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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Exercise 1: Seven Step Massage

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[MUSIC]
The muscles that encase your voice,
your voice being in here, if they're
tense,
will put pressure on what needs to be a
flexible,
fluid motion that occurs internally.
Additionally, these muscles of your neck
have related muscles into the jaw.
And that's primarily it so,
there is a massage that I'm gonna show you
how to do on yourself.
Of course, this is lovely if you can get
someone else to do it for you.
However, [LAUGH] as you're going thru the
day this massage or
any aspect or part of it will be a
wonderful thing for you to do for
yourself, and it keeps you also feeling
good and relaxed.
But it keeps your voice much more limber.
In fact, I've had people do this and then
sing, and
do no other thing with their voice, and
immediately, as you will,
you find that your voice is more flexible
and it feels easier to sing.
So I'm gonna encourage you, once you learn
this massage, to do it on yourself and
then sing a song and see, you might even
do like a comparison.
Sing the song first, then give yourself
the massage,
then sing it after the massage, and see
what it feels like for you.
Once again I'm gonna bring Novi on to
help.
>> [LAUGH]
>> [LAUGH] And
we'll start with her sitting backwards.
All the way, good.
Because what you do is start from here.
So, you're gonna take the fingers of both
hands and
put them on either side of your spine,
here.
Now, whatever stroke you like best is what
you should use.
You can do it up and down, go ahead.
Like that and sort of inch your way down,
all right.
Or you can use circular motions.
The most important aspect to this, is that
you use what feels good to you.
If it feels tight, knotty, just do it as
long as you need to do it so
that the muscles start relaxing.
You, of course, will feel the difference.
[LAUGH]
She's plugging away.
>> [LAUGH]
>> Okay, now, once you're done there,
the next step is gonna go a little
forward,
just kind of back of and under the ear.
Right where your skull ends and it's
actually the side of your vertebrae here.
And you're gonna do a slight forward
stroke.
Okay, now I'm gonna turn you just a little
so you are able to see.
Try it on yourself.
It's like a little triangle of muscle, it
feels like, and
that's what we're getting at there.
This muscle ends up actually supporting an
aspect of your larynx,
so that's one of the reasons why we're
getting.
Muscles are very much interconnected.
Okay, one, now, once you're done there,
all the way, face forward.
Now what we're gonna do is get right here.
This is a very large muscle that runs down
the side of your neck,
and it comes forward a little bit.
And it has a huge influence on your larynx
where your vocal folds are.
So, we're gonna start just under the ear
on both sides.
And notice Novi is using two fingers,
which is great.
You can also use your thumb, thumbs, or
two fingers or the, you know, whatever.
You, this is, has to feel good to you and
that's why we're doing it.
Okay, go ahead and it's just a long,
you feel that muscle, stay with that
muscle straight down.
Well, that's not totally true cuz it is at
a bit of an angle,
but you want to just run the length of
that muscle.
Okay, try that on yourself.
And again, you do it as long as you feel
you need to do it for you.
There's no, do it three times and then
move on to the next.
That's, there's no arbitrary rule to this,
it's what feels good to you,
what you need at any moment that you give
yourself this massage.
And it can change from the morning, noon,
night,
after you've been singing, just before you
are about to sing,
it can be different the length of time
that you need.
Feeling good?
>> Mm hm.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
All right,
now what we wanna do is go
right under the jaw line.
You do this, I find it easiest to do it
with two thumbs.
So they're like the back of a spoon.
And you're gonna spoon yourself here.
[LAUGH] Right underneath.
Uh-huh.
And get right underneath the chin.
And if you prefer doing it in shorter
strokes, that's okay too.
Find what works for you.
[COUGH]
This is a forward motion,
not a forward and back motion.
It's just a forward motion.
Now, we're working with the muscle fibers
and how they run at this point.
Cool.
Now, we're gonna go right underneath the
chin.
This is gonna get at the base of your
tongue and
any other related muscles right here.
So we're gonna start just at the top of
the larynx.
Find the right spot for you.
If you go too far down, it's gonna kinda
choke you, so
you wanna just go right there.
Yep.
And you just bring it forward.
And if you wanna use two thumbs,
you can do it in a double stroke like
that.
[SOUND] Okay, I hope you're doing along
with us.
[SOUND] You feel how that effects the base
of your tongue.
Okay.
Good.
Now we're gonna move up and we're gonna
get the muscles here on the sides
that, there's a, there's a, these muscles
here, and there's some tendons
in this section, and they guide the jaw as
you open it.
And close it, so the top of the jaw is
sliding along your cheek bone.
[SOUND] And closing like that.
So these muscles are pretty active most of
the time, cause we use them when we speak,
and the jaw is moving up and down, and we
use them when we chew.
Sometimes if you grit your teeth when you
sleep, that type of thing,
it makes these muscles pretty tight and
that will backfire down on these muscles.
So, once again, figure out, do you wanna
use your thumbs or two fingers
and we're gonna start right at the
cheekbone line.
And come down in short strokes.
So it's gonna be a little stroke, and a
little stroke further down, and
a little stroke further down.
Okay, now let me show you and I'll show
you how this would look.
Swivel, that's good.
So it's here.
[NOISE] You see that just like a little,
whatever quarter of an inch or less, and
you work it down.
If you happen to have or have been told
that you have TMJ,
this is something that really is gonna
help.
A lot of times it's just that the muscles
and the tendons need to be elongated,
and massage can help that.
And then when you open your mouth to sing,
it just kinda flows like everything else
should.
Of course, then you do it on both sides.
[COUGH] Okay.
Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna go
back down and I'm gonna show you.
Actually, I want you to do sideways again.
There is a spot, you know you have this
muscle
here that you already stroked, so now that
it, things are more limber, hopefully.
We're gonna put your finger about midway,
and you're gonna slide it underneath that
big muscle.
Somewhere in there, you have to poke
around a little bit.
There is a spot that most likely is
tender.
It's a little nobby area and it's on both
sides.
So, you do see how Novia's doing a small
little circle,
and you just keep doing that until you
feel that tenderness or soreness reduce.
As you do this,
you may find that some phlegm needs to
cast it's way out of your voice.
[COUGH] Because it starts stimulating
nerve endings that
feed the energy to the muscles of your
vocal folds.
This has an amazing effect, just doing
this and then singing, it's really great.
So, once that, if, you know, any soreness
or whatever reduces, you're done.
And then, we come to the final step.
Now, this, you're gonna take your larynx.
Thumb on one side and fingers on the
other.
This needs to be done really gently, and
I would not ever suggest that you do it
without doing all the other steps first.
So you take this here, and you're going to
rock,
[NOISE] your larynx a little bit.
Move up.
And back down.
It's just slight, don't try to throw it
over your shoulder or something.
[LAUGH]
[COUGH]
You may find that it clicks on one side.
And if, once you do this massage
regularly,
and end with this, those clicks will
vanish.
[SOUND] Excellent.
The other thing is, it's best not to speak
while you're doing it.
So don't carry on a conversation with
yourself or
someone else when you're doing this,
especially.
Excellent.
Thank you.
So, again, do this as part of your warm up
exercising.
You can also do it isolated throughout the
day as I mentioned before, and
enjoy the results.
[MUSIC]