Vocal toning is creating sound, using our breath and voice to make tones and frequencies. Our voices are unique just like our fingerprints and are a key way in which we express ourselves into the world. That said our relationship to our voice is a strong clue as to how we feel about ourselves, are you scared of your voice? Dislike your voice or maybe not even familiar with it at all?
Vocal toning will not only improve your singing voice it will help increase your confidence and ability to speak up and express yourself, toning is a very beautiful and nurturing way in which we can get to know ourselves.
Sound can also be used to manage our emotional state, there is a reason we cry out when we stub our toe or that we moan when in states of extreme pleasure, we are energetic beings and energy travels on sound.
Vocal toning is also a meditation, a great tool for calming the monkey mind and giving it something to focus on. We will be connecting to our breath and aiming for long steady regular breathes. This is extremely good for the body and overall wellbeing, drawing in oxygen and bringing inner harmony and balance.
Vocal Toning Exercise
You do not need to be able to sing or have any prior training in meditation or breath work. The practice is simple. You will need a space where you feel comfortable to make noise and wont be interrupted. Being comfortable is important, as you want the outside world to be able to just slip away. It can be done seated or standing what ever you feel happy with. Personally I like to sit on a cushion by my alter, light a candle and burn incenses. It is also good to have some water to hand.
Note: Your throat and voice should never hurt if you experience any discomfort please stop you are probably pushing from the wrong area and should seek some further advice.
Once you are all ready and in a comfortable position, just close your eyes and start taking nice deep, steady breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let the air fill all your lungs breathing from the abdomen, keeping your shoulders nice and relaxed. To get the rhythm and length of the breath right, on the out breath make an sssss sound, slowly letting out all the breath whilst making sound. This will give you a good guide as to how slow and steady the release needs to be.
(I like to think of myself as an instrument, my body is a billow, like a bag pipe supported by the lat muscles, my throat is the wind pipe and reed and my face, mouth and sinuses are the resonance chambers)
Now your breathing and air control is correct and steady its time to make tone, as you go to breath out, open your mouth as if to yawn, this will drop the throat into the correct position. Now make and ‘ah’ sound. It doesn’t matter at first what the pitch the sound is what ever feels natural and easy for you. Just stick with it, make the tone continuous and in the same pitch. When your air starts to run out you will probably notice the pitch starts to wobble or change you don’t want that to happen so as soon as you feel you are running short on air pressure just stop and breath and tone again.
For your first session I advice you just stick with the one tone and spend at least ten minutes making the tone and really listening to the sound, feel into yourself, where is the sound coming from how is it being made? How does it feel? What emotions or thoughts are coming up? Try opening your mouth wide and moving the sound around. How does it feel? Alternate air pressures how does this feel? Try saying the vowels without changing pitch A E I O U, how does this feel? Move your tongue around, really spend sometime getting a good understanding of what is happening in your body as you make the sound.
This is just an introduction and how a tone is made, when you go into furthering your practice you will learn to tone up and down musical scales. How to use sacred sounds that’s open different frequencies with in the tones. How to us toning to manage your emotions and release trauma, anger, sorrow and how to cultivate joy and connect to your inner happiness and find your heart song. Toning helps release the voice from any constraints, such as self-criticism and fear so it can be open to free flow into the world.
There is more information on my website vanessaellen.com/voice
I offer one to one coaching in person or via goggle hangouts I also have a seven week online vocal toning course available now. It contains lots of videos and ‘sing along with me’ exercises as well as practical advice and a self-practice guide.