Technique at Work
Maya Ponce, 11 years old, came to me to prepare for an audition for The Addams Family musical. She wanted to work on the part of Wendy. Maya is a belter, a powerhouse, but I saw vocal stress due to a widely-spread mouth and tension on the back of the tongue with the formation of the words. I showed her a picture on my wall of the side view of the larynx, the back of the tongue and the oral cavity. I showed her that the vocal folds need to be activated by the breath without any tension on the larynx. The breath will take care of what happens in the throat; then the sound made bounces off the spinal cord part of the back of the neck, making free passage; then the words are formed with the front of the tongue, not the back. The mouth shape needs to be more oval, making it easier for the sound to travel forward aiming at the roof of your mouth, behind the top teeth, then forming the words with the front of the tongue and lips. By golly if she didn't come back totally understanding what I said and what she saw in the pictures. Yes she got the part, and the picture on this page is Maya with the mouth shape required to form the sound using the power of the breath. Congratulations Maya!!!