This DVD helps you
why you sometimes need nasality, and when
the 3-second, foolproof test for nasality
finding the doorway into the nose
whether the door should be open, closed or
how to monitor your practice from the
why your soft palate is so important
how to find and control your soft palate
why what you feel isn't necessarily what is
the difference between singing with "a cold in your nose", and singing
"down your nose"
whether you should feel anything in your
nose when you sing or speak
how to check if you're doing
when sounding nasal is a good thing
finding and controlling more resonance
how to maximise the resonating cavity of
why the soft palate can affect your tuning
when doing it "wrong" can be
how to isolate your soft palate from your
tongue and your jaw
which exercises to do - and the most common mistake that
why controlling the soft palate can help
with good diction
the three special sounds in the English
why not all accents and dialects are the
The soft palate is
essential for our survival
It helps in breathing and in swallowing. We
need to close off the nasal cavity when we swallow (or we'll have
soup coming down our nose!). We need to open the nasal cavity in
order to breathe, and to allow the incoming air to be moistened and
filtered by the nose (or it can get too dry for our lungs).
But sometimes when we sing or speak, we lose
contact with our soft palate, and can end up sounding nasal, dull,
out of tune, even comical. Now you can discover exactly how to
control the doorway into the nose as Jeremy guides you through the
The soft palate is useful in
communication. There are three sounds in the English language that
need the door to be open. If you want to sing or speak in
standard English or standard American, you will need to be in
control of the soft palate.
But there's a lot of
confusion out there!
of these phrases refer to the same thing.
The soft palate
The velar port (or velar
The nasal port
The palato-pharyngeal valve
The opening into the nasal cavity
The doorway into the nose
And even the
position of this structure isn't described in the same way
The structure can
closed, touching the back wall
dropped, open, touching the tongue, hanging in midair
Or the cavity can
blocked, sealed, not resonating, denasalised, hyponasal
open, hollow, unsealed, resonating, vibrating, nasalised, hypernasal
And here are some
myths about the soft palate:
palate is always raised when you sing
palate lifts automatically when you breathe in
can't control the soft palate
a brighter tone if you sing into your nose
more resonating space in the nose than in the mouth
tongue and soft palate work together
Contemporary musical theatre singing is always nasal
What you need for
What you need for good singing or speaking is
flexibility of the soft palate, closing when necessary and opening
when necessary. Join the group as they go through the exercises for
finding and controlling the soft palate. This DVD footage was devised by Gillyanne and Jeremy for
actors, singers, teachers and voice therapists wanting to learn precise, effective techniques for vocal improvement in
singing or speaking.
The DVD is packed with tips for
teaching the techniques to your own students and clients, including
using hand signs for clarity and isolation exercises to release
excess tension. Filmed as
part of the Singing and the Actor Training intensive seminar, you
Jeremy and Gillyanne take the group
step by step through identifying nasality, finding the soft palate,
and gaining voluntary control of this doorway between the nose and
mouth. In less than 27 minutes.
The plenary session includes
visual, auditory and kinaesthetic cues for a complete learning
experience - watch as the participants visualise the soft palate
moving, hear the sound change and feel the difference in their
own voice. Witness the group singing and speaking with and without
nasality, and hear the difference.
The techniques on this DVD are based on
exercises in "The nasal port",
chapter 6 of Gillyanne's groundbreaking book Singing and the Actor (voted "My
favourite book on singing technique" by Jeanette Nelson, Head of
Voice at the National Theatre). All the information you require to master these
techniques is on this DVD, but if you already have a copy of Gillyanne's book, you can find The Nasal Port on pages 57-70 of the
second edition, and Controlling The Nasal Port on pages 56-66 of the first edition.
We aim to help you optimise your
learning experience, so this DVD includes:
understand the cycle of
learning - and find out which of the four stages of competence
you are in
discover why 'brain pain' can
get in the way when you learn, and what to do when you get it
feel, hear and visualise the
techniques for a deeper understanding of how your voice works
The DVD is divided into Chapter
headings and is incredibly easy to navigate, either by mouse on your
computer mouse or on television using your DVD remote handset.
Brain Pain and Competence
What is nasality?
Diagrams and film
Finding the soft palate
Moving from nasal to oral
Opening and closing the
Speaking with a dropped
We've tested the
DVD on a number of different machines including PC, laptop, Mac
tower and DVD player... the footage will play on your computer or
standalone DVD player and can be played full-screen. Each chapter
can be stopped and rewound, so if you want to go over something
several times, you can!
Our mission is to bring you clear, precise and
effective information and techniques to improve your vocalising,
performing and teaching.
don't take our word for it!
Here's what people say about our work:
"If you really want to know about the inner workings of the human
voice, you need to turn to the work of Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy
OPERA NOW magazine
"Revolutionising the way singing is taught"
"I gained enormously from the course not
least the safe nurturing and encouraging
"Wonderful teaching and clear and accessible
explanations of some complex concepts."
"I feel like Ive learned an awful lot
and want to take it much further. You are
both very inspiring teachers." Sasha Mitchell
"I enjoyed every single moment of the course.
Both Gillyanne and Jeremy are very
approachable and their teaching methods are
first class. Highly recommended to anyone
who wishes to improve their voice quality."
here's a longer email we received about the
first training DVD in this series,
Constriction and Release:
"I wanted to let you know personally how
thoroughly impressed and excited I was upon
watching the training DVD. As a Voice
Specialist (Speech/Voice Pathologist and
Singing Voice Specialist) I found the
information utterly (and engagingly) correct
in regards to healthy voice application.
application and direction of just "how" to
explain and demonstrate this information was
so very exciting and inspiring. I am really
looking forward to adapting quite a few of
my teaching methodologies with a 'Vocal
I cannot tell you more, just how impressed I
was when I popped your DVD into the DVD
player, and after it finished I felt an
overwhelming sense of conviction in regards
to my teaching methods (not to mention a bit
of sadness as I wanted to watch so much
Many thanks to both of you."
Davey, Director The Sydney Voice Centre,