• The cheeks lift the curtain to the sinuses.
  • Our habitual smiles have entanglements. 
  • Isolate and disentangle cheek smile from eyes/eyebrow and head.
  • Lift cheeks in highest smile while home positions remain at rest.
  • Smile Olympics


The Zygomaticus major and minor muscles in the face lift the sides of the lips up in a wider smile.

This lifting motion for the cheeks opens the resonating spaces in the middle voice of the facial mask.

Lift cheeks and lips into a smile

Once you are certain of a rested and open "Home Position," you are ready to add your first important movement: To lift the cheeks without entangling any point of the home position. 

Most of us have some sort of charming personal habit where we tip the head or raise the eyebrows when we smile. However, these small everyday movements encroach on our necessary voice-making movements. It is important to learn how to smile without tension in the head, neck, shoulders, eyebrows, eyes and lips: ALL points of the Home Position. 


Isolate and Dis-entangle your smile from the other points in Vocal Core. 

Do the exercise ONLY after you are certain that each point of the Vocal Core is at rest. As you lift the cheeks, notice when and if other parts of your habitual smile also engages other parts of your vocal core.

Find entanglements and release the points of the Vocal Core back to its rested position

  • Look into the mirror.
  • Lips are together and relaxed.
  • Bring the sides of your lips up into a slight smile without opening the mouth. Think Mona Lisa smile.
  • IMPORTANT:  Instead of initiating the smile with your lips, lift the cheeks to raise the lips to a smile.  
  • Head remains at rest
  • Eyes and eyebrows at rest and do not move as the lips pull up into the smile. 

IMPORTANT:  Eyes do not move in response to the smile.

Exercise - Medium Smile

  • Your lips relaxed and gently touching. 
  • Bring your lips and cheeks up into a medium smile.
  • Once you have found the medium smile, gently release the lips so that your cheeks sustain the smile.
  • Watch for unnecessary counter- movements in the vocal core.

Disentangle the smile

  • Watch for unnecessary counter movements in the vocal core.
  • Eyes don't move out of the resting position, squint or grow wide as you widen the smile.
  • Do not tip the head to the side. 
  • Don't grimace!


Take Your Time!

Slower is faster. S.L.O.W.L.Y bring the sides of your mouth upwards to a medium smile and watch for entanglementso

Exercise - Widest smile

  • Once you are able to sustain a medium, closed-mouth, relaxed smile, increase your smile as much as possible.
  • Watch for entanglements in the eyes, eyebrows, head and jaw. 
  • When entanglements present, simply slow down, return to neutral, relaxed positions and resume the exercise. 
  • Eyes don't move out of the resting position, squint or grow wide as you widen the smile.
  • Watch for tension in the back of the head as you sustain your widest smile.

Dis-entangle mid head line

Smile Olympics

Destination/Duration Smile Olympics
  • Assume your wide smile with mouth slightly opened or closed.
  • Head and vocal core disentangled from your smile.
  • Remain in this position for a specific amount of time or from point of origin to destination during your daily walk.
    • Response from others
    • Where your face and head feel a bit sore.  


  • Cheeks high - Your cheeks draw the lips upward into a medium to wide smile without entanglements with the head, eyes and jaw.
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