McClosky Relaxation Exercise #4, The Jaw

These days I hear and see a lot of forced singing, in many genres.  Perhaps it is a reflection of the stress in our time, but it’s not good for the voice and it’s not producing a great sound.

I am presenting a series of videos and explanations of the McClosky Relaxation Exercises.These exercises are designed to help the singer or speaker to release muscle tensions in the face and throat and promote easy tone production and increased resonance.

            a short video demonstration

            some reasons why I as a McClosky Voice Technician and Master Teacher think this exercise is important, and 

            tips how to do the exercise.  

 

Why do McClosky Exercise #4?

The muscles controlling the jaw are powerful.  For singing, we need to release the jaw to form a good resonating space.  Usually when singers have a “pinched” tone, they are not releasing the jaw.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, it is not necessary to open the jaw as far as you can in order to sing well.   Too wide an opening will distort vowels.

Tips to do this exercise well:

For many, this exercise is the most difficult of the six.  Remind yourself of the relaxed feeling you had after performing the first exercise.  If you cannot find that sensation, repeat the first exercise again.  Allow the jaw to open and let go; let gravity act on the jaw.  You will begin by slowly and gently pushing the jaw up and letting it fall, several times in a row. The jaw should feel as if it is floating and the hand is the source of the movement.  Continue breathing!

With this exercise, it is not important how FAR you move, or how FAST you move, but how FREELY.

If you have trouble with this, try just gently moving the jaw up and down as for chewing (without your hand). Make sure that you continue to breathe. Try to make this motion very lazy, slow and fluid.   Practice inhaling and exhaling while allowing the jaw to move.

 

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