What if you could be really present in your relationships without fear?
What if being authentic was effortless and natural?
What if the studying the Tone of your voice was the answer to living this Authenticity?
Using the vowels offers us a structure or a vehicle through which we can take a closer look at the – tone, space, resonance, feeling tone and location of the sound. It makes the process of singing a little less personal which then engages our curiosity and playfulness!
The study of the vowels is the study of the self in that it gives us a lens to look at the play of light and dark that appears through the feeling tone in the voice. This feeling tone has a balance of light and dark, bright or richness that can be heard in the tone of the voice. As most or all teachers of voice can attest to we can change or impact this feeling tone through singing the various vowel sounds.
Light and dark coming together inside of art, music and voice is also called Chiaroscuro – an Italian Bel Canto singing technique . Chiaro – light and Scuro – dark.
Some voices are brighter than others and this brightness brings a clarity of tone. Other voices have more darkness which brings a quality of depth to the singer. The study of the vowels give us insight or a mirror of how we communicate, present and express ourselves in our everyday life through the tone, colour and melody of the voice.
The work boils down to the spectrums of dark and light, openness and focus and personal and impersonal energies.
Using the vowels as study tools for the above spectrums we can see inside of the feeling tone of the voice and break down the components into manageable pieces. This offers us the ability to lighten or darken our singing Tone as well as our energetic Tone Being on a moment-to-moment basis.
We can use the vowels to study the Openness and focus within the tone of the voice to transmit this through the voice.
Open vowels like Ah or Oh lean backwards and carry a depth or darkness of feeling Tone.
Vowels such as Ee or Aye lean forwards towards more focus or brightness of feeling Tone.
The goal is to balance the spectrums of forwards, backwards, bright, dark, personal and impersonal and the vowels can help us to do this.
When the vowel is too open then the result is a voice that is too dark and lacking focus and presence. Alternatively when a vowel is leaning too far forward the sound can be too bright and focussed. This energy is expressed in that person as well.
Another spectrum to observe the Self is to listen and feel into the presentation of Personal and Impersonal energy in the voice.
The feeling tone of personal and impersonal energy that is coming through the voice is being carried out by the vowels as well as the consonants to produce a particular sound.
We can hear this when anyone is singing. We can be touched and moved to tears by a singer and want to connect to this powerful energy that only a beautiful singing voice can elicit in us.
Whenever someone sings they are presenting a balance of this personal and impersonal energy. If the feeling tone is too personal it will be hard to hear it and there will be too much emotion for the person singing it to contain their own emotions. I hear this a lot from students who say ‘I can’t sing it just makes me cry all the time.’ I would suggest they have a lot of personal energy that needs some attending to to bring about a natural balance again of the personal and the impersonal.
If there is not enough emotion or if it is too impersonal then the listener will have a hard time connecting to the singer and they will become impersonal as well. We will ‘check out’, so to speak, and begin to wander in our mind.
So it is the balance of these energies that opens and balances the heart and it is the vowel sounds that hold, reflect and sound this energy out into the world.
The benefits of studying the vowels in this way are –
Improving the singing voice
Experiencing beauty, light and joy
Improving the quality of the speaking voice
Developing authentic communication – through the balancing of the tone of the voice which is a more clear reflection of who you are.
Aligning with creative, flowing energy
Stimulating the body with vibration which again moves stuck energy and keeps us Up To Date – in the Current moment
Creating safety, presence and alignment
And so much more….
Who is this study for?
For anyone who wishes to improve their singing voice, their speaking voice and their connection to their authenticity.
For those who want to have better communication skills and deeper relationships. The study of the vowels through the personal and impersonal energy is a profound way of learning to express who we are in a balanced and mindful manner for the person speaking as well as the person listening.
Exercises to study the vowel sounds:
Try sounding each vowel separately – AH – OH – OO – EE – AYE – EYE
Open your jaw enough to let the sound out and in on each vowel
Open your throat a little like the shutter on a camera by playing with a yawn and see how the sound changes.
Relax your body, neck, shoulder, eyes, belly
Are you observing the vowels or personal worried about the sound? Just notice
Try various pitches to see how the sound changes
Try various volumes or intensities to see how the sound changes
Now put a few together such as – AH OH OO all in one breath or line
then EE AYE EYE in one line
Is there a feeling tone in the sound of your voice?
What happens when you put what I call Words of Praise to the vowel sounds –
AH – LOVE or AMEN or FATHER
OH – HOME
OO – TRUTH
EE – PEACE
AYE – GRACE
EYE – LIGHT
Do using words help to hold more or less personal energy?
Do they help you to ground and feel the words more in your body?