For a child, being free with the voice is a natural thing. We animate our dolls and trucks. We laugh and make sounds freely. As we get older, it is no longer okay to make strange, silly sounds. We have to be serious. When things do escape our lips, others look at us like we have two heads (unless we have the privilege of playing with children and hiding behind such an excuse). But play is a means to freeing our voice and our creativity. It shouldn’t stop altogether or change just because we reach a certain age.
Here is an fun exercise in voice play I’ve often used in Toning groups and a great party game.
Think of a phrase and say it with the group. For example, “I love chicken feathers in my soup.” The sillier the better!
- Repeat the phrase aloud normally.
- Now say it in different ways. Try whispering it like it is a very big secret you don’t want others to hear…or maybe a secret you really do want others to hear. Notice any difference?
- Now yell it at the top of your lungs. What does that feel like?
- Say it in a very deep voice. Come on ladies; you can do it!
- Say it in a very high voice. Gentlemen, it’s only a game!
- Say it as fast as you can. Oh, come on! Faster!
- Say it both high and fast, like you’ve just inhaled helium.
- Now say it high and very slow, like you’re slowly emptying of helium. What are you feeling?
- Say it low and fast, like a tribal cartoon character.
- Now say it low and very slow, like a broken tape-recorder. Having fun?
If you tried this alone, good for you! Your inner child is now glowing. If you tried this with friends, even better for you! Nothing like laughing your head off with people you love!