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tongue tension … blarg

tongue tension is a thing. so i went live to talk about it.

Written By Shannon Coates

On May 8, 2020
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tongue tension is a thing. so i made a quick live about it.

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CLICK HERE if you wanna’ JUST WATCH IT ALREADY (in all it’s 20-minute glory!) … but if you’d rather do the highlights? HERE THEY ARE:


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00:00 “Am I live? I hate the new FaceBook Live thing. I guess I’m live. THE BUTTON DOWN THERE SAYS I’M LIVE. GAH”


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2:20 Tongue tension is the symptom, not THE THING. (and to prove it, here’s an analogy.)


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4:17 Why do we have tongue tension, anyway? (if you’re not in to watching my shannonigans [see what I did there? #ikillme], START WATCHING THE VIDEO HERE.)


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8:54 ALL THAT TO SAY …


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11:20 Also: physiology is a thing.


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14:35 oh. And here’s what to do. FINALLY.

  1. GIVE THOSE MUSCLES SOMETHING ELSE TO DO
  2. ENCOURAGE THE COORDINATION THAT WILL ALLOW THOSE MUSCLES TO NOT NEED TO “HELP OUT”

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17:20 ACTUAL DEMONSTRATION OF ACTUAL EXERCISE(S) TO TRY (AKA what you’ve been waiting for this entire time)

  1. movement in the body to release the torso: draw a circle on the floor with your tailbone
  2. give the tongue something else to do: lick the outside and inside of the teeth over and over again
  3. use an SOVT to encourage the most efficient phonation possible: in this case, mmm (ie lips closed)
  4. give your body an external cue re breath energy and/or breath pressure: Hoberman Sphere [better for breath energy cues] OR resistance band (or scarf) [better for breath pressure cues]

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JK. THIS is the actual demonstration.


Alright, friends. THAT WAS A LONG READ. And if you made it ALL THE WAY TO HERE? I CONGRATULATE YOU. With MANY CONGRATULATIONS.

I hope this wee talk was useful for ya’ and, as I said in the intro to the video, if you want more #voiceped goodness, I hope you’ll check out my online course, The Vocal Instrument 101 and get on my mailing list so you’ll KNOW ALL THE THINGS AS THEY HAPPEN.

#teachyourfaceoff,

Shannon Coates The Vocal Instrument 101 signature

PS THE FIRST: I am doing something SUPER EXCITING for the FIRST TIME: offering a POPUP FOLLOWUP VOICE PED POWER UP for the folx who have done The Vocal Instrument 101 and it’s starting SOON. SO, if you are interested in working with me to really pump up your pedagogy, and you’ve done the online course OR you’ve done The Vocal Instrument 101 in person OR you did an undergrad voice ped course with me? SEND ME A NOTE TO GET IN ON THAT ACTION. (And if you haven’t done the course? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? 😉 )

PS THE SECOND (AKA PPS): Virtual Voice Ped Power Up on the MALE VOICE is happening on Monday, 8th of June. If you teach males and you’re trying to figure out WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW? This is the Voice Ped Power Up for you. Registration links coming soon. #staytuned 🙂

Virtual Voice Ped Power Up with Shannon Coates montly(ish) in 2020

2 Comments

  1. Robyn Perry

    Shannonigans. I’M DYING HAHAHHA.
    On another note, thank you for a PERRY GOOD VIDEO (see what *I* did there?)

    • Shannon Coates

      HAAHAHAHAAAAA!!
      I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

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