Make a start on using your voice more effectively and safely in the classroom

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Why does Better Voice include breathing and posture exercises?

Your body and your voice are intricately connected. The better you feel, physically and emotionally, the better your voice will sound and the more positive its effect on your listeners.

Two vital elements in how you feel are: your breath and how you use your body (your posture).

The Better Voice approach to both is simple: do what’s natural. Unfortunately, it’s easy to confuse ‘natural’ and ‘normal’. What has become our normal is often extremely unnatural, as a result of accumulated bad habits. The exercises in the courses will help you re-learn what’s truly natural, and improve both your voice and overall health.

Start improving your breathing with this exercise from Part One:

Make a start: natural breathing or not?

  • Sit comfortably upright and put the palm of one hand on your abdomen (over your navel) and the other on your chest (just under your collarbone).
  • As you breathe in and out notice which hand moves, or moves more. If neither hand seems to move, breathe a little more deeply until one does.

Was the hand on your abdomen moving? Congratulations, you’re using the diaphragmatic breath. This simply means that your diaphragm, the sheet of muscle between your chest cavity and your abdomen, is moving up and down as it should to maximize air flow through your lungs. It’s the natural way to breathe at rest and is also calming. That’s a great help in keeping the emotional temperature down at times when class behaviour is challenging.

For many people, though, it’s the top of their chest that moves. This is a natural tendency with aging, but is made worse by stress, a tight waistband, or holding your stomach in to look slimmer. It’s less efficient at getting oxygen into your lungs and is also the body’s fight-or-flight breath, so encourages feelings of stress - just what you don’t need in a job that is already often quite stressful enough.

Mini ‘breathing breaks’ during the day are a great habit. Just stop for a minute and clear your mind by concentrating on your breathing while you take a few slow diaphragmatic breaths. As well as encouraging your body to go back to more natural breathing, they’ll give you some welcome moments of calm.

Appearing in charge

Your body language as a teacher is important to the way you’re perceived by your learners. A confident and comfortable physical presence is a powerful factor in managing classroom behaviour and holding your learners’ attention.

Good posture also allows your voice to work at its best and makes you feel good, as these course users found:

Increased alertness, deep breathing and confidence’ (Emily L.)
More confident mentally’ (James C.)
More in control and balanced’ (Septimus O.)

So, just as natural breathing will help you to feel better, natural posture will too. The exercises you’ll find in Part One will help you to achieve both. And as you start to feel better, your posture and breathing will improve more and so will your voice.

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Why does Better Voice include breathing and posture exercises?

Your body and your voice are intricately connected. The better you feel, physically and emotionally, the better your voice will sound and the more positive its effect on your listeners.

Two vital elements in how you feel are: your breath and how you use your body (your posture).

The Better Voice approach to both is simple: do what’s natural. Unfortunately, it’s easy to confuse ‘natural’ and ‘normal’. What has become our normal is often extremely unnatural, as a result of accumulated bad habits. The exercises in the courses will help you re-learn what’s truly natural, and improve both your voice and overall health.

Start improving your breathing with this exercise from Part One:

Make a start: natural breathing or not?

  • Sit comfortably upright and put the palm of one hand on your abdomen (over your navel) and the other on your chest (just under your collarbone).
  • As you breathe in and out notice which hand moves, or moves more. If neither hand seems to move, breathe a little more deeply until one does.

Was the hand on your abdomen moving? Congratulations, you’re using the diaphragmatic breath. This simply means that your diaphragm, the sheet of muscle between your chest cavity and your abdomen, is moving up and down as it should to maximize air flow through your lungs. It’s the natural way to breathe at rest and is also calming. That’s a great help in keeping the emotional temperature down at times when class behaviour is challenging.

For many people, though, it’s the top of their chest that moves. This is a natural tendency with aging, but is made worse by stress, a tight waistband, or holding your stomach in to look slimmer. It’s less efficient at getting oxygen into your lungs and is also the body’s fight-or-flight breath, so encourages feelings of stress - just what you don’t need in a job that is already often quite stressful enough.

Mini ‘breathing breaks’ during the day are a great habit. Just stop for a minute and clear your mind by concentrating on your breathing while you take a few slow diaphragmatic breaths. As well as encouraging your body to go back to more natural breathing, they’ll give you some welcome moments of calm.

Appearing in charge

Your body language as a teacher is important to the way you’re perceived by your learners. A confident and comfortable physical presence is a powerful factor in managing classroom behaviour and holding your learners’ attention.

Good posture also allows your voice to work at its best and makes you feel good, as these course users found:

Increased alertness, deep breathing and confidence’ (Emily L.)
More confident mentally’ (James C.)
More in control and balanced’ (Septimus O.)

So, just as natural breathing will help you to feel better, natural posture will too. The exercises you’ll find in Part One will help you to achieve both. And as you start to feel better, your posture and breathing will improve more and so will your voice.

Buy Now