Matt Edwards

Associate Professor of Voice, Shenandoah Conservatory Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute

Mix it up Monday: The blow ball game

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HTB10CBQIXXXXXcgXpXXq6xXFXXXzOver the past few months I’ve had several requests to include demonstrations in my posts. So this week I decided to start playing around with video! From now on I will be doing traditional posts as well as posts that are either completely video or primarily video.

I got the idea for this week’s post at a voice conference, although I cannot remember which one (if you remember, please comment below). When I first tried it with my college and adult students I got really positive results. My wife Jackie teaches many pre-teens and teens and when she tried it, the results were terrific! The students were having fun, laughing, and best of all they had something to take home from the lesson to play with AND improve their technique. My wife and I have both been using these devices ever since. Watch the video below to learn more, and stop by your local Dollar Tree to pick up some of your own!

Thanks for reading/watching!


9 comments on “Mix it up Monday: The blow ball game

  1. Molly S
    March 21, 2016

    Fantastic, thanks for sharing!


  2. Wendy Jones
    March 21, 2016

    Your blog is great!!! I find it informative and fun and I LOVE the addition of video. I look forward to your posts in my mailbox each week. Keep up the excellent work!


  3. Katherine Osborne
    March 21, 2016

    Hi Matt! You are likely remembering one of Filipa Lã’s sessions with flow balls. I remember attending one of them several years ago at the New York Voice Forum. I’m sure she has done some others as well.


  4. Shaunna Shandro
    March 21, 2016

    At the NATS Conference in Boston July 2014 Laura Brooks Rice used this in a masterclass. You were definitely there! 🙂


  5. Laurel
    March 21, 2016

    Curious if this isn’t training vocal fold coordination more than ab/rib engagement? If the task is to release less air in one big burst, the body’s best bet to control the air flow is to create a smaller valve, the vocal folds, or maybe even something along the vocal tract, like the lips. Is the goal to just let the abs/ribs do the managing work and is that even possible?


    • Matthew Edwards
      March 21, 2016

      Laurel: During phonation airflow is absolutely tied to vocal fold coordination. I use this exercise to help the student learn to manage the respiratory system by isolating it. I work with a lot of dancers who have been taught to breathe higher in the ribcage and immediately pull in their abdominal wall as part of their dance posture. I do not expect that my students will all breathe in the same manner or use the same breath strategy, but I do think it is useful for them to understand how we can use the intercostal and abdominal muscles to regulate airflow (without vocal fold involvement). Then when we add phonation, I explain to them how the vocal folds act as a valve and how the systems interact with each other. Respiration is much more complex than this exercise for sure. Thanks for pointing that out. ~Matt


  6. melissafordvoicestudio
    August 6, 2016

    Hi Matt!

    Thank you so much for sharing this fun exercise. After reading your post, I purchased several “Float a Ball” games for my students. They love it!


  7. Pingback: Mix it up Monday: Balancing breath and tone with lip trills | Matthew Edwards

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This entry was posted on March 21, 2016 by in Breath management, Mix it up Monday.

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