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Summary of the 5 main points The main guidelines for the technique
 

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The voice is a subtle but fragile instrument.
What opera singer has not had a hoarse voice due to overwork, which can have severe consequences?
Yva Barthélémy
having realised during her career as an opera singer how fragile a voice can be, started seeking logical and rational ways of ensuring the perfect training, overcoming tiredness and allowing the singer’s voice to blossom. The originality of her method is based on a deep knowledge of human anatomy and physiology more precisely the vocal apparatus and its workings.
Hereditary factors require specific modifications for each singer’s needs. The authorised teachers have been trained to adapt to such physiological differences amongst their students. When one realises that even the tiniest sound activates more than 300 muscles, it is important to strengthen the extrinsic laryngeal muscles (which connect the larynx to the adjacent organs) in order to render the glottal activity more reliable and effective.

These muscular development exercises must be done at the same time as special vocalic and syllabic exercises which permit safe vocalisation. The practice of the exercises must respect the right sequence because they have been developed to warm up the voice, to improve suppleness and to reinforce the complex muscular mechanism of singing. Statics, respiration and breathing are used thoroughly in combination with the facial muscles, neck muscles and the larynx.

These exercises build the framework of sound vocal technique.

Opera singers’ voices will thus attain their plenitude as well as being sure of a priceless longevity.
 
yva barthelemy  

Main points of the technique

I. WARMING UP PHONATORY MUSCLES
- Articulation :
Exercises for superficial and deep facial, tongue and lip muscles etc.
masseters, risorius, zygomatics and the articulatory lip mass.

 
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  - Respiration :
Exercises for thoracic, abdominal, dorsal, diaphragmic muscles etc…
- Support :
Exercises for the neck muscles, the suspensory system of the larynx and for strengthening the sternocleidonastoid muscles, dorsal muscles etc…
- Phonation :
Exercises for the vocal cords in different positions because of the mobility of the thyroid cartilage.

See the complexity of the muscular structure surrounding the vocal chords.
 
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II. BODY POSITIONING
- Statokinetic exercises for the head, neck, shoulders, abdomen and back, in order to achieve the ideal positioning of the internal instrument.

- Exercises for the 4 keys back points. This posture was  studied for ten years. The “4 points” are connected to three vertebrae in the back (2 in the spine and 2 in the nape of the neck) which allow the voice to express itself completely.

 
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III. RESPIRATORY TRAINING Focussed on diaphragmatic movements.

IV. DECONSTRICTION AND APERTURE OF THE LARYNX
They facilitate the vocal instrument’s mobility. This is particularly important as the larynx is where somatic emotions (lump in the throat, stage fright, stress, anxiety, tension etc) are located.

V. THE MOBILITY OF THE TONGUE
If the 17 tongue muscles are constricted, they could prevent clear expression.
Exercises to improve the suppleness of the muscles and correct posture will liberate the voice.

VI. VOLUNTARY DILATATION OF THE MUSCULAR AND MEMBRANOUS RESONANT SPACES Buccal pharynx, larynx, mouth, nostrils and internal nasal space.

VII. MOBILISATION OF THE THYROIDAL CARTILAGE
The vocal chords are attached to the thyroidal cartilage by their fixed frontal extremities. When this cartilage moves from an upward to a downward position, the resulting changes in the vocal chords become tenser and thicker. Increasing and facilitating their mobility improves and reinforces vocalisation.

VIII. STRENGTHENING THE INTRINSIC LARYNGEAL MUSCULATURE
This makes the passage to the voice in the chest or head easier, which is particularly difficult for mezzo, contralto and tenor voices as they specifically utilise the voice in the head.

IX. VOCALISATION
Syllabic and vocalic vocalisation, which is always gradual, follows muscular training. It includes a specific selection of singing exercises which constitute the warm up phase of the vocal apparatus.

- Pharyngobuccal positioning and modification of high-pitched vowels permit “the covering of sounds” required to protect the vocal organ.

- The conjunction of the lowering of the larynx and the facial elevators reinforces vocalisation.

- Tied sounds, staccatos, finding the appoggio contribute to enhanced performance.

 
  technique vocale yva barthelemy  
  technique vocale yva barthelemy  
technique vocale yva barthelemy  
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Illustrations : Josée Bougault-Barthélémy

 
 

© yvabarthelemy 2008 - 2013
 
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