NECK AND THROAT RELAXATION EXERCISES (5 of 6) — Vocal Exercises — American English Pronunciation


In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over neck and throat relaxation exercises. When we help students find the UH sound, which we consider the core sound of American English, we often suggest finding a chest resonance, or a lower resonance, to help them find this sound. The way to find that lower resonance is to relax your neck and throat, and connect the vibrations of your sound to your body. Here are a few exercises to help relax your neck and throat and access that body connection. First, let’s just relax the head down, chin to chest, and massage the back and sides of the neck.>>I can do that. This should feel really good.>>Oh it does! Feel free to give your shoulders some love. You may also feel like sighing as you do this, a nice easy sound carried by easy breath.>>Great. Now let’s roll our head around, starting slowly, just let your head hang down, with the chin on the chest, and start to gently roll it back and forth. Just a little bit, don’t go too far. Stay slow, and then start rolling it up even further on each side. Then eventually, you can go around the whole circle.>>How’s that feel Tom?>>That feels really good. Now as you go around the full circle, if you feel any spot that feels tense, that you feel a little bit of ache in as you go around, really focus on that. Maybe get in there with your fingers and rub that out, so that you can go ahead and free the neck all the way around. Now drop one ear to your left shoulder, while you do this, gently reach your right hand towards the ground, you’ll feel a little stretch in the right side of your neck. Don’t go too far, just do what feels good to release. Then switch sides.>>How you doing there Tom?>>This is great! Now, leading with your eyes, look over your left shoulder, as far as you can (but, of course, don’t hurt yourself!!), and switch. Here’s one that may feel a little bit weird at first. Let’s start with a very relaxed face, the jaw should be relaxed and possibly hanging open just a little bit. Let’s just sigh, nice full breath in, and a relaxed sigh out. Let a little sound out with the sigh, let the vibrations from the sound relax the throat even more. Now, put both hands on either side of your larynx, and very gently jiggle it back and forth. As you do this, continue your easy breath in and easy sigh out. If you’re able to do this, then it means your throat is relaxed because it’s impossible to do this with a lot of throat tension. Lastly, let’s rub our hands together so they’re nice and warm and then place them around the neck. A natural heating pad, though it cools down a little too quickly! Now, with your newly relaxed neck and throat, sigh on AH and see if you can feel the vibration in the chest. This relaxation will really come in handy as you work on your American English. A lot of my students who speak with natural throat tension because of their native language have a hard time identifying the tension, because it’s so normal to them. So one way to work with this, to try to move your placement down is just to think of opening up the neck some. And all of these exercises will help. So go through all of these exercises, and then think of an opening sensation, so that your voice can rest more here. Any time there’s tension in the neck, it brings the placement up higher. But we want the American English placement to feel like it’s coming from here. This video is part of a series on Relaxation and Placement. If you like it, check out the previous video on Lip Relaxation, or the next video on the Soft Palate. If you have any questions, put them in the comments below. Now, I have to thank Tom for the exercises in this section. Tom picked up a lot of these tools when he was getting his Master’s degree in Acting at Harvard University.>>So thanks, Tom, for lending your expertise.>>You’re very welcome. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

57 Comments

  1. Thank you very much

  2. Thanks for the video. I didn't know that you can do an alert when you upload the video on your channel. I guess I learned 2 things today. lol

    Could you make a video for prepositions of time and place, please? It would be very helpful.

  3. First time to hear, thanks!

  4. And one video for the pronunciation of "mountain." It's really hard to pronounce… for me. Bye, and thanks again.

  5. …que?

  6. Thanks for the video, It feels great 🙂

  7. Hi Rachel! Do Chinese speak with natural throat tension? I find my throat tense when I speak, and it feels like my voice is coming from my mouth, not from my throat. And is your throat always relaxed when you speak? Thank you so much for your great work!

  8. Interesting! I did not know we had to relax the neck too.
    By the way Rachel, could I suggest you the pronunciation of the word "favorite". A person has difficulty to pronounce it in my English club. Thank you and have a nice day! 🙂

  9. Yes, I definitely sense that many of my Chinese students speak with a tight throat. I try to get them to focus on opening/widening it, so the voice can rest lower. Yes, my throat is always relaxed when I speak.
    Best,
    Rachel

  10. Thank you guys, these videos are brilliant. Greetings from Italy.

  11. I love it

  12. great

  13. I suggested that the next word is murderer difficult word _

  14. I LOVE IT =)

  15. thanks guys you relax me 🙂

  16. l love Rachel !
    your are my sun

  17. Extraordinary words would I need for purposes of expressing such level of help that I have gotten from the nature of your videos. Moreover, this technique is outstandingly useful for purposes of giving speeches that tend to take plenty of time. No matter the nature of the discipline, teachers see themselves in the urgency of speaking for as much as 40 minutes ( if we are that lucky ). This implies the usage of such necessary techniques.

  18. Thanks so much for these videos! My native language is Spanish and pronunciation is my weakest part. Haven't you finished the last part yet?

  19. Rachel mam is there any exercises for stammering.

  20. Hello, Rachel!
    Thank you for you lessons. Do you have lesson concerning pronunciation of the sound [ɜː]?

  21. this is great, thanks!

  22. Hello, Rachel! Do you have any lesson about the pronunciation of the consonant 's'?

  23. Great video! Thanks.

  24. that's good!

  25. Awesome video

  26. It's really excellent, thanks to tom and rachel…………

  27. Thanks for you Rachel
    EMAD FROM SAUDI

  28. Thank you sooo much 😍😍😍

  29. Thank you Tom and Rachel, this video has helped me a lot on aiding a friend who is trying to acquire the techniques of relaxation in order to correctly pronounce the UH sound. Thank you so much!

  30. You're 100% awesome!

  31. Hello Rachel…thanks for the video
    It´s been very helpful for reducing my strong Brazilian accent!!

  32. Hey guys u both are amazing.. thanks for such nice video series which helps to me.

  33. These videos are not only good for American English pronunciation but also for SINGING!! Thanks for the advice! Definitely helps a lot!

  34. Helped me with public speaking,thankyou.

  35. close your eyes while watching this video hahah

  36. if you'r smart and you know it if your pretty and you know it if your lucky and you know it if your funny and you know it clap yer hands

  37. Thanks for your videos!

  38. very useful for singers too

  39. Amazing!

  40. I swear I have a lot of fun while doing all of the exercises! 😀

  41. hi your lessons is very helpful for me. Especially the pronunciation.

  42. t
    Thank you so much

  43. your advices are really useful.You are awesome.Can you tell me one thing?I am struggling with that.throats have two parts right?Like left and right?(I don't know it makes sense or not).So the right part of my throat is open and the right part is not so I struggle in high and low notes for this.How to make my left throat open?I really need help on this.

  44. amazing lesson.

  45. that's good

  46. Hi miss Rachel, how do I make my voice loud when I'm using the chest resonance to pronounce English? If I'm shouting out to someone would the placement be the same?

  47. Feel so good.

  48. Thanks Tom again.

  49. This is quite useful for my Chinese students; they often speak English with a tight throat that actually sounds a bit painful! I also really appreciate the subtitles for these videos.

  50. Excuse me Rachel, can you please tell me where I can read about this topic (placement)?
    I couldn’t find it in the google or Wikipedia except your site

  51. For how long should I be doing each exercise?

  52. Great job guys! I'll be following

  53. Sir how l can soft my voice and sing better which exercise can we do

  54. Are these exercises useful for Stammering problem as well?

  55. Been looking for throat relaxation exercises as when I inhale as much as I can my throat tightens up.

  56. Hello welcome my pratic you english my speak english mirac my life thak you

  57. Even swallowing water (I know, dumb) is easier for me now. I didn't realise how much tension I had.

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