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0698 – Story-telling For A Young Audience

Season 2, Ep. 698

2022.11.29 – 0698 – Story-telling For A Young Audience

Story-telling for a young audience

For younger pairs of ears, think particularly about the storytelling journey. Children’s books are often very much about emotion and change: the lonely girl who finds friends with seven dwarves; the poor boy who climbs a beanstalk and escapes from a new land with a pot of gold and so on. So play with those feelings and colour the changes which help the story arc: make the princess sound lonely, make Jack sound frightened and then relieved as he escapes the giant.

Look carefully at the rhymes, rhythms and repetitions in the sentences, how the author plays with the words in an almost musical way and bring that out in your telling of the tale. (Some say that having a musical background helps with reading aloud, giving you a greater sense of timing, tempo, tone and rhythm.)

Add a bit of playfulness to the words (say words like “surprise”, “discovered”, “lonely”, “strange” or “sighed” in the appropriate tone of surprise, discovery and so on), and to the phrases (“he drank the potion and started to shrink”, elongating “started to shrink” with a sense of wonder, and maybe with “shrink” said in an appropriately higher pitched voice to indicate the small size). 

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0764 – How Meds Can Hurt Not Help Your Voice

Season 3, Ep. 764
 2023.02.03 – 0764 – How Meds Can Hurt Not Help Your Voice Medications – Again, sticky-sweet, tongue colour-changing over-the-counter lozenges do not touch your vocal cords. Although they might have a placebo effect (you feel as though they are helping, and so your confidence returns), the ones with anaesthetic or numbing properties may actually be causing further damage, giving you a false sense that everything’s OK. Instead, focus on the root cause of your vocal fatigue by practising with a vocal routine. Other medications can affect your voice too:·        Inhalers and steroid sprays·        Antihistamines (such as hay fever remedies) can also dehydrate·        Antibiotics·        Antidepressants ·        Oral contraceptives ·        The menthol in some cold remedies may be an irritant ·        Decongestant meds for nose and throat problems often work by drying out the local tissues. That’s obviously not good news. If you have a cold and a subsequently blocked nose, you may have a dried-out nose caused by your meds and a dried-out mouth caused by having to use it for breathing. Therefore, it’s essential that you take plenty of fluids. Alternative medication may include:·        water, gargling and sleep are free·        steam – is cheap·        mindfulness – takes just minutes·        warm pineapple juice – some find that this can help soothe a throat

0763 – How Your Voice Is Affected By Oestrogen, Progesterone and Androgens

Season 3, Ep. 763
2023.02.02 – 0763 – How Your Voice Is Affected By Oestrogen, Progesterone and Androgens  Menopause can also affect the voice.[1] Vocally speaking, oestrogen:·        affects how supple the vocal folds’ upper surface (the mucosal layer) is·        supports the folds’ mucus-making glands·        affects the deepest layer of the vocal folds, which produce lower and higher pitchesblocks the effects of androgens, and so prevents the lowering of the voice Progesterone balances the effects of oestrogen as well as:·        causing decreased and thickened secretions of the outer layer of the vocal folds, resulting in drier vocal folds Androgens, including testosterone, which are naturally secreted in women’s bodies, can:·        cause the vocal folds to thicken, which lowers your pitch·        increase dryness of the vocal folds due to changes in the glands that secrete fluids near the vocal folds​. During menopause hormones may fluctuate day to day, making the voice sound unpredictable, unreliable and unstable:·        vocal cord swelling, resulting in less range and a general lower voice·        a drier mouth which may lead to more throat clearing·        reflux·        a ‘lump in the throat’ sensation·        excess or thicker mucus·        vocal fatigue from vocal cord muscle weakness impacting agility, power and projection in your voice·        pain in the throat or neck Don’t force your voice but try more warming up techniques (see later) to make your voice feel easier. [1] Lots more information in this video: