Welcome to the Speak With Your Whole Self blog! In my weekly writing, I share tips and mindset tools that will help you communicate more fully and authentically. Every Thursday I share something that pertains either to:

  • Vocal health and anatomy (How Your Voice Works)
  • Performing or public speaking (Lessons in Presence)
  • Your everyday life (Voice Body LIFE)
  • Or on the really juicy days, something personal! (Elissa gets personal)

You can also join me live every Friday at 1pm EST on the facebook page to hear a deeper explanation of that week’s blog. After all, I’m a voice teacher so I love talking!

P.S. If you want these blogs delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday, plus information about classes and workshops that I only share via email, please sign up for Voice Body Connection updates here!

Tongue Twisters with Nasals

Last week in our Articulation exercise we practiced the nasal sounds M, N, and NG. Today, we’re going to put it all together into a few fun and silly tongue twisters that will get your soft palate and other articulators working in tip top shape!

Check out the Tongue Twisters with Nasals exercise here:

Are these hard for you? Easy? Let me know!

xo,

elissa-signature

Make sure you never miss a post!

Sign up to have them sent directly to your inbox:

Nasals Articulation Exercise

Nasal sounds may not be the most obvious articulation issue, but if you can’t articulate nasals, you can’t articulate clearly. Why? Nasals require a lot of dexterity of the lips, tongue, and soft palate.

The three main nasal sounds we use in English are M, N, and NG. Check out today’s How To Warm Up Articulation video to learn how to make these nasal sounds clearly and easily!

Check out the Nasals Exercise (Articulation) here:

Are these hard for you? Easy? Let me know!

xo,

elissa-signature

Make sure you never miss a post!

Sign up to have them sent directly to your inbox:

Loft Resonance

In today’s How To Warm Up video, we’ve looped back around to a Resonance exercise! In the last loop we talked about mask resonance, which helps you get into a forward-placed, ping-y sound. Today, we’re going to talk about what I like to call ‘loft resonance.’ It helps you get into a taller, more robust placement. Think about it this way… mask resonance is the belt-y Elphaba sound, and loft resonance is more the classical Glinda sound. (Hats off to Idina and Kristin by the way 🎩  … and fun fact, I saw the first preview EVER of Wicked back in 2003 in San Francisco when I was a senior in high school!)

Okay! Let’s dive in…

Check out the “Loft Resonance” Exercise here:

xo,

elissa-signature

Make sure you never miss a post!

Sign up to have them sent directly to your inbox:

Laryngeal Massage

I’ve been thinking about sharing the content in today’s How To Warm Up video for quite awhile, and I’m very excited the time has come! See, today I am teaching you how massage the muscles on the front of your throat.

Your larynx (picture to your right) is your voice box: the thing made of cartilage that sits in your throat and houses the vocal folds (aka the vocal cords). It’s suspended in your throat by some small but strong muscles. When these muscles are tight, the vibration of your voice becomes dampened and it can become effortful to produce sound. But good news: You can massage these muscles!

Now if you go to a normal masseuse they’re not going to work on the front of your neck, and there’s good reason for that… the front of our neck is a vulnerable place, namely because of the carotid artery. Working on this area for another person requires very specific training, and the people who have this training are speech therapists. A speech therapist (or pathologist) can administer or teach you a more complex version of what I’m sharing today, and that’s called “circum-laryngeal massage,” (massaging around the larynx).

I am NOT a clinician, but I do have some training in speech therapy methods. So, over the years I have taught a simplified version of laryngeal massage to many clients so they can do it themselves. Over and over, I have seen the benefits of this technique for those suffering from vocal fatigue. Now it’s time to share this knowledge! So in today’s video, I’m sharing the most fool-proof aspects of this very beneficial technique. Please simply remember the most important part: You must practice this technique on YOURSELF, and stop anytime you’re experiencing discomfort.

Explanation and disclaimer aside, I can’t wait to share. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Check out the “Laryngeal Massage” (Sound) Exercise here:

Enjoy! And please comment below because I imagine you’ll have questions!

xo,

elissa-signature

Make sure you never miss a post!

Sign up to have them sent directly to your inbox:

Enrollment is open for spring online classes!

Enrollment is now open for my two spring classes, held live and online! I would love to learn, grow, and share with you:

How Your Voice Works (and Why It Matters To Know!)

A class for singers and voice teachers
For seven weeks on Wednesday evenings from 7:30-8:30pm EST
starting May 10th

How Your Voice Works (and Why It Matters To Know!) is a live, online course for singers and voice teachers. Preparation for this class is to watch one module per week of the pre-recorded online course How Your Voice Works (included in enrollment), which dives deeply into the anatomy and mechanics of the voice. The live weekly class on Wednesdays will then expand on our physiological understanding of the voice to explore the energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual implications of this knowledge.

Registration and info at:
www.howyourvoiceworks.com

 

How To Sound Like Yourself

A class for performers and public speakers
For six weeks on Thursday evenings from 7:30-8:30pm EST
starting May 11th

How To Sound Like Yourself is a fully live, online course for performers and public speakers. In this course, we’ll take a mindset-based approach to transforming the way you speak. Class will include exercises and techniques to transform your habits, become more present, and help you overcome your nerves. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively with your body and voice, so your message lands every time you get up in front of an audience.

Registration and info at:
www.howtosoundlikeyourself.com

The “Sh, Let It Go” Breath Support Exercise

We’re back with another “How To Warm Up” video, and today we’re covering breath support!

In the last video on Body we covered one of my favorite new things – abdominal massage. Massaging your guts is super beneficial for helping your belly release so you can allow in an easy, expansive inhalation.
– HOWEVER –
When we’re producing sound, the exhalation isn’t just released… rather it needs to be supported and energized. That means there’s actually engagement and work happening in the low abdominal muscles. Today’s video will help you feel how to engage the power of breath support without overdoing it. (And you’ll also learn why your voice is like a toothpaste tube! 😜 )

Check out the “Sh, Let It Go” Breath Support Exercise here:

Enjoy! Don’t overdo it, and let me know if you have any questions!

xo,

elissa-signature

Make sure you never miss a post!

Sign up to have them sent directly to your inbox:

Use a neti pot for World Voice Day!

Happy World Voice Day!

I wanted to do something special in honor of this relatively new annual celebration, so today I’m sharing a very special video. It’s allergy season, and I’ve frequently been recommending neti pots. But when I tell people to use them, I often get incredulous cross-eyes and hear “that’s the thing where I pour water through my nose right?!? I don’t think I could do that!” 👀

I’ll admit neti pots are definitely a little strange to get used to. But because I really believe in them, I’ve decided to ease your way in by recording myself doing it!

Watch the neti pot video here:

Enjoy irrigating your sinuses, and post any questions below!

P.S. Special thanks to Steve Weinzimmer (aka my dad!) for the cinematography ☺️

xo,

Free classes this April!

Hi All!

I’ve been feeling excited and inspired to do a lot of online teaching this spring, so I’m offering two free webinars at the end of this month. You are invited to sign up for one or both… whatever floats your ‘I-have-many-talents-and-interests’ boat! ⛵

—-

Voice teachers and singers, join me for:

Voice Metaphors: Why They Work, and When They Don’t

Wednesday April 26th at 7:30pm EST
Singing teachers and singers… you know how we’re constantly using goofy metaphors like “Imagine your head is a cathedral” or “Your stream of air is a toboggan racing over the snow”? Let’s talk about why they work, why they’re sometimes toootally confusing, and of course how we can create them and understand them better!

Sign up for the “Voice Metaphors” webinar HERE

—-

Public speakers and performers, join me for:

How To Sound Like Yourself: Speaking With Authenticity

Thursday April 27th at 7:30pm EST
I know you know that moment when it feels like the voice coming out of you isn’t yours or sounds fake… (I’m looking at you actors falling into “actor voice”!) Sure it seems silly that it’s hard to sound like yourself, but sometimes it totally is! So let’s get you reading high on what I like to call the “Truth-o-Meter,” shall we?

Sign up for the “How To Sound Like Yourself” webinar HERE

—-

Even if you can’t make it live on these evenings, if you’re interested in these webinars be sure to sign up so you’ll receive the recording after the event. You’re also invited and encouraged to forward this webpage link to any friends who might want to join!

I so look forward to both of these conversations and can’t wait to share with you!
xo,

P.S.: The above webinars are kick off events for enrollment in the spring round of my online classes. If you’re interested in joining, here’s the info now so you can mark your calendar:

How Your Voice Works, and Why It Matters To Know
A class for singing teachers and singers
Wednesdays from 7:30-8:30pm EST live and online
Seven weeks: May 10, 17, 24, and 31, and June 7, 14, and 21

This course includes registration in my pre-recorded online course “How Your Voice Works,” which dives into the physiology of the voice. In our live meetings we’ll then delve deeper into the mental, emotional, and spiritual implications of understanding our voice. It’s gonna be *awesome.*

How To Sound Like Yourself 
A class for public speakers and performers
Thursdays from 7:30-8:30pm EST live and online
Six weeks: May 11, 18, 25, and June 1, 8, and 15

In this class, we’ll do a deep dive into mindset, presence, delivery, and text work for public speakers and speaking performers. If you’ve been struggling with authentic presence and bringing your full voice into your presentations, performances, and meetings, this class is for you. You may be feeling stuck, but we’re gonna get you moving

Registration opens right after the webinars at the end of this month. Keep your eyes on your email because if you act fast, you’ll get an early bird discount!

A belly massage for your voice!

Okay guys today is GOOD, because this exercise that is my latest obsession.

We’re on to the Body stage in the “How To Warm Up” sequence, and today I’m sharing a technique for abdominal self-massage. It was actually my Ayurvedic wellness coach who taught me how to massage my belly in order to aid digestion. But in the last few months I’ve been applying it to my own vocal practice and sharing it with my students, and the results have been astounding.

Here’s why I think it works: In order to allow an easy inhalation to drop in (I talked about the importance of that in the “Tense and Release, But Backwards” Breathing video), it’s crucial to have a soft belly and let your guts go. However if there’s habitual holding in the belly, it can be really hard to figure out how to let go. So what’s a girl to do? How can you give your guts the kinesthetic experience of release?? Ding ding ding! 🔔  … by massaging them manually!!

I’ve shared this technique with a lot of folks lately, and across the board people really like it. So now I’m very excited to hear your thoughts on this approach. Have a watch and let the belly massaging begin!!

Check out the Belly Massage Warm-Up here:

xx,

elissa-signature

Make sure you never miss a post!

Sign up to have them sent directly to your inbox:

The “Notice what’s in the room” impulse exercise

We’re back at the top of the loop of the How To Warm Up video series! So today we dive back in with an exercise about how to follow our Impulses. I love using this exercise as a way to get my creative juices flowing, become really present, and practice connecting impulse all the way into speaking. I like to call the exercise “Notice What’s in the Room.” Check out this simple and highly effective technique!

Check out the Impulse Warm-Up here:

It’s entirely possible something hilarious might come out of your mouth when you do this. If so, please let me know by commenting below the video. We’d all love a good laugh 😆

xx,

elissa-signature

Make sure you never miss a post!

Sign up to have them sent directly to your inbox: