This is an extension of the exercises introduced in Yawn-sigh into Vowels and Limbering on ‘h’.
To begin with, have the clients produce each word as if following the yawn-sigh exercise, i.e.
- Have clients take in a deep, relaxed breath using the abdominal technique, yawning if necessary.
- Have them gently expel the air as if sighing and producing the sound /h/.
- As the relaxed sigh continues, have them gradually shape the first word by lengthening each sound, g. /h::::u::::t/ “hoot”.
- Repeat steps 1-3 above with each word in the list.
- Continuing to use a relaxed abdominal breathing technique, have clients say each word in the list aloud in turn, in as ‘near-normal’ a manner as possible – as if they were speaking ‘normally’ to a friend (this may still require a slight emphasis on the initial /h/ sound of each word to retain the easy onset).
- Remind clients to retain the same relaxed, open vocal set as they achieved when following steps 1-4.
- Using a relaxed abdominal breathing technique (as used above) have clients say each two-word phrase in the list aloud in turn, again in as ‘near-normal’ a manner as possible.
- If a client tends towards a hard attack when initiating any of the two words in the phrase, remind them to adopt the same relaxed, open vocal set as they achieved when speaking aloud the single words. If they find this particularly difficult, have them emphasize – by lengthening – each /h/ at the beginning of each word in the phrase, e.g. h::::appy h::::earts; h::::ealthy h::::ens, etc.
This exercise consists of 10 lines, each with (1) a two-word phrase in which both words begin with /h/, and (2) a two-word phrase in which both words begin with a vowel, e.g.
hard hat any attic
For each line, have the clients speak the first phrase on one breath, then the second phrase on another breath. Encourage clients to identify for themselves the easy, relaxed vocal set of the first phrase and to carry over this relaxed configuration into the production of the second phrase.
The following exercises are essentially the same as speaking the phrases above. They do, however, build into longer utterances and this will, therefore, tax clients’ breath control a little more.
If any client is observed to strain or ‘push’ the voice because they are running out of breath, point this out to them and help them identify the change in quality of the voice when there is insufficient breath support. Have the client repeat the phrase, either correcting the breath support or, if necessary, taking additional breaths at appropriate points. If any client does need to take additional breaths when speaking a phrase, encourage them to divide up the utterance into meaningful pieces – semantic chunks – to retain the overall sense of the utterance.
Easy Onset Exercises
- hoot hole haul heart hate heat
- whom home harm hail heal whose
- hose horse haze heap hoop hope
- horn harp hake heed hoard hard
- happy hearts
- healthy hens
- heavy hands
- who’s home?
- hungry hamster
- he’s harmless
- whose hammer?
- hasty harvest
- hazel hair
- hurtful husband
- hybrid hedgehog
- husky hound
- hard hat – any attic
- humid home – another axe
- heavenly harp – artificial art
- hapless harmony – angry actions
- hefty hen – extra eggs
- high hat – electric eels
- helping hand – enough energy
- hanging high – old oak
- handy hamper – odd ostrich
- hardy hare – olive oil
- her holiday handbag
- half a halibut, please
- the hose is in the hall
- the hurdles were high
- his horse jumped high
- her hens had escaped
- the hills were very high
- Harry hates headaches
- her husband was a hero
- heaven is a happy place
- hurricanes hardly ever happen!
- my hero is obviously my husband.
- how can a hen lay so many eggs?
- an angel with her halo on her head
- an occasional helping of ham and eggs
- “Hello Heather!” said the history lecturer
- how many horsepower is your other car?
- help is always at hand for happy humans
- how can you encourage a healthy lifestyle?
- I hope to have an effective time in Hampshire
- such a heart ache, such a lot of unhappiness!
- actors and accountants have heavy schedules
- he’s always happy to have Harry stay at home
- if it itches scratch it hard, don’t just huff and puff
- electric hair tongs can often be harsh on your hair
- Halloween may not be especially happy for children
- I heard how you ate Henry’s dinner and not your own
- Hannah is hardly the best advert for a sense of humor
- love your enemies and hope they know how to love you
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