems obvious but it really isn't...  I think that sometimes we forget that the most influencial aspects of our life are just in front of our eyes.  It amazes me how this is shown as well in young children as in adults.

In French, we have a saying: "Plus ša change, plus c'est pareil (The more it changes, the more it's the same)!  As an educator, we can certainly assess that students with personal or family issues are often disadvantaged in their learning. They suffer from a lack of support at home and they can't focus on their work.  It's very unfortunate.  By the time we reach adulthood, we tend to repeat the same mistakes and become our biggest ennemy.  Do we ever learn? To hear the interview in full, click on the link below:

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