It is critical to work on your articulation as an actor or vocalist. Many new performers, particularly those without formal training, may struggle to develop these talents; worryingly, many more artists dismiss their relevance, claiming that “these days, actors are mic-ed onstage as well as on television!”
However, vocal preparation is about more than just volume: it is about being understood. If you’re performing a text-heavy play or a traditional work like Shakespeare, you must prepare so that the audience understands what you’re saying.
In order to improve your diction and warm up your body voice, it is a great idea to do articulation exercises such as bone prop exercises. It’s a good idea to have a few workouts under your belt and to switch them out regularly for older or newer varieties.
What is Bone Prop?
The Morrison Bone Prop, designed by Annie Morrison LCST ADVS, is hygienic, simple to use, and aids in the quick improvement of vocal resonance and clarity of diction.
The prop is a short plastic piece with dents at each end that easily sit on the teeth, tied to a ribbon worn around the neck.
Bone Prop Exercises
During articulation drills and vocal exercises, the prop is held lightly between the teeth. The Prop expands the oral space without the need to bite down to keep it in place. Try to hold the prop between your teeth with your jaw soft and lips wide and closed. Talk with the prop in its current location. You can use it for everything from watching TV to driving to exercising on the treadmill at the gym.
It is best to avoid the dubious practice of utilizing improvised ‘props’ of various forms, sizes, and materials for vocal training. Corks, pencils, and even sawn-off toothbrush handles are examples.
This behavior is not only unsanitary, but it also creates a choking hazard and increases jaw tension. This risk is eliminated with the Morrison Bone Prop.
Each Prop is made of dental-quality plastic for maximum hygiene and durability and comes in various colors. The ribbon is made of Parisian fine muslin, which is lightweight, quick-drying, and durable enough for long-term use, available in different colors to choose from.
Who Can Use it?
Actors, singers, and public speakers who must attain and maintain a high level of articulacy
Voice coaches, speech therapists, and singing teachers can assist students and clients in correcting their speech flaws.
Anyone who wants to increase their vocal clarity – appropriate for both adults and children.
What are its Benefits?
- Accelerates the development of articulatory agility.
- Increases resonance by increasing space within the mouth cavity without resorting to forced larynx suppression.
- Improves the muscularity of the lips and tongue
- Corrects the habit of opening one’s mouth too wide while speaking.
- Slowing the voice pace improves communication clarity.
- Promotes forward placement.
- It aids in the correction of tongue carriage imbalance.
Although it is a valuable adjunct, a bone prop is unnecessary for many exercises to help release the jaw. It helps a lot in having the teeth apart with a soft jaw, free neck, and tongue below the bottom teeth.
A cleaned finger positioned between the upper and lower teeth, along with the need to have a soft jaw and lips and not bite down on the finger, provides a sensation of the process with the prop in place.
For hygienic and safety concerns, do not attempt to use anything other than a bone prop between your teeth for any of the exercises. Besides doing physical warmups, as well as vocal exercises briefly explained below, you can also do other articulation exercises.
- Take a few minutes to relax your lips and cheeks, relax your face, and shake your head a bit to see if you can get some shake-out going on. As if you were a cartoon character coming back after having been bumped, you should sound as though you are. If you don’t feel silly when you are doing a physical or verbal warmup, then you are probably not doing it properly.
- Involve your hands, massage the masseter muscles in the cheeks, the lips, and anywhere else you dare to go. Holding and extending the tongue might also help warm it up, and another source of strain is beneath the tongue.
- Imagine chewing gum, putting a piece in your mouth, and chewing as quickly as you can, rolling the piece around so you chew up and down, clockwise and counterclockwise. Add more and more ‘gum’ until your mouth feels like it’s chewing through drying cement.
Hum while dropping your jaw. Feel the vibrations in your oral and nasal cavities, as well as via your teeth and nose. When you’re ready, open your mouth, so your “mmm” becomes a “mmmaaaaa. Pick a position on the wall opposite where you are standing each time you repeat this process. Consider that each time you open your mouth, you paint a red dot on the wall. With each repeat, enrich and enlarge that red dot.
If you want to get more detailed knowledge, you can consult a speech therapist. You can book your appointment with the Best Speech Therapist in Islamabad through Marham.