In this article, I am discussing the refinements made to one’s posture, one’s life. Of one of the last refinements considered, when the enhancing posture, is that of the voice. Perhaps women can benefit from this discussion but this article is mainly for the benefit of men, young or old.
Many men would like to improve the timbre of their voice. Even F.M. Alexander began his method to change his appearance because he was losing his voice during his stage performances. To fix this he would stand before mirrors, hours at a time, to position his head, neck, and chest so that his voice would sustain during his performances. He found that one’s posture had everything to do with the timbre and sustain of his voice.
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I too wanted to have a nice baritone or bass to my voice. I tried several times decades past, prior to learning of the Alexander Technique, and failed each time. I always reverted to my higher-pitched voice. Why? Because I had poor posture which only permitted my voice to originate at the throat and sinuses, and not in the upper chest area.
Where today is the voice when we see and hear the movies made decades ago? Today there is Russel Crowe, Jeffrey Donovan, that’s all I can think of. Clue me in if there are a great number of baritone people in general. Where are the voices today that are similar to the men with such great voices as those in years past? Charleton Heston, Robert Mitchum, Humphry Bogart, Sinatra, Lee Marvin. Much of the problem for today’s general populace is that most of us men are captive to cooperate thought. Not many men have what it takes to stand up and keep dignity and a crisp baritone in the strict hierarchy established in today’s workplace, generally many social settings, and yes, universities. Somehow, someway, we must break away just enough so that we regain our individuality and our voice. If you are subtle with your changes you can change for the better. By the way, it is not your fault that you have no baritone, bass, or robust timbre in your voice. Because you are reading this, in your life you have been carefully taught to speak an octave above where you would like to speak.
The vast majority of male actors, speechmakers, and politicians today are weak in their voice timbre. Just about all of them have voices that are high pitched and even “squeaky.” They are not even marginally robust. The male singers today do not represent the proper male singing voice. If any of the above speak or sing in a lower-pitched voice, it barely reaches down to the upper range of baritone. Please, let’s not consider “metal” music and such singers for the purpose of this article. Consider mainstream broadcasts and review any of the male voices heard and you’ll readily note that the men broadcasting are not sounding like men. Most of them sound like little boys.
How do we men fix a weak voice? One way is to stand in front of the mirror as F.M. Alexander did and change your voice. Yet even he came around to changing his posture to properly position his voice box within his body, so he could properly use his voice. I too came around to this enlightenment as well.
The first steps to change your voice for the better would be to spend time, perhaps months, lengthening and adjusting the spine, freeing the neck, and balancing the head atop the squared shoulders. Acquire and maintain this pleasant, natural posture. Feel comfortably in this new way of accommodating your life. Please review my earlier posts concerning this subject. Remember these steps are a process and will take time.
Secondly, widen the shoulders. Initially, they have been lifted by the neck muscles when the spine is lengthened. In turn, the whole shoulder girdle has raised up to open the chest area, to allow the chest to rise. Again, after some months of adjusting to this new body position with your lifted shoulders and chest, you would then feel comfortable widening the shoulders. To do this allow the scapulas to fall away from the region of the neck.