Associate Professor of Voice, Shenandoah Conservatory Artistic Director of the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute
David Blair McClosky was a classical baritone, voice teacher and therapist who worked with professional speakers, singers, and actors. He also created The McClosky Technique, which is still taught via the McClosky Institute of Voice.
In his book Your Voice at its Best, McClosky offers a series of articulation exercises that specifically address various parts of the the articulatory system. If you have a student struggling with “tongue tension,” it is often more of a motor skill issue than a muscular issue. The patterns are sorted by how they are produced. You can use a descending 5-4-3-2-1 pattern or create your own.
Articulation of labial consonants
Articulation of dental consonants
Articulation of hard palate consonants with the tip of the tongue
Articulation of hard palate consonants with the body of the tongue
Articulation of soft palate consonants with the body of the tongue
Articulation of labial and dental consonants
For more phrases, see pages 19-20 and for McClosky’s full explanation of how to use these exercises, see pages 15-22.
Do you have other phrases that you like to use when training the articulators? If you do, please share them in the comment section below. If you are not already following the blog, please sign-up on the bottom right of this page.
Thanks for reading! ~Matt