McClosky Relaxation Exercise #5, the muscles around the larynx

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 #5?

Most singing teachers agree that a larynx that is in a high position makes for a bad tone.

Fewer will say that pulling or holding the larynx down has other negative effects, such as over-darkening the tone, distorting vowels, or limiting range; but McClosky believed that the larynx should lie in a medium position.

With the McClosky technique, a balance is struck between the release of the suspensory muscles around the larynx and the breath pressure.


Tips to do this exercise well:

Do not jut out the chin.  Allow the head to fall forward slightly.

Remember how your tongue felt after performing the second exercise.  If your tongue has tightened, do the second exercise again.  Allow the jaw to fall slightly open.

Find a gentle way to grasp the larynx.  For some, it is thumb on one side and fingers on the other.  For a smaller larynx, thumb on one side and the knuckle of the bent index finger on the other.

Start slowly with just a little motion side to side.  Move only side to side!  Take note that you maintain the release of the jaw and tongue, and you will feel very little resistance.

As you learn to relax these muscles, you will be able to move faster and further, but the true goal of the exercise is to move as FREELY as possible.

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