Thin lips

I am one of those people with very British thin lips.  People like me (and the student with whom I was working this morning) have to work harder to round the vowel, to flare the bell, to give that last touch of polish to the sound before it escapes us forever.

This morning I worked with C. who had never really thought about this before.  She was really trying to activate that top lip, but was expending too much effort in the process.

So, on the spot, I listed off a bunch of words that she could repeat on an easy pitch, sustaining slightly so that the opening W sound is a little longer.  By doing any series of these words as a little exercise, she could train that top lip to kiss the vowel a bit more.  And by doing a portion of this series, she also hits several different vowel sounds.

Won
Water
Wear
Woe
Was
Wasp
Wish
Week
Would
Wan
Will of a wisp

By the way, I’m one of those who believe that the W sound is a vowel, not a consonant!

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About Jeffrey Carter

University administrator, voice teacher, choral director, professor, singer, professional theatre music director, brother, son, uncle, Anglican, Scotch drinker, chef of moderate talent, NPR fanatic, gin aficionado, proponent of the music of Herbert Howells and Elgar and Vaughan Williams, pianist, composer, theatre geek, dog love & cat hater, author & blogger, world traveler, church organist, Anglophile.

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