How to scream without hurting the voice or throat

The age-old question-how to scream and not hurt your throat or lose your voice?  The quick answer I give to my students is always to breathe through it.  This isn’t so easy to do and certainly difficult when in a heightened state.  One doesn’t want to be thinking of our technical work when performing.  We must use our core breathing muscles to support the scream with breath, not our throat. The answer is to learn how to do it in the classroom or from a coach and practice it like crazy.  Use your breath and core muscles, not the throat!

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Fear of Speaking in Public

I am always bowled over by how many students share their fears re: their voice. Not a new subject to me, I quickly respond to each with a similar story. It never ceases to amaze me how emotional I become every time I share it. Many, many years ago, I experienced a traumatic experience with my voice and it still lives in me to this day. I had a teacher who paraded me in front of a large master class of music majors and described my voice as what no one would ever want. Of course, the second I realized what was happening I choked and could not produce a note. I will never forget that day or the lasting effect it has had on my performances requiring a song.

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Lowering Breath

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Today proved a challenging one. I had 12 hours of teaching to accomplish, not an easy feat by any means! The goal was to be as fresh for my last class as I was for my first. I aimed at practicing what I preach – lower and use my breath fully throughout the day. Lowering my breath worked. Not only did I make it through 12 hours of teaching without feeling exhausted, but I knew the information was still specific and energized at the end-whew!

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