Abbildungen der Seite

chest while deeply inhaling. Then thrust the legs out suddenly without touching the floor. Repeat in moderation.

6. The legs relaxed. Stand behind a chair to support yourself. Swing the right leg back and forth several times thoroughly relaxed. Repeat with the left leg. Avoid unnecessary movements of the rest of the body.

7. The upper chest. Inhale deeply, fully expanding the chest, and while holding the breath raise the shoulders up and down six times. Exhale very slowly.

8. The waist and abdomen. Stand erect, hands over head, palms front. Without bending the knees bend forward from the waist until the tips of the fingers touch the floor, at the same time inhaling a full breath. As you resume your upright position gently exhale and relax. In the first part of this movement tense the muscles of the legs and abdomen.

9. Stationary running. Begin a stationary running movement, very slowly at first, throwing the heels well up at back. Inhale and exhale very evenly through the nose and at regular intervals. Gradually increase the rapidity of the movement.

10. Walking on all fours. Walk about the room on all fours, breathing quietly and evenly. This will develop many of the muscles of the body and is particularly good for reducing superfluous flesh around the abdomen.

This exercise may be varied by raising the legs straight up above the head and allowing them to drop slowly down again. Also by raising the body to a sitting position and bending forward as far as possible towards the toes. Practise these exercises very deliberately while breathing naturally and deeply.



A well-trained voice is an instrument of great power in a public speaker. As the principal medium through which the preacher reaches his people it is worthy of the highest cultivation. Few men are gifted by nature with voices equal to all ordinary requirements, and in most cases it is a matter of long, earnest and systematic practise. Every man who speaks in public should acquire the power to use his voice in continued effort without weariness. A wellequipped speaker will know how to make his voice reach the furthermost auditor without noticeable effort. He will learn to unconsciously vary his voice in infinite ways to suit his varied thought. He will, in short, through painstaking practise, develop his voice and bring it under the control of his will so as to make it respond to any demand he makes upon it.

The first aim in voice culture should be to secure a pure quality of tone. That is to say, every particle of breath that is given out should be converted into voice. This quality of voice is more agreeable to listen to than any other, it carries a greater distance, and is less strain upon the speaker himself. Pure tone is the natural and appropriate expression of pure thought, and the harmonious adjustment of all the vocal parts. In the exercises that follow, the mouth should be well open, and the breath applied to the vocal organs at first gently and continuously.

The larynx should be steadied, but all rigidity of the throat muscles must be avoided. There should not be the slightest waste of breath. The ear of the student should be bent upon his voice that he may become in time his own best critic. Practise very softly at first, and persistently aim to produce a free, flowing, pure stream of voice.


1. Smoothness of tone. Stand easily erect, with chin level, the arms dropt loosely at the sides. Inhale through the mouth as if yawning, deeply but moderately, throwing out the abdomen and the upper chest. Place the lips in the position of ah as in the word father, and commence a singing tone on this vowel, aiming at softness and smoothness. While the tone is in progress observe closely whether any breath is escaping unvocalized, and if so, endeavor to hold it back in the lungs or "reservoir." Remember that in order to acquire steadiness and smoothness of voice, you must learn to apply to the vocal cords just the amount of breath required for a given tone; no more, no less. While the tone is in progress the mind should be constantly at work in a persistent effort to improve the quality of the voice.

Carefully observe the following: Open the mouth wide enough to let the tone out freely and softly; groove the tongue to give the mouth more of a funnel shape; depress the root of the tongue and raise the soft palate to give increased space at the back of the throat; and aim throughout the practise to turn every particle of breath into clear pure tone. Altho the voice should be quite soft in this exercise, it should be full and deep; that is to say, it should seem to come from the depths of the chest and not from the

throat. The larynx should be steadied, but there should be no rigidity of the vocal apparatus. Liberate the throat muscles by thoroughly relaxing all the parts, and let the voice flow from the mouth freely.

Concentrate the mind, from time to time, on the muscles of the abdomen, so that all strain and effort will be there. Do not forget to keep the tone soft, steady, smooth, and deep. Keep the mouth wide open without undue exaggeration. Adhere strictly to one pitch at a time, but take all the various pitches in turn. The voice grows through use. At first take those keys that sound to you the best, and work up and down from them by degrees. Avoid extremes of pitch until there has been considerable practise on the middle keys.

Having secured a reasonably pure tone, aim next to direct the voice toward the hard palate-the hard bony arch just above the upper teeth. From this part of the mouth cavity the voice gets much of its "ringing" quality. Learn to attack the tone as soon as the mouth is opened. This exercise if faithfully practised each day for a few minutes, as prescribed, will enable you to get control of your voice, to get it properly "placed," and finally to secure a pure quality of tone. Practise moderately, in warm fresh air. Occasionally stand before a looking-glass during the exercise to observe your mouth and throat. Five minutes' practise is ample at the beginning.

2. Freedom of tone. Inhale as before, fully and deeply, open the mouth wide as in ah, but before actually commencing the tone, fix in your mind the pure quality of voice you wish to produce and hear it mentally. Then let the voice flow forth freely and smoothly, without any effort at the throat, all strain concentrated at the abdominal

muscles, using these to back your tone up and to steady it. Remember and this can not be too often repeated-you are to sing through the throat and not from it, that the tone is to seem to come from the very depths of the body, and that all effort must be from the abdominal muscles.

Time the duration of this tone from day to day, and endeavor to increase it. After a little practise there should be no difficulty in holding it half a minute or more.

3. Economy of breath. Inhale deeply, exhale softly on ah, stopping the tone short every few seconds, holding it and mentally counting four, then continuing and stopping at like intervals. This is to be done on a single breath and with open mouth. Aim to make the attack and close each time sharp and clear, but without added force. Apply the breath, but do not push it. Be careful not to squeeze the tone. Practise on all the pitches in succession.

4. Projection of tone. Inhale deeply, and exhale on singing oo as in boot. The shape of the lips in producing this vowel has a tendency to help the tone forward. Care should be taken, however, not to unnecessarily purse or pinch the lips. The lips should protrude as in whistling, but with a suggestion of relaxation. During this exercise it will prove helpful to send the tone forward to some imaginary person or object.

5. Roundness of tone. Inhale eeply, and exhale on singing o as in old. The shape of the lips and mouth cavity in producing this sound suggests its character of roundness. It is a particularly valuable exercise for developing vocal purity and fulness. It should be noted that the vowel o has a distinctively rich quality, and this should be encouraged throughout this exercise.

Again inhale fully and deeply, but this time keep the

« ZurückWeiter »