flatness, shrillness, and nasality, so common in our speech, is attributable to constriction and narrowness of the pharynx and the mouth. The adjustment and action of the flexible muscles and tissues of these parts are within the control of the will. The following exercises have been found useful in establishing conditions favorable to normal resonance : 17. Hold a mirror before you, draw in a full breath through

the well-opened mouth, and see whether the uvula, or pendant portion of the soft palate, is visible. Can you see the walls of the throat back of this lobe of the palate when you exhale the breath in sounding the vowel "à"? If not, try saying “gå” two or three times with the mouth wide open. Repeat "a," prolonging the tone, several times, or until you are able to lift easily the uvula from the back of the

tongue, and until you can see the back of the throat plainly. 18. Prolong the sound “koo,” making the tone reverberate

strongly in the upper part of the throat and the back of the mouth. Have a sense of enlarging the throat to its full capacity in sounding the tone. Sing the exercise up and down

the scale, holding the tone three or four seconds. 19. Stand firmly on both feet, relax the shoulders, and let the

arms hang at the sides ; bend forward from the waist as far as you can, relax the muscles of the neck, and allow the head to hang down easily as far as it will go. While in this position, sound a prolonged “jo” (as in “boom ”), making the tone full and round. While holding the sound raise the body to an upright position, and, as you do so, relax the jaw, open the mouth, and merge the “oo” into a strong


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See that the mouth is opened enough to permit you to place the exercise slowly two or three times. Do not continue the

two fingers, one above the other, between the teeth. Repeat 1 This is a good exercise for overcoming nasality, which is caused by allowing too much vibration in the nasal cavities, and not enough in the mouth and upper part of the throat. For remedying this fault try, also, the following: (1) hold the nose and speak the vowel sounds ; (2) hold the nose and speak words or combinations of words not containing n or m. Continue snch exercises until the resonance of your ordinary speech becomes more rich and normal.

exercise at any one time to the point of discomfort. 20. Speak “fő-få,” relaxing the jaw for the latter half of the

couplet so that two fingers may be placed, one above the other, between the teeth. Repeat the exercise many times and frequently until the muscles of the jaw are easily re

laxed and become flexible.1 21. Sound the vowels ā ē i ō ū, and open the mouth for each of

them sufficiently to permit the placing of one finger between the teeth. Practice the scale in this

way. 22. The tongue is sometimes an unruly and obstructive mem

ber, drawing itself back and ridging up, preventing the free,
open utterance of the vowels. In forming the vowels, with
possibly the exception of "ē,” which is not made in the
same way by all persons, the tongue should lie flat in the
mouth, with the tip touching the gums of the lower front
teeth, as it lies after speaking "la." Try repeating “la-la-
lõ" with continuous tone, using the tongue quickly and eas-
ily and allowing it to lie lightly in the bottom of the mouth
for each vowel. Speak the following lines slowly, opening
the mouth well and keeping the tongue low and well for-
ward for the vowels.

“Over the rolling waters go.”
“ So all day long the noise of battle rolled

Among the mountains by the winter sea.”
“I played a soft and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving story -
An old rude song, that suited well

That ruin wild and hoary.” 4. Range and flexibility. Variety is the life of speech as truly as it is the spice of life. A voice of good range and flexibility, capable of responding to every shade of thought, is essential to pleasing and effective speech of any kind. It is often found that the monotonous voice is associated with an unmusical ear. In such cases training of the ear should accompany training of the voice. With practice and pergeverance the ear of persons who cannot distinguish Yankee Doodle from the Old Hundred may be educated to a considerable degree of accuracy in recognizing the pitch of tones, and at the same time the voice may be made flexible and responsive and its range notably extended. 23. If the ear is not quick to catch the pitch of a tone, sound a

1 The mouth may be thought of as the natural megaphone of the voice, magnifying and reinforcing the tone as it opens. To test this close the teeth and say “à” loudly; then, without interrupting the sound, open the mouth 80 that two fingers may be placed between the teeth and note how the volume of tone is increased. Form the habit of opening the mouth well when you speak.

note on the piano or other instrument, close the eyes, shut out all other impressions, and listen attentively. When the sound possesses the ear and the mind, sing “7” and approx. imate as closely as you can the pitch of the voice to that of the instrument. After this tone is secured, sound the one above, then the next above that, and so on. A teacher or friend may render valuable assistance here by indicating when the voice does or does not strike the tone sounded by the instrument. This practice should be continued, at frequent intervals, over a long period of time. Concentration and perseverance in practice will do much to render the ear

sensitive and true to pitch. 24. Speak the vowels in unbroken utterance, beginning low on

the scale, and allowing the voice to rise through its whole range in speaking the series ; begin high and descend the

scale to the lowest tones. 25. Speak the vowels as before, beginning on a low note, giving

the first vowel a long upward inflection and continuing the others on successive higher tones, as if asking a question, thus :

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Reverse the process, beginning high and giving a long falling inflection to the first vowel, then to the second, and so on, allowing the others to drop away to the lowest tones, as in answering a question, thus:


ol 이

u. 26. Inflect the voice repeatedly upward from the lowest to the

highest tones easily reached on the vowel “ ā,” thus:

Oh? No

Reverse the inflection. 27. Speak words with a long, strong inflection of question, surprise and assertion, thus :

No Yes ?

Yes? Away? Oh! Not Yes! Away! Ahoy! 28. Read aloud, with as much variety and range of inflection as

you can command, the scene from Julius Cæsar, 101, iii, problem 13, pp. 63-64.

EXERCISE IN VOICE TRAINING The following poem affords excellent opportunity for applying in actual speech all the principles set forth in the above program of exercises. Study it carefully and read it often, endeavoring always to command that control of breath, clear tone, fullness, and resonance of voice which its thought and spirit demand.


T. Buchanan Read
Out of the North the wild news came,
Far flashing on its wings of flame,
Swift as the boreal light which flies
At midnight through the startled skies.

And there was tumult in the air,

The fife's shrill note, the drum's loud beat,
And through the wide land everywhere

The answering tread of hurrying feet;
While the first oath of Freedom's gun
Came on the blast from Lexington;
And Concord, roused, no longer tame,
Forgot her old baptismal name,
Made bare her patriot arm of power,
And swelled the discord of the hour.

Within its shade of elm and oak

The church of Berkley Manor stood; There Sunday found the rural folk,

And some esteemed of gentle blood. In vain their feet with loitering tread

Pass'd 'mid the graves where rank is naught;

All could not read the lesson taught In that republic of the dead.

How sweet the hour of Sabbath talk,

The vale with peace and sunshine full, Where all the happy people walk,

Decked in their homespun flax and wool! Where youths' gay hats with blossoms bloom,

And every maid, with simple art,

Wears on her breast, like her own heart,
A bud whose depths are all perfume;

While every garment's gentle stir
Is breathing rose and lavender.

1 From The Wagoner of the Alleghanies. Copyrighted by J. B. Lippincott Company. Used with the kind permission of the publishers.,

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